Ditching the grind of modern living to go and live off the grid has been a flourishing movement in the United States for some years now. Now it appears that the movement might be spreading to the United Kingdom. The poster boy for the British flight to the countryside is Kris Harbour who explains how he kissed goodbye to life in London for a £4000 cabin in the Welsh countryside.
Kris was living a life that will sound familiar to many people. He left school at the age of sixteen to enter the workforce. His days were consumed with working to pay the bills and his nights were spent wondering if he would ever have the time or the energy to do anything that made him happy. “It was kind of unfulfilling, ” he explained, “and I felt like I didn't have enough time to do all the different things I wanted to do. I never had time to do them, or I was too tired even if I did have time, and over the years it made me very unhappy.”
Quite by chance, Kris stumbled on a way out when he was browsing eBay and saw an 18.5-acre plot of land in South Wales for sale. Kris immediately decided to take the plunge. He bought the land, quit his job, sold off his assets and set off for Wales.
Kris would spend the next eighteen months traveling to and from Wales to build his house which is where his experience in engineering really paid off. “I think the building is made of about maybe 90% of either natural, recycled or found materials, ” he explained, “There is some foam installation that isn't natural in the roof. Then just things like screws, some pipes and fittings and things like that.” Kris used his engineering skills to power the home entirely by hydro and solar energy meaning that he can use electricity, gas and even the internet just as he would in any other house.
Despite the fact that Kris’s newly constructed little ‘hobbit house’ is a kilometer from his nearest neighbors he says that he does not miss the hubbub of the city and has become very comfortable with the peace and quiet of his new environment.
One other thing he definitely doesn’t miss is the financial pressures that came along with living in the capital city. “At one point I had two mortgages which I think totaled nearly £400,000, I had a car, and all the bills and mortgages, electric, water, internet, TV licenses, insurances, ” he said. “I earned good money, but everything just went, everyone had their hand in my pocket until there was nothing left. Even though I don't earn much now, I probably have more money now then I did then.”
All in all, Kris has absolutely no regrets about his dramatic flight to the wilderness. “My life is hundreds of times richer now. I feel more fulfilled and happier than I have ever been before. Someone asked me, what age would you go back to if you could go back to any age? And I thought, I probably wouldn't go back, not even a month. Right now, I'm the happiest I've ever been.”
Perhaps Kris’s overwhelmingly positive experience with his decision to move off the grid will encourage other Brits to take the plunge? Only time will tell.
Whose a happy man then ?
Dont know how long he's lived in Whales for it dosnt say.. cool pad..but wait till winter rolls in and it snows & blocks all roads in and out of his place, I hope he has planned for that,got his water & wood supply stocked & sealed etc... cos snow can get rather deep,when I was there it dropped to -15degree & bitter winds and the snow was as much as 80cm deep,you sunk into it up to your waiste lol....not that pleasant.. but Wales is a lovely place reminds me of South Island New Zealand very much.
He is an engineer so he has probably well prepared for the winter
Yes I hope he is well prepared and dosnt get cut off from people..cos if people dont know your there they wont come looking for you and endanger their own lives in the process,it can get real bad in winter there,much like Norway or Iceland even.. bitterly cold..icicles on the lip kinda stuff..
Wow amazing and wonderful ! We all want to follow. ;)