On the edge of change... should I settle down or go on a big adventure?

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  • I'm a forum lurker but take so much inspiration from all of you here, and am posting here partly to get some thoughts out of my head, and to ask for guidance should anyone have any to offer! <3

    I'm at the age where most of my friends have bought houses, had children, settled down. I currently live at home with my family and have been working solid since finishing uni, trying to save in recent years for a deposit on a house so I can avoid paying someone else's mortgage. I've always wanted a patch to grow fruit and veg, have chickens, live as sustainably as possible. I work part time (30hrs pw) and enjoy my current job but feel extremely restricted by stingy annual leave allowance and inflexibility. I'm an artist and would love more time to create.

    I've been with my partner several years, and I love him to bits, although we are very different in many ways. We share a few interests (growing, building, slow living) but are different spiritually, politically and emotionally. I usually feel that this makes for an interesting relationship - we always challenge one another and I find that this makes me understand myself better in relation to him. A bigger issue is that we don't agree on where we'd like to live.

    I've been on a long journey of self-discovery and minimalism, paring down my life and living more simply. I have quite high levels of anxiety, and try to do as much as I can to be stress-free and happy. I would like to not have to ever work full-time for anyone else again (I work freelance too) but my partner is very skeptical about part-time working and mentions how much more we'd be able to access for a mortgage if I had a better job and worked more hours. I totally get that, but my view is I'd rather work towards something smaller and more affordable so I can continue with my current hours, rather than maxing out in all areas of life. What's the point in having a big mortgage on a place, when you're stressed out and working all the time so can't be there to enjoy it anyway?

    We're now at the point where we are now looking at buying a house together, and I am scared.

    One part of me wants to continue down the path ahead of me - make a commitment, buy somewhere, build something solid and reliable. Have independence from my family at home, and build my own family. I feel like buying a home will give more security and flexibility for when I am older. If we are lucky enough to find somewhere we both love, it will feel good to put down roots but I worry I will end up compromising too much on location, and that I will feel restricted or trapped.

    The other part of me shouts wildly from the edges. It wants to pack it all in, and go walkabout. Dreams include volunteering - WWOOFing (I've been a member for 3 years and still haven't done it!), conservation projects, etc and living in a van/motorhome so I am able to travel and explore the UK. I'm also interested in community living and if it were just me, I'd definitely consider this option (big no no for partner). This part of me wants freedom, self discovery, adventure and more time to create art. I had a motorhome about 10 years ago, and aside from going to a few festivals, I totally wasted the opportunity. I was scared as a single female of staying anywhere on my own and I'm so grumpy with myself for not just getting on with it! I feel like I've just failed to fulfil all these hopes and dreams while I was younger, where I wouldn't have hurt anyone (partner, family, friends) by exploring, and wouldn't have hurt my career prospects or bank balance too much. Now it just feels like a big risk.

    So, here I am... asking a forum of strangers what they think. Either way, I'm on the edge of a big change and just freaking out a tiny bit :shrug:

    Much love to you all!


  • What direction will help to develop existing skills experience as well as give you new ones that can be used to get better paid work in the future? Help you develop you as an artist/creative?

    What will be easy for your heart to stick with and enjoy?

    Sometimes doing something that doesn't directly lead to the next stage can at some point be the thing that helps to get to the next stage.

    I remember reading something on Facebook about sucess from taking indirect paths like Nature being indirect but still achieving an end result. < From long Facebook post about business success.

    Would you be able to support yourself, have some kind of housing/ fixed address and do what you want to do?

  • My partner and I bought a little cottage last year as we both really wanted to move to the countryside and grow our own veg. At the time everyone kept advising us to buy the most expensive house we could afford and get the biggest mortgage the bank would loan us. We completely ignored this advice as we didn't want to be tied to a crippling mortgage for 30 years. We bought a little place that was just right for us and our mortgage is in the range that we can work part time or self-employed (that is the plan) and still be comfortable. I think we bought the cheapest house in the village but as soon as we walked in it just felt like it was meant to be.

    I look at other people living in converted vans, travelling wherever they like and I think it looks amazing. Before we bought a house we did consider it but in the end we realised we just really wanted to grow veggies and make home brew.

    Good luck in making your decision, I hope you can find a compromise that works for the both of you.

