Most people have a specific place on earth that they call home. I don’t…. Yeah, I have to say that the landscape that I grew up in is one of my favourites, but I wouldn’t want to live there for the rest of my life.
After 13 months in the USA I arrived back in the Netherlands at the end of March. Before I left I got rid of almost all my stuff, like couch, table, chairs, you name it. The only things I kept were things of personal value. So when I came back, I had virtually nothing.
I moved in with my parents, which we knew was a short term solution. Being 34 and living at your parents place is far from ideal. We got along just fine, but I did miss the ability to have my own rhythm in life. So after about a month or so I was desperate about leaving. But how? And Where?
People often think I’m very impulsive, but this is far from true. In my head I’ve seen and explored various options and scenarios. This can be for weeks or sometimes even months. The only thing that is impulsive, or seems to be, is that once I’ve made my decision, it needs to be arranged ASAP.
So one day I was living with my parents and the next I wasn’t. After about two weeks of browsing I bought a caravan. Picked it up on a Friday and collected the few things that I still own, and on Saturday I moved the caravan to a beautiful spot.
So why did this lady become a tramp?
Months ago, when I was still in the US, I was thinking about the how and what of living when I would return to my home country. I made a list of the five things that are most important to me when it comes to living somewhere.
- Small – I didn’t want a huge place, because then a lot f my free time would go into cleaning the place.
- Shower – I love showering and want to do that daily, without too much hassle.
- Low cost – I don’t want to work like crazy to pay for a house that I’m hardly using, because I’m working so hard.
- Small impact – A house that uses little energy and makes a small impact on the environment.
- Social contact – I want to live in a place where I can easily get to a place where I can meet other people.
I explored many different options, the tiny house movement, buying a house, renting a house and even shared housing. I figured out what cost the most money and what was cheapest. What a shock! In course of a lifetime we spend so much money on a thing we’re hardly ever at. In a week we have a total of a 168 hours. Of this we work about 40, sleep about 56 and let’s say about 10 for travel, sports and visits. So what is left? Only ⅓ of your total. Do I need anything fancy to spent these few hours in?
A low-cost rental would in the end be the cheapest way to live.
After about a month back home I realized that I was missing being outside in the National parks. For a year I lived in the parks, I could walk out the door and see amazing sunsets and much more natural beauty. I knew what I wanted, I wanted to live more in nature.
I don’t know exactly when it was, but suddenly I realized that campgrounds are often the most green spaces in this country, that you can actually stay in for a longer period of time. So I looked up what it would cost me if I’d live in a small farm or nature campground.
Believe it or not, but it can be so cheap! Very few people in this country pay a rent like this.
So now I live in a small caravan, tick in the box for point one. The campground has several showers (which I don’t even have to clean, bonus!) check point two. Now during main season my rent is € 400,- a month including wifi, electricity etc., check for point three. I don’t use much electricity, don’t buy much things, eat less meat (a small, not too cold fridge) and recycle almost all of my trash, check number four. I live close to Utrecht and Amsterdam, so check point five.
On top of that, once I’m home from work I find my house at a beautiful farm. In the two weeks that I’ve been here I watched the farmer milk the cows. I pet the young cows and many other animals. In a few steps I’m at the edge of the field and spend some relaxing minutes looking at the view or hike through the fields.
It’s ideal for me. Can I say it’s a success? It’s too early for that, it’s only been two weeks and I’m enjoying it so far and the recipe for success is there. For now I have the best house ever.
And that is why this lady is a tramp.