If you don’t want to travel for a year, buy a house.

This might be patently obvious, in some respects, but in this post I’ m focussing on the actual impact of the process itself on your life.

I take it in turns with my wife to pick our ‘big holiday’ destination each year. Last year was a joint decision because we got married, our honeymoon needed to be a joint venture. But then after that we settled into a very deliberate plan that would allow us to buy a house and still have enough disposable income to travel as much as we wanted. So far, so good.

We took a trip to Munich at the end of 2012, which was brilliant, and I’m glad it was because we knew that 2013 would be hard to plan effectively if we were committed to climbing onto the property ladder.

After that trip our lives fell into an abyss.

We started house hunting at the end of January and viewed tons of places through February. At the very end of February I attempted to disconnect and walked the Vanguard Way from London to the English Channel. Even that long weekend was hectic on the house-buying front with Kristina desperate to offer on a house she viewed on her own. “Sure” I said, trusting her judgement and a few tiny photos I viewed from the Kentish wilderness on patchy 3G mobile coverage. In the end she didn’t feel comfortable so we missed out.

March came, we offered on a place and it was accepted, April went. Paperwork inane, we sat on our arses waiting, money spent. In May we were perhaps a week away from determining that we were ready to buy this house when disaster struck and the searches came back, informing us that the property was basically impossible to insure at a reasonable rate. Devastated we had to pull out, losing a couple of grand in the process. Which, when you think about it isn’t close to being as bad as being lumbered with a worthless house, but is still a damn fine amount of travel funding.

At the start of June we shovelled our disappointment aside and began to look again. We found somewhere almost immediately but now, at the start of August, we are still waiting for our mortgage offer to come through.

My feet have not itched so much for a very long time. I’ve been scouring budget airline sites for deals that might get me away for a very brief city-break but every single upcoming weekend is occupied with something house-related or fear that THAT might be THE weekend that something MIGHT happen. It’s insane. I’m going insane.

We should end up moving in September but who am I to say? Assuming we can’t get any good flight deals at short notice I reckon we won’t be going anywhere until November. We are going to Vienna in December, that’s my birthday present, but I’m famished. I need escape so badly. I’m drained, frustrated, and fed-up with being a grown-up for a while.

So, if you don’t want to be an emotional wreck that spends every evening drifting off to sleep planning wild itineraries then do not under any circumstances buy a house. As soon as we’ve moved in and tidied up the inevitable money sinks that come with it I will be splurging on as much escape as I can handle.

Seville, Cordoba, Granada, Lisbon, Porto, Carcassonne, Paris, Venice, Prague, Budapest, just for starters – I’m going to escape the hell out of 2013 so hard and furiously! We deserve it.

Just so long as I don’t let my psyche cave-in between now and then.

My crazy angry house buying face


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