Abandoning the city life and living off-grind has been a growing movement in the United States and it looks like this movement is also spreading in the United Kingdom. The poster boy and trendsetter for the off-grid life in the UK is Kris Harbour who left London to live in a $6000 cabin in the Welsh countryside.
He was living a normal life in London. Leaving school at 16 to work, his days were spent working to pay the bills and his nights were spend wondering if this was all that his life would amount to. “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.”
He was quite lucky when by chance he saw an offer on eBay for a 18.5-acre plot of land in South Wales. He decided right then and there he would take the plunge. He bought the property, quit his job, sold his assets and moved to Wales.
He then spent the next 18 months travelling to and from wales building his house in the process. His experience with engineering really helped him with the construction “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.” He used his skills to power the home using only hydro and solar energy meaning he has all the benefits as a normal house.
Even though his house is a kilometer away from the closes neighbors he says that he doesn’t miss the noise and crowds of the city and he’s now very comfortable with the peace and quiet of his new lifestyle.
Another thing he certainly doesn’t miss is all the financial pressure that comes with living in a big 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.”
At the end, Kris has virtually no regrets about his dramatic lifestyle change. “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.”
Maybe Kris’s story will inspire other Brits to take the plunge and go off-grid? We’ll just have to wait and see.