Sunday, 23 July 2017

Back To Square One: Planning The Future

As most of you already know, I have just moved back to the Netherlands after spending almost 3 years in Norway. This was probably the longest period of time I have spent in one place in a long, long time. Since I was 18 years old, I have moved 32 times between 26 different addresses, across 7 different countries (or 8 if you count Northern Ireland as separate from England) and 3 continents. It was self-imposed and I used to enjoy every move - and still do to some degree. It keeps me from accumulating too much stuff, it is exciting and brings new adventures, it allows me to start over each time and therefore live in the moment more, and it helps me to gain new perspectives and to see the world through new eyes.

Nevertheless, there are also some downsides to long-term travel and living a rootless life, and for the past five or six years these have been coming to the forefront more and more. It can be challenging to maintain close friendships, or to experience a sense of belonging. Even though I can easily feel at home anywhere in the world, I also feel like I am an alien everywhere I go. I belong everywhere and nowhere. Each time I move to a new place it is a little less exciting and more exhausting to start up my life yet again, because I know it is just temporary and I will have to start all over again after just a few years. Saying good-bye to some of the wonderful people I meet along the way and grow to love and respect also gets more difficult each time. Sometimes I feel like an outcast, even though so far it has been mostly by choice.

I feel like it is time for a new phase in my life: a phase where I start to put down some serious roots, settle down, meet people (and really get to know them) and fully commit to building up my life in one place. To me, that feels quite a way outside my comfort zone because in a world that offers no certainties, my sense of security has come from remaining unbound and free. But at the same time that also brings a constant restlessness to my life; a sense of always being on the run (even when I am not).

So the next step in my rewilding adventure will be to build my own self-sufficient home, preferably in an environment where money and ownership are entirely absent (in the wild) or where I could more easily forget about those concepts (on my 'own' piece of land - which would be the next best thing if living in the wild would somehow not be an option). Therefore, the next time I move I am intending to stay for a while; maybe even forever. I will pluck up the courage to put down some firm roots, build solid friendships, and start living my dream: creating a self-sufficient, sustainable environment where I can live in harmony with nature, possibly with room for others to join me. No more waiting for the perfect time, the perfect people to show up around me or the perfect circumstances. Life offers no guarantees. I may be uprooted once again through circumstance, but I can always re-plant myself, and it may even be easier the second time.

The planning phase starts now. The first step will be to decide which country is best suited for me to build an eco-home, grow foods year-round and build a small community (whether in the wilderness or not). At the moment I am considering Norway and France as viable options, or perhaps further afield…

(If you have any advice for me, please let me know!)

Much love to you all. <3