A Ten Year Off Grid Dream


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Categories: Life Stories, Rural Land, Seeking, places, Sustainability, Construction Methods, DIY, Education, Fun

About 10 years ago I met a woman who would change my life forever. We got married and had two wonderful children.

The beginning part of our life together we often spoke about our dreams. One of which was to buy a little piece of land. Build a little home on it, grow food and raise some livestock. We would help the local community by giving large amounts of fruit and vegetables to homeless shelters and food banks in the process.

We loved our little dream and on cold winter nights or warm summer evening we would talk about different aspects of it. Plan out what the house would look like, what animals we would have. Every time we started one of our “Off Grid” chats we would lose track of time and would end the night with a warm glow of happiness.

Even during these chats we knew in the back of our minds that we would probably never be able to afford land but it was always nice to talk about it and design our dream life.

One day Crystal came home from work (I am a stay at home dad) and started talking about buying land sooner rather than later. She didn’t want to wait anymore. That was all the prompting I needed. I started checking all of the relevant websites for land sales in our area. There were many different patches of land but they were either too expensive or not right for us. A year passed and we hadn’t found anything that was suitable. At this point I started to give up hope but as always my wife stood by my side filling me with confidence. Never letting me think anything other than we will get the land we have always dreamed of!


I decided to be able to pay for our dream life we would have to get a loan from a bank. I started off by checking my credit score. It was great. Only one thing against me and that was that I didn’t and still don’t have any credit cards. Seems odd to me that the fact I don’t owe any money was a bad thing.

I started looking online for loans that were fair and within our price range. I started with my own bank, a bank I have been with since I was 16 (many, many years). They flat out refused me without even checking my credit. That’s loyalty for you! I tried a few others and I was refused almost straight away. My wife tried and the same thing happened.  She also had no’s from everyone. We just carried on saving but each set back would chip away a piece of our optimism. Bit by bit.

A few new patches of land came up for sale but were way out of our price range so I dismissed them. One night I was looking at our very limited options and wondered if we would be able to raise any money with a “GoFundMe” page. I thought we stood a chance as we were hoping to help out the local community and possibly set up a school project where kids could come for the day and grow their schools vegetables.  I set it all up and sat back to watch the money roll in…

So that idea failed and we raised £0. It knocked my confidence but we kept trying to raise money. We did car boot sales, sold things on Ebay and saved every penny we could.

Another year passed and we had both started to lose hope. Land prices had gone up and our savings had but not by enough. Both me and Crystal sat down one day and had a chat about the fact that we didn’t think this dream would be possible. We were both pretty upset but what could we do? We decided we would continue to work and save as much as we could and not make any decisions yet. Both extremely deflated we went back to our normal life. It somehow seemed less vibrant, almost black and white. We weren’t going to say it out loud but the odds in us ever having enough money to pursue our sustainable, off grid life was unlikely.


The same compulsion to look at a car crash on the motorway was making me check the Internet for land more and more.  Every time I came of I felt worse than before now only tiny unusable patches of land were available and somehow they still seemed miles away from our budget.

A week passed and I hadn’t checked for land prices and we hadn’t spoken about land in anyway, our life had just started back up as if we hadn’t spoken about land or dreams. I think we had come to terms with it and would just forget about the whole idea.

One seemingly darker rainy day Crystal was at work and I was Pottering around doing the house work when the phone rang. It was Crystal, which wasn’t odd we text and phone a lot when she is at work on her breaks. One of the reasons I love this lady is her tendency to drop bombshells…

Six years ago she had woken me in the early hours of the morning to inform me we were having a baby. Something the doctors had said wasn’t possible. She did it again four years ago. “James, we are going to have another baby!”

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