Meet the Explorers
We like this
more about us & FAQ
Where do you currently live?
Right now we live in a suburb of a large town in the Netherlands. We moved here in December 2015 after we sold our apartments. We are currently renting a house because we want the freedom to leave whenever we’re ready.
What is your plan?
Our plan is to leave the Netherlands and to move to Sweden. In Sweden we either want to build a new house or move into an existing house. Our goal is to become as self-sufficient as we can but also to be environmental friendly.
When do you expect to move?
Moving to another country is a big deal for us! We want to properly prepare and start learning the Swedish language. Our moving date will also depend on finding the right property and, very important, on finding means to support ourselves. We are aiming at making the big move in 2018, so two years from the time of writing (September 2016).
Do you want to be completely off the grid?
Not necessarily. We want to move towards a more sustainable lifestyle and being off grid could be part of it. We want to investigate the best possible solutions for our situation. For instance, it might be better to be connected to the power grid if we have solar panels so we can deliver our surplus of solar energy in the summer and have sufficient electricity in the dark winters. It’s all to be investigated and you can read all about our findings on this website!
Why not? Sweden is a beautiful country with lots of nature and wildlife. In Sweden it’s still possible to buy land and houses at reasonable prices. Do we believe that everything is better in Sweden? No, of course not. Sweden is experiencing similar problems that we have in the Netherlands (and in all other European countries). But we do feel that we are able to realize our dreams in Sweden.
When did you start this website?
We started building the website in September 2016 and the site was launched in October 2016. If you’re reading this shortly after the launch then please realize that this website is work in progress and it will contain more and more information as time passes by. It’s truly a living website that we use to document our findings. So stay tuned!
Where can we read your full story?
We are Pieter & Astrid, and at the time of writing (September 2016) we are living in a new suburb of a large city in the Netherlands. When we met in 2011 we were neighbors, living in adjacent apartments. We had both bought an apartment but our actual dream was to live in a detached house with room for animals and a garden. Unfortunately we both knew that this wasn’t feasible in the Netherlands with our salaries. So you could say that we both settled for an apartment while we kept dreaming of owning a house one day…
Dreams in Common
Then we met and it didn’t take us very long to figure out that we had a lot in common! After a few holidays in Scandinavia we started thinking about realizing our dream house in Sweden. Property prices are very low compared to the Netherlands and because Sweden is part of the EU it’s fairly easy for us to move there. Compared to the Netherlands, Sweden is really quiet and there is plenty room for everyone. And the nature and wildlife in Sweden is just magnificent! We decided that the first step in any scenario would be to sell our apartments so we would be free to move whenever we wanted. In 2012 we put both our apartments on the market, in the middle of the housing crisis in the Netherlands. Talking about bad timing! Early 2015 we finally sold our first apartment but we had to wait until December 2015 to sell the last one.
As the housing market was in such bad shape we didn’t dare to make any plans for when we sold our apartments. So after the last one was sold we decided to move to a rental home. The rental market in the Netherlands is very crowded and there aren’t many houses to choose from. So that is how we ended up in our current house in the suburbs. After we moved here in December 2015 we started to make more serious plans for the future. We realized that we don’t want a huge detached house but we also don’t want a tiny-house. We would like something in between with just enough space for the both of us. Although the name of this website suggests otherwise, we don’t necessarily need to be completely off the grid. We want to be self-sufficient but we also want to live as environmental friendly as we can. And this could mean that it might be better to be connected to the power line for instance so we can feed our surplus of solar energy into the grid (Sweden has very long summer days!).
A Website was Born
During our initial searches for information about living off grid in colder climates we couldn’t find a whole lot on the web. That’s why we’ve created this website: so we can document our findings and share them with likeminded people. In our blog we will report on our progress an under utilities you will be able to find all kinds of information about solar power, drinking water sources, sewage, etc. This is a truly living website and the amount of information will grow over time. We really hope that you share our enthusiasm!
Why do two Dutch people start a website in English?
Good question! It might have been more logical to start a Dutch website. However, we want to share our information with as many people as people and that’s why we write in English. As we’re not native English speakers we will undoubtedly make mistakes. Please let us know if you see mistakes that bother you so we can adjust them!
I have a question for you, can I contact you?
Yes! Of course! We would love to hear from you. Please use the contact form to send us your message.