Updated: Jan 2, 2021
As it's the 1st of January, and the start of a pretty big year for us, it feels like the right time to look back at what got us to this point. What possessed us to think that leaving the city for the country is a good idea? Are we ready to leave all the security and luxury that city life and work provide? Are we mad?
The answer is yes to all of the above, but with good reason.
We have three objectives this year and each of them is life-changing to different degrees. It's not the first time we've taken big decisions in our lives, but these are the biggest decisions we've taken together.
There are many reasons to doubt our decisions but this - the fact that we are both fully committed to changing how we live our lives and that we are doing it with each other - is why we have full belief in what we are doing. Are we sure we'll succeed? No. Are we excited to try? Absolutely yes.
So to those objectives....
First, we build a house. I'll come back to finishing the design story on another post, but building is due to start mid-January and planned to finish in May.
Second, once we build the house and move in we will use a small portion of the land to start small-scale farming. Enough to feed ourselves first (if it's edible!) then we see how it goes. In an ideal world we expand what we grow over 2-3 years and see where it takes us. At the same time the WFH (work from home) phenomenon may work to our advantage and we should be able to pick up different jobs that we can do remotely. This will help keep some much-needed income coming in.
Finally, we'll get married. This is the easiest part to do as we've been together for a long-time and we'll be together for a long time to come.
The odd thing is how easy these decisions have been to make. The dreaded 5 letters of 2020 undoubtedly had a part to play, but in the end it came down to two things: security and happiness.
With the possibility of losing a job, and the prospect of finding a new job difficult, the key questions of 2020 became how will we pay the rent, and how long can we pay the rent for, should we find ourselves out of work? That was the catalyst behind building a house on our land. Security. Ensuring we have a place to live in the event of any future changes beyond our control.
Logically the next question was who is going to live in the house if we aren't there, and is that something we want? So we began to look at our options. And it came down to what could we do if we lived there?
And no-one was more surprised at the answer to that question than me.
A life-long city boy moving to the country and having to immerse in a reasonably remote part of Thailand which is an 8+ hour drive from Bangkok and has few English speakers? To live. And farm? Is that a realistic choice?
I accept that anyone I know who reads this will be sceptical. And they have every right to be.
As I said in an earlier post I have no idea what I'm doing, but in truth that's the exciting part for us.
When we thought of what's in front of us for the next 10+ years, sitting at a desk looking at a computer screen for 8 hours a day and living a pretty safe life, the opportunity to flip that and do something different became increasingly appealing. The more we thought about it, and the more research we did into how we could farm and potentially live off the land, the more we felt it was the best option of securing our future and living a fulfilling life.
Whether it is the best option of course can only be answered in time.
Sure, there will be more than a few mistakes and problems to deal with but they will be new mistakes and problems. And more often than not they will be our problems. It's up to us how successful this is.
Faced with the prospect of continuing with the life we have, which is very good in many ways, we decided to plan for the riskier, but more exciting option.
We're quite excited about the prospect of 2021. Lots of change and lots of opportunities.
We can't wait.