A Big Change Sets The Stage For Deliberate Lifestyle Design

White Sands

As of today, I have 72 calendar days left as a full-time wage slave.  If you subtract weekends and projected time off, I’m down to 37 working days!  Not that I’m counting or anything 😉

With my formal working career coming to a close and our military move to the UK less than three months away, I’ve been thinking about all the ways our life is about to change and what we can do to purposefully design our new life.

For us, this move couldn’t be coming at a better time.  Over the last two years, and especially this past year since we’ve started blogging, we’ve realized that we don’t want to follow the life that has been scripted.  A huge change in circumstances, like our upcoming move overseas, will allow us to completely ditch our current lifestyle and build a new one from scratch, one that better aligns with our priorities and goals.

One of the biggest differences, aside from the funny accents and driving on the wrong opposite side of the road, will be our housing and living arrangements.  We currently live in a 5 bedroom, 3.5 bathroom, 3,200 sq ft house in the suburbs of a sprawling metro area with a population of over 2.3 million.

In contrast, the region of the UK we are moving to is characterized by small villages of around 10,000 residents.  Additionally, houses in the UK are much smaller than what is found in the US, particularly here in Texas.  In the area we’ll be living, houses seem to be around 1,100 – 1,400 sq ft for a typical 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom detached or semi-detached home falling within our overseas housing allowance.

These houses offer the essentials without the fluff we’ve become accustomed to.  No more separate game room, media room, or office.  Although the extra space is nice at times and I’d really like to have a dedicated office, what else do you really need besides a kitchen, living room, bedrooms, and bathrooms?

Smaller villages also mean everything is in closer proximity and should lead to a much more walkable lifestyle.  This is perfect for me since we are planning on downshifting to a one car household.  Our ideal location would be within walking distance of the town center and biking distance to parks and other local attractions.  We also want to live relatively close to the base to limit Mrs. DTG’s commute time and allow easy access to the base amenities like the gym and library.

Our current city is built around driving and without two cars it would be very difficult for us to get around on a daily basis.  A few weeks ago, I came across a website that allows you to calculate the walk score of a particular residence.  I typed in our address and the scores below confirmed what we already knew, painting a bleak picture that we’re actively seeking to avoid when choosing our next home.

Walk Score SA2

Walk Score SA1

Scores are out of 100.  As you can see, these are not very good.


Finally, the biggest change I mentioned upfront is that I will no longer be a full-time employee!  I’m not really sure what I’ll consider myself, maybe a semi-retired stay-at-home dad?  Now that’s a mouthful.  Or how about family asset manager?  Blogger?  Fledgling entrepreneur?  Regardless of how it is defined, I’ll need to adjust to my new role within the family.

Although we’ve been implementing changes into our lives over the past couple years, we’ve been clinging to some of our old habits (damn DirecTV).  Moving, in our case to another country, gives us a clean break from our present lifestyle and allows us to sculpt our new life just the way we want it.

How do you prefer to deal with change?  Would you rather it be slow and gradual or do you prefer to take a huge leap all at once? 

17 thoughts on “A Big Change Sets The Stage For Deliberate Lifestyle Design

  1. Gwen @ fierymillennials says:

    A huge leap all at once. It’s great to start off with a clean slate, but also rather daunting as you realize no matter where you move, some things remain the same. Mainly, personality traits and behaviors. Moving allowed me to work on some less than desirable traits and habits and form new, better behavior!


  2. mdbyfire says:

    I’m a huge planner, so as long as I have sufficient time to plan for it, I don’t mind a big, abrupt shift. In some ways, it almost seems easier–kinda like ripping the band aid off quickly, you know?


    • Ditching the Grind says:

      For sure. We also like to plan and get our ducks in a row, when possible. Sometimes incremental changes, like me talking about getting rid of DirecTV for what seems like ages, drag on or never happen. Our move is forcing the change and we’ll adapt to our new situation in England.


  3. The Personal Economist says:

    Wow so exciting. Really I don’t think you will miss the media room! I think it depends on the change – some need to be carefully planned but then if you get an opportunity for adventure, go for it! Look forward to following your story.


  4. Our Frugal Escapades says:

    It must be exciting knowing that a new life is just around the corner! Just like anything in life, there will be a period of adjustment, but it sounds like this is just what you are looking for. 😃 – Mrs.FE


  5. Mrs. PIE says:

    Exciting times! Do you know where you are moving too? As an ex-UKer I can attest to great small walkable places. Can’t beat walking to the local pub! Definitely smaller houses though, and Texas to the UK has got to be one of the biggest changes possible! Good luck!


  6. stacej86 says:

    Great post. I am also about to leave full time work for what I hope will be the last time. 40 days to go, 27 more working days – also not counting 😉 Personally I am a fan of the big change because I find when I try to do it gradually I do not throw myself into it enough for it to eventually become reality. But I’m in the fortunate situation that I don’t really have any responsibilities to deal with at the moment so its much easier.

    Good luck with your adventure. And as a native Brit I can assure you, the small houses aren’t all that bad 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ditching the Grind says:

      Thanks and congrats, you’re almost there! I’m with you on the big change. Just get it over all at once and adapt to your new situation. We’re actually really excited about having a smaller house. It’ll definitely be a little shock at first, though. At least we get to sell some more stuff before we leave and get some extra cash!

      Thanks for stopping by!


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