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starting our own ish life

Posted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 5:08 pm
by silly_sammy
Im not going to ask am I nuts... because I know I am....

My other half has an acre of family land sitting idle. His brother is in a cottage with his girlfriend on another part of the land. Currently we live in a suburban apartment with my 5 year old, and try to live as ishly as we can. But I dread the thought of heading up the career ladder. Growing and home crafts feed this inner happiness ive been looking for. Ill stay up until 4am baking bread and making my own detergents just to fit it all in. After dreaming about more for a long time himself finally said lets use the land to do it! His mum and stepdad used that land and the soil is extremely rich after resting for a few years.

We considered building but it seems to costly and planning permission ect... so we thought perhaps a mobile home. A large one. We could get a shed for storing. Chickens for eggs. Goats for milk. I have quite a lot of movable soft fruits ect. Im a vegetarian so no meet needed. And we can grow to our hearts content. I found you can get a wood burning stove into a mobile home. Make the toilet composting. It seems like it could work and yet I have no doubt fail miserably!

I am a writer/journalist/ broadcaster. Freelance work might give us the occasional bit of cash. Hes skilled at all things IT and gets the odd repair job for phones or laptops. Both our careers want us to head to thr office and neither of us want it. We're not afraid to work hard, but wed rather work hard at something like this. Hell, I don't mind doing home help or shop work on a part time basis to get essentials or cope with bills. We dont drive so I dont know if that's a bonus or a curse. Its a small town, shops and schools nearby.

Is it viable to bring a child up this way? We're not looking for lots of toys, holidays or anything more than just making it work and getting by day to day. I need some opinions before we pack up and go for it. How do I even start?

Re: starting our own ish life

Posted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 12:03 pm
by Stoney
How far away this land is to your current home? Is it possible to start growing and getting a feel for things before you do something drastic and find it it isn't going to work? I would love to say go for it but be careful!

Re: starting our own ish life

Posted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 3:53 pm
by Uller
Until a couple of years ago, I was in a similar position to you, minus the child. I was working my way up a career ladder I wasn't sure I wanted to climb and dreaming about a completely different way of life, although at the time I wasn't exactly sure what that life would look like. I quit my job, we sold our house and travelled for 18 months around Europe in a motorhome, living from savings and my OH's freelance income. While travelling we thought hard about how and where we wanted to live and decided that something we really wanted to do was be more self-reliant - or I guess, self-sufficientish, a phrase I've heard around somewhere... :wink:

In April we moved to central Portugal. Property prices are such here that we can afford to buy a small house with a small piece of land - enough to grow food for two people, maybe keep a few chickens etc. We will continue to live on my OH's income (about 1/5 of what we were living on 2 years ago) but are optimistic that we can do that here. We are in the process of buying a place at the moment so haven't launched into the full blown new life yet, but are getting closer every day.

Have you looked for blogs by people who are doing a similar thing to you? I can think of a couple that I read of families with children who are doing the same sort of thing. Rabid Little Hippy ( would be a good one - she lives in Australia but has 3 children and has gone all out in her new property with chickens, ducks, goat etc. When we decided to go travelling, it was quite a comfort and a confidence boost to read about people who had done/were doing the same thing - while my heart never questioned it, my head sometimes asked whether jacking in a pretty good career of 13 years to live in a motorhome was really such a good idea!

Obviously, you need to get the legalities of the mobile home etc. sorted out, but yes, I think it is viable. And with most things in life, you may regret it if you try it but you definitely will regret it if you don't.

Good luck!

Re: starting our own ish life

Posted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 4:13 pm
by diggernotdreamer
We have done this, moved somewhere with land in Ireland and I can only tell you about my experiences. Firstly, mobile homes the sort you get when you go on holiday, are not really suitable to live in long term, I know people who do and I lived in one for 3 years. They suffer very badly with damp and mould, they are not insulated properly so leak heat out all the time, we had a wood burning stove in ours which was ok in the sitting room bit (we gutted ours and rearranged the inside to our own requirements), cooking in your mobile causes a lot of steam and condensation which moves into colder areas. Furniture in the sitting room grew all kinds of interesting toxic mould underneath where the floor is cold and condensation was drawn, ditto our bed. They get far too hot in the summer and we had to have an electric heater in the bedroom in winter all the time to keep it warm and try to stop the mould and damp, if I had my time again, would probably have put a decent rubber roof on to keep the water out (by the time they are for sale they have a number of problems, leaky skylights, panels coming adrift etc) and put in stud walling and insulate, put a skirt round the outside and insulate to keep the floor warm, .... or build a cabin from scratch. If you are in Ireland, do you have electricity to the land, I think now you have to get a planning application number before the ESB will give you a site supply, not like the old days, do you have water to the site, our neighbours have no water and catch some off the roof in various butts, but in this weather they will be running short, they come to us for drinking water as we have a spring well (no water schemes in our road). We have no mortgage to pay and our biggest outgoing is electricity, we don't use that much but even so, it still comes in at 25-30 euro a week and then the water pump has it's own supply so another fiver a week for that. We find it very difficult to get work (but we are in Leitrim which is pretty bad). I have two polytunnels and a veg garden and have just started supplying our village shop with salads, tomatoes, potatoes etc which doesn't bring me in much money (30-70 euro a week) but when you don't have a mortgage or rent is of more value, my partner is a precision engineer and does bits and pieces for farmers which sometimes he gets something every week or we could go weeks without anyone coming up, he never charges them much. Most of our money goes on the setting up of everything here, polytunnels, wood for beds, wire for animal pens, wood for buildings. People round here never bother you much, we put a mobile home up the top and restored our old house and never had any bother, lots of people here live in vans, mobiles, benders, shacks, all over the place (but this is Leitrim :lol: ). My biggest advice would be have decent accommodation for the health of you and your child and keep a little bit of money to one side for emergencies (cos they seem to happen) but otherwise what have you got to lose, if you are renting, you can rent again if it doesn't work out, you put it down to an interesting life experience, wish I had done this years ago when I was younger and not a knackered old bird
There are loads of us in Ireland, why not look some up and give them a visit, you can visit here if you like see what we get up to

Re: starting our own ish life

Posted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 5:45 pm
by silly_sammy
Some really good food for thought here. There is currently a mobile home next to the cottage.. which gave us the idea to begin with. Im living in a council flat. And I suppose apart from that there's nothing to lose. But we're going into this broke. Not expecting to make money, just gain some serenity. We will need to be near as there is a lot of clearing needed before we can even think about chickens or veg. Or where we will live. Im hoping the preparation of the land will give us time to get savings together to get going. I love this way of life already. I make ends meet on such low income by making it work for us. Yhis kinda just feels like the next step.

Re: starting our own ish life

Posted: Sun Mar 30, 2014 6:26 pm
by jamesintayside
I hope it all worked out - I need to do something similar

Re: starting our own ish life

Posted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 10:47 am
by happyhippy
Are there any updates please from OP's?Would be great to hear how you're doing and if anything has changed for you.

Re: starting our own ish life

Posted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 12:30 pm
by Green Aura
'fraid not, hh. Like all forums, folk come and go. I like to think it's because they've achieved their dreams, or enough to not need us any more. :iconbiggrin:

Re: starting our own ish life

Posted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 12:41 pm
by happyhippy
Oh thats a shame GA! I was watching a doco type series not long ago,about people starting new lives (Was it in the wild??)and I hope they film an update.