  • Post by Maxal ().

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  • After reading your initial post moonstrel, life does have some dilemma's. Maybe some sort of compromise where you can take snippets of time out to have the the freedom to go explore the wider world and have times of self discovery that is shouting at you to do etc etc.

    In my experience of life and what I've done, seen and been, all I can say is if something is shouting that loudly at you to the point it's difficult to ignore, if a person doesnt do these things or at least have a go, then you'll only regret it later on in life. a partner will always be there if love is the binding thing, but experience and time gets left in the past never to be recovered and we only get one chance, dont waste the time you have, it's precious.

    Lyrics of the track 'time' by pink floyd come to mind especially the line 'and then one day you find ten years have got behind you'

    If anyone has anything that's nagging and they real feel the urge and calling to do it whatever it is, putting it off because - list excuses or fears here, is sometimes a blocking mechanism, folk can be great at finding excuses or reasons not to do something. I can be like that, I would love to visit places like Peru, New Zealand, India, but plane flight is my obstacle, never flown before, it does not appeal plus there is the environmental aspect, I live pretty low impact and low carbon out of respect and care for the planet, blowing all I've done to achieve that on plane flight doesnt feel right and flies in the face of what I believe in.


    Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day

    You fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way.

    Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town

    Waiting for someone or something to show you the way.

    Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain.

    You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today.

    And then one day you find ten years have got behind you.

    No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun.

    So you run and you run to catch up with the sun but it's sinking

    Racing around to come up behind you again.

    The sun is the same in a relative way but you're older,

    Shorter of breath and one day closer to death.

    Every year is getting shorter never seem to find the time.

    Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines

    Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way

    The time is gone, the song is over,

    Thought I'd something more to say.

  • Post by Maxal ().

    This post was deleted by the author themselves ().
  • It's growing on me, but its getting in an airplane, i just cannot picture myself all the way up their in a big metal cigar with wings, yes, it is said to be safer than car travel, but just being that high up for that many hours, eewww, need a travelling partner if its going to happen as I am not going to do first flight on my own, i got my first passport a couple of years ago. i like my roll ups, will need some super strength patches for n 8 hour flight. Someone told me recently you can go on courses to get over it. I think once I've done it will be fine but just that first time, am 52 in May, fit and healthy as you like. Because I've been on the road full time nomad for an awful lot of years, I've never even stayed in a hotel or similar as where I've always gone traveling, I've always had my own bed there. It seems an alien notion to not take my home with me to go traveling, a snail does not dump its shell to go on a little foray, its kind of like that if you get my drift. Have been watching loads of you tube films about India, dont think its for me, the spiritual aspect definitely, but the heat, I would not be able to hack the heat i know that and the mental crazy busy cities, I'd have to be off rural from the off.

  • Thats about how it is. I had most of my life thus far travelling, fulfilled that bit, will have no regrets when I expire, whatever I get up to in my life from here on in are little additions to add to the memory bank.

  • Its all a load of bollocks moonstrel imho.

    Work part time and grow veggies in a spot far away from other humans would get my vote but achieving it without a silver spoon or working your butt off for some considerable time is probably unlikely.

    You could travel, wwooof, volunteer or try communal living but mostly when it comes down to it those people who want to exploit your grind can and will cause reason for you to be miserable and bitter because they just love to exploit dreamers.

    It's a miserable, miserly, greedy world out there as I'm sure you are already aware.

    Sounds like you have some things you would like to try.....I've no advice to offer. I tried things and believe I've a wider mind because of my stubbornness but I would not recommend any particular route to becoming broken and bitter.....the misery of this exploitative system will find you eventually I'm afraid.

    Soz and all that but it is all bollocks and the greedy, selfish twats in the world kill all hope of living a healthy and fulfilling existence.

    I hope I am wrong......but I'm probably not.

  • There's pissing on someones dreams and there's the truth of the matter. In the ecological, woofing, permaculture working for board and bed and learning skills has two sides, some very genuine decent bods out there, but unfortunately as with all things, there are those that just want to max out on the folk that book up and hope to have a positive learning experience. Have heard some not nice things and some very positive things. I knew some people in wales, they were exploiting overseas woofers coming here, they wanted regular shit shovellers and didntr want to pay a wage and were passed off offering woof courses as a blag to reel em in to grab a shovel. It's a case of take your pick and trust your instincts. It shouldnt put anyone off but in my experience, I've always faired better when have gone it alone and achieved what I wanted to by my own grunt, hard work and inventiveness.

