Author Archives: Lea Woodward

When More Is Not More

This is the view from my garden as I sit and type this post. It’s my current ‘home’ – a 300-year old cottage, in the English countryside, complete with a paddock, an orchard, an allotment and its own private stream. We are living the dream. Except it’s not our dream, and it never has been.

our-country-home

When the opportunity to rent this place came out of the blue last summer, we jumped at it – after years (in fact, pretty much a whole lifetime) of living within spitting distance of a city or town, we were curious about what it feels like to live in the countryside and be surrounded by nature in all its glory.

The purchase of our first car in 15+ years was a big catalyst – we were no longer tied to public transport and living a 25-minute drive from the nearest town would no longer mean a 1-hour bus journey. And so we moved…for the third time in about 2 years.

And here I sit today, 5 weeks before our next move back to the comparatively tiny, 2-bedroom house with no garden whatsoever, but that we own and that sits within spitting distance of the local town.

“Wait what, are you crazy?”

“Don’t you think you’ll find it a bit small? Do you regret moving there?” – questions from family members who – though used to our moving tendencies – are clearly still wondering when, if ever, we’ll just settle down in one place for longer than a year!

And no. We won’t find it small, since we’re used to small, compact and functional. This place feels like an extravagance and we’re not extravagant people. It feels ostentatious, and we’re not ostentatious people.

And no, we absolutely don’t regret moving here. How many people get the chance to live in a dream countryside cottage, with 2 acres of land, a ride-on lawn mower and more space than we could ever need?

We’ve given ourselves the most amazing experience, living in a beautiful house, learning how to use all manner of power tools, and getting to feel what it’s like when you have oodles of space, both inside and out. Why on earth would we regret that? Life is an adventure to be lived, right?

When More = Less

But this kind of lifestyle is not for us (currently), and what’s more…we’ve learned that more doesn’t always mean more. For us, this experience has meant:

  • More rooms = more mess = more tidying = LESS time to play with the kids.
  • More garden = more work = LESS time to work on our business.
  • More storage space = more room for stuff = more purchases = LESS money to spend on experiences.
  • More house = more stuff to go wrong = more hassle = LESS energy to spend on the things that matter most = LESS travel because we never know what’s going to have broken when we get back!

The mores in this instance have most definitely meant less to us. So instead we’re choosing less so we can have more of what matters most to us…time, energy, and freedom.

And this is exactly what location independence is for us: The freedom to choose the location and the lifestyle for us that works at a particular point in our lives.