The title of this post is no overstatement. Choosing your home is literally the most important choice you can make when it comes to ensuring a happy, healthy, wealthy and sustainable life. Allow me to elaborate…
This blog is all about creating intelligent micro-environments where the perfect lifestyle just comes naturally. Many areas of life are difficult to shape in this manner, but your home is one area where you have (almost) complete control. In addition, the location of your home directly influences the environment around you. If you choose well, the art of making happy, healthy, wealthy and sustainable living as natural as breathing can become a breeze.
Selecting the ideal home is not easy though. In some cities, it may even be impossible. However, given that this is the most important choice you will ever make, you should not be afraid to step way out of your comfort zone (or out of your city).
Selecting your town/city
It is vital that you build your home in a town which closely fits your personality. Most people would prefer a town which is safe, clean and well-managed. Others would fare better in a rapidly growing city which might be dirtier and more chaotic, but presents better job opportunities. Whatever your preference, know that the world is large and moving to the perfect country/town may be the smartest thing you can ever do. The earlier in life you do this, the better.
Selecting your location
Once you have selected your town, it is vital that you look long and hard for the ideal location. If at all possible, try to eliminate the need for a car, meeting your transportation needs via cycling or public transport. This will save you a lot of time, money and environmental impact and, if you cycle/walk quite often, it will do wonders your health and fitness.
Another key aspect of home selection is that it should make healthy and fulfilling recreational activities easily accessible. Decide what healthy and fulfilling recreation means to you and make this an important consideration when selecting your home.
I moved from South Africa to Norway in December 2009. In this one single move, my country of residence was upgraded from number 118 to number 1 on the Human Development Index.
After living in a cheap little room for 2 years, I had saved enough money to put down a deposit on a flat of my own. After extensive research, I bought a flat which is right on the edge of the forest, but still close to every convenience I need.
Getting to work requires an 8 minute bike ride – mostly downhill, so no sweat. Grocery shopping involves a 2 minute walk and the city centre is the same 8 minute bike ride away. If the steep hill back home becomes too much (e.g. after rugby practice), my electric bike is always an option. On the rare occasion where the bike is not practical, a convenient bus stop is only 2 minutes away.
Along with all of these conveniences, I quite literally have nature as my back yard. For example, the dam in the picture above is only 3 minutes’ walk away. In summertime, it presents a great opportunity for a relaxing stroll, a barbecue next to the water and even a refreshing swim. In the winter, it brings wonderful ice skating conditions (below) before the snow comes and I can enjoy the 120 km of well-maintained mountain trails on my cross-country skis.
These two decisions: moving to a new country and buying in the ideal location, have enriched my life tremendously. I’d recommend a similar course of action to anyone.
Filed under: Home
PS: Why should you take lifestyle advice from a random guy on the internet? Good question. Take a look at the effects that these guidelines had on my life and decide for yourself.