  • Hi Moonstrel,

    A simple thought.

    Once you lay down the money for a mortgage, you're dedicated to a commitment that is less easy to leave.

    The life on the road is free, you can leave any time.

    So why not go for the road for a while? If you love it, maybe you'll continue. Many people enjoy it for a while, but then want to come home. Or, you might find it's not for you.

    Commit to doing it cheap, live essentially without money. If you decide to come back to the nice safe working world, there will always be more jobs, and the bank will be ready and waiting for you. So, you might have pushed the mortgage back a couple of years?

    As for the fact that you disagree with your partner, this is a sticky subject. Personally, I believe that you have the right to make the choices of what you really want for your life. He has the right to make choices for his life. So, if you choose to trip, he has the right to join you or stay behind, but not to prevent you. I do realize that there is much more complexity than this.

    Please bare in mind, that I am completely and utterly bias. Please also bare in mind that most people who know me look at my life decisions and think I'm mad. My mum can't believe that I still don't have a "steady job" and a mortgage, and cannot comprehend my way of thinking to actively avoid them.

    So, just a thought. All up to you.

    All the best,

  • Thank you all, I've been reading and mulling over all your responses. "If it does not feel right in any way do not do it" pretty much sums it up! I think I need to have an honest talk with my partner. I do feel like I'm just not in the right place for the settling down part of life - I haven't had any adventures yet! I guess I am just really sad, because I'd hoped to share adventures with my partner and part of me thought there was a chance of that. But, there's no use sulking about that as he is who he is, and I am who I am. Just need to get on with it. Will keep you posted <3

  • Post by Maxal ().

    This post was deleted by the author themselves ().
  • I would want a partner who goes on adventures too. You are right to want to explore this wonderful world. It's also a good idea to do it NOW and MAKE it possible.

    It's weird isn't it? Things don't always work out neatly. Your honest talk is an excellent idea. Hopefully bending can be done by both of you and you can have the perfect pretzel.

    He doesn't bend :( I do feel overwhelmingly that I need to do these things now, it's just so painful because I feel I'm letting others down, and that I am the odd one out. Everyone I know just asks me if we're buying a house yet, when do we think we'll get married etc :( I need some friends like me!

    Are there any likeminded wannabe nomads living in/near Bristol?!

  • He doesn't bend :( I do feel overwhelmingly that I need to do these things now, it's just so painful because I feel I'm letting others down, and that I am the odd one out. Everyone I know just asks me if we're buying a house yet, when do we think we'll get married etc :( I need some friends like me!

    Are there any likeminded wannabe nomads living in/near Bristol?!

    So in the relationship you are supposed to meet him on his terms instead of both trying to bend abit and compromise to make each other happy and better people?

  • Post by Maxal ().

    This post was deleted by the author themselves ().
  • facebook:

    shift bristol

    m32 flea market - just starting out but has a nice vibe (£10 a stall)

    Royate Hill Community Orchard & Permaculture Allotment - mike feingold is a legend

    If you live in Bristol then Green Gathering is the place - plenty of women go there on their own courses/talks etc.

    If that doesn't work out then you arn't far from Glastonbury, stroud - both have a good scene.

    It certainly is the time to be a woman doing things, i get quite jealous of all the groups and courses focused on enabling women. More power to you

  • OK, so I don't think he and I have ever been the best match, but obviously we are together for a reason (it felt really great at the start). But I feel that my dreams and inspirations are perceived as silly or not sensible (and therefore not realistic in any way), and I've just gone along on this path with him under the impression it is the right and grown up thing to do. What has kept my interest is the promise of enjoying the shared journey, having some land, to grow food and to live in a way I'd like. But while we may want similar things for our home life, we're coming from a totally different place spiritually, emotionally.. our motives are so different and I don't think I'd enjoy it in the way I want to. Not sure if that makes sense!

