The irony of moving out of town to live alone

I have now gone unconditional on the land, so there’s no going back! Not that I want to. I’m planning and dreaming and tying myself up in knots over logistics. It’s fun. 

A curious phenomenon: I have told friends about this purchase and my plan to build a small house and retreat there to live a quiet and solo life. And everyone’s first reaction? “I’ll come and visit you!”

The irony of it. I am frankly quite delighted and weirdly flattered, or is it encouraged ? that so many people are interested in my plans and excited for me, while also being excited they’ve now got a cheap or free place to stay when they travel up that way. (They’re wrong about free: the guest accommodation will be part of my income so they will have to pay, although at reduced rates). 

But it’s not my intention in moving there to have a constant stream of guests. I want to live alone. And that means being alone for more of the time, much more of the time, than being with people. 

In reality I doubt this will be the inundation it sounds like at the moment, with everyone excited and the idea of it all brimming with possibilities. Already, friends travelling up that way have asked for the address to go check it out. 

This is all fine right now. And maybe I’m reading too much into people’s enthusiasm. What I’m concerned about for myself is being able to pace myself, to regulate the amount of visitor time I have, to ensure that I have enough time alone. 

I cannot do back to back weekends with visitors. Last weekend’s tramping trip was great but it was enough people contact for several weeks. Having friends to stay in my house is hard going for me. Entertaining people – being responsible for showing them a good time – is exhausting. 

I am going to need an approach to having people to stay that makes it clear they are on their own in terms of entertaining themselves from after breakfast until dinner time or even until next morning. I need to know I can retreat to my own space and get on with my own projects without being interrupted or forced to socialise. 

In fact I think this approach can be very freeing for guests too. They can do their thing and not feel dependent on me. The fact they’ll have to have a car to even stay there means they’ll have that freedom without needing me to drive them. 

Ironic that, in planning for my great escape, my first need is to protect my privacy and solitude.