    I currently live at home with my family, so I am stuck between having massively overstayed my fledging stage, and having itchy feet to leave, but not really wanting the option available to me for leaving (buying the house). I think it just feels too much of a commitment, and doesn't allow any freedom as I will always have a mortgage to pay. I want it all really - a secure home base I can return to, and a reliable van to live and go off galavanting in! :whistle:

    It was unfair for me to say he doesn't bend, he does make compromises for me, I think. We both do, because we don't agree on much.. so one of us is always bending a little bit for the other. But I find myself doing much more bending than I probably should, and like I'm sacrificing something of myself to make it work and I think that's why I'm here rambling on to you all...

    My heart wants to find a van and do some exploring in the UK, gradually while working, and then perhaps in the future working remotely and going further afield. I need to stop making excuses (being afraid of doing the vanlife thing alone, etc). I love Glastonbury and Stroud and go to loads of events and classes and workshops to meet people but I'm yet to find my 'tribe', it does take me a while to get to know people because of shyness. But I'm working on it!

    So, the talk. Wish me luck. X

  • Thank you. XX

    I do rely on his stability, but that's not enough and I need to create my own!

    I have some money saved in a LISA so it needs to be used for a house purchase or for retirement to have made that worthwhile. I would like to focus my energy now on saving for a van, leaving that bit of money tucked away for one day when the time does feel right to settle down (if that does come!?), and then see how the plans unfold. I have some contacts on community living projects etc where I could test the water out relatively safely. Just so used to the pattern of working regular hours, saving money, etc so it would all be a big change for me...

    Love the idea of volunteering in an art group. :)

  • simply-do what makes you happy !!

    If you and your partner love each other enough then compromise must be made both ways if the relationship is to work.

    If you are in a relationship that does not have a 50-50 balence as the norm,then the person putting in the higher percentage more often will end up getting burnt and it will get ugly.

    Sometimes it can swing to 90-10 , but as long as that swing goes the opposite way,then that is cool.

    If you feel that you are going to regret not having gone off and done the things that make you happy,then you are already taking steps towards making your happy future happen as you are evaluating your wants and needs.

    I can only encourage you to make the most of your life and get as much enjoyment as you can.

    However,you are in a relationship and it is the two of you that should be talking this through. Keep no secrets and be honest and even if you have to part ways,then maybe you can still keep each other as great friends. It is easy to find another partner,though not so easy to find a new best friend.

    Wishing you courage and wisdom to help you both find happiness

    Love and light

    fly xx

  • Go for it! Get out there and explore! Don't let anyone tie you down, it's awful...

    Its your life. Live it!

    Live the life you dream of and don't look back.

    You only get one shot.

    That reads as quotes but it's so true

  • What is your view on house sharing? Maybe you could have the security of the family home to fall back on and the benefit of an address in an area where you might want to work or explore?

    As you have talked about a van it would appear that you are able to drive some of your stuff from place to place if you find an area not to your liking. Furnished//Part-Furnished rooms in shared houses might be something you could look into.

    You could look on Zoopla if you want but there seems to be a number of fees and other financial things involved.

    I supposed there is Gumtree.

    Spareroom.co.uk and easyroommate.com

  • Plans and plans and more plans.

    You are you moonstrel and everyone else is everyone else. Do you need a tribe? Do you really want a tribe?

    Sounds like you are among the fortunate who can earn a living and save so there isn't much stopping you from jumping off.

    Cash in your savings plans and accept the financial penalties and you could do it tomorrow.

    'Course the daily grind doesn't just stop and you might be trading one form of misery for another.

    Personally....I should have moved into a van two or three years sooner than I did....but that is easy for me to say since I have the benefit of hindsight in this regard.

    Wish you well....

    Shared housing sucks worse than being shagged by an elephant and can seriously fuck up one's ability to function as an otherwise rational and reasonable human being.

  • Post by Maxal ().

    This post was deleted by the author themselves ().
  • Hi everyone, I can't thank you enough for helping me process my thoughts about all of this. My partner and I have mutually decided to part ways, and while it's incredibly hard, I think it is the right thing for both of us long term. Your comments have been really helpful <3

    I am keeping my eye on a few vans for sale but am conscious not to over plan too much and just start taking the steps that feel right!

  • Any questions you have about vans,mechanics or anything else relative to what you want to do,do not be afraid to ask. There is a huge wealth of experience on this site and a lot of good and experienced folk who will be more than happy to help. xx

  • Post by Maxal ().

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