Making a Dream Reality

I have had a dream for many many years, which is to live in a cottage in Ireland, next to the water, where I could live quietly and working on my art.

Over the last year, this dream has moved from sweet fantasy to something more urgent. I realized that I want to make this dream, or something close to it, a reality.

I haven't quite figured out how to do it, or what finer details I need to determine to make this possible. But, I have given myself this year to do research and figure something out. Some preliminary ideas are that I would not live alone, but part of a small community. Each member of the community would contribute to the overall running of the household and land. We would live in a small cottage or perhaps a grouping of yurts. We would work the land and live as self-sustainably and environmentally friendly as possible. We would grow food, raise animals, spin yarn, knit, weave, can and preserve food as a community. We would also support the creative expression of each member, whether it is wood working, painting, fiber arts, music, so on. If possible, we would extend those creative activities to the larger community outside of ours, by holding classes, selling or bartering products, etc.

That is the ideal dream. As I research into it, I am sure that I will find some details will have to change. I am not too naive to know that this will be hard work. But, hard work has never deterred me. It is only when the work (hard or easy) is not fulfilling or meaningful to me that I find it dreadful. I am working very hard to avoid the dreadful work. I want to lay my head down on my (hand-made) pillow at night tired and pleased that the day's work was a good and fulfilling one.

The pictures here are from when I stayed in Ballyvaughan, Ireland many years ago. Memories of staying in this cottage with my fellow travelers, cooking communally, sharing stories by the peat fire, walking to the local pub to have drinks and play dice games and have a laugh, a cry, or two are so fresh. I want that life back, and I am going to do my best to make it happen!

More on this....


albert's picture

The Industrial Revolution overturned millennia of humans living in the manner you describe. I think your desire is a psychic/spiritual force that still flows through us, calling out to us. May you realize your dream!

asgalbraith's picture

I think you are right. There is a very powerful spiritual force moving me. Perhaps it is a collective consciousness shift. However, I do believe that some of this is genetic, as my mother grew up on a self-sustaining dairy farm, and much of her past lifestyle influences her current suburban one. I also think that my art has made a huge influence too. Over the last three years my art has become much more connected to nature, which has lead me to wanting to be in nature more. The idea of living directly off of what you made is very powerful. And, that is where knitting has entered my life! So, knitting has also been a huge influence on this as well.

Jedwards's picture

I would love to go live in a cottage, so i could get away from my nieces, nephews and other family members..... they are driving me crazy right now.....

asgalbraith's picture

There are some great places to go, if you want to get away. I highly recommend the cottages in Ballyvaughan, Ireland. Right on Galway Bay, with swans swimming outside the window. It was wonderful. There are probably places closer that you could "escape" to now and then.

I am not looking for a getaway, however, but an overall lifestyle change. i just want it to be clear that my fantasy image, is now being converted to reality. If all I wanted was to get away for some quiet time, I would settle with the painting residencies that I do once or twice a year. It is not enough for me to"escape" anymore. I want it to be permanent.

I am envious of you, yet very happy for you. I know what you mean in an essence because for me, going to bed physically exhausted is much better and rewarding than mentally exhausted.

Homesteading and self sufficiency has been a dream for awhile. I realized the other day that I should have concentrated on that dream sooner as I think I am getting to be too old for starting....and it makes me a lil sad. I still long for a peaceful life in the country, growing what I can, canning what I grow, and taking pleasure in the simpliest things in life from my front porch swing. Someday I hope to realize a portion of that dream with someone special at my side.

Good luck --- Rob

Adrian's picture

Its a beautiful dream, I hope it comes true for you. My husband and I had the same one and realised it in moving to Nova Scotia, so I understand completely the drive that you are feeling.

twistknit's picture

Take me with you.
My "Favorites" on my computer is filled with knitting, cottage, yurt, homesteading, and alpaca links. It's what I always dream of.

teejtc's picture

I don't know how sold you are on Ireland or what your religious persuasion is, but the Iona Community on Scotland has year-long placements for everything from cooking to gardening to cleaning, etc. They reasonable work, but also have a small stipend and cover your room and board. They also value alone time...

It's an open-minded, justice-oriented Christian Community of the Scottish Reformed tradition. Absolutely great people.

Anyhow, just an idea. Drop me a PM or an e-mail if you'd like me to put you toward more info.

Grace and Peace,

asgalbraith's picture

Thanks. No, I am not sold on Ireland in particular. Though, there is something romantic about going back to the land of my ancestors. It is a place I found quite likable and familiar. In fact, I would prefer to stay in the US, mainly because I don't really want to part with my dog. I would also like to avoid any particular religious affiliation, as over the years, I have personally (emphasis on personally) found any religion problematic. I think a small community of spiritually minded, to each their own practice of religion is preferable to me. I recently found a website that lists many different intentional living communities. I will start searching there and see what I find.
The website is:

rjcb3's picture


Interesting that this comes up.

I've been investigating a major change in my life and a move to Scotland to do somewhat about the same type of thing...

...and taking a bit of time to do it right...

...strange thing is, that on another group that I belong to, a short discussion on the very topic, too.

Are we drinking the same water?



asgalbraith's picture

It is probably the same Human Collective Consciousness water....there's a lot of it out there and from I have been gathering, it getting cleaned up soon.

RickeScott's picture

Best of luck in realizing your dream. It sounds idyllic and romantic. Bill and I made a big change in our lives 5.5 years ago when we packed up and moved to Istanbul. The setting is a bit different, but the change for us was huge. And for those of you who think you're too old, I was 50 and Bill was 55 when we did it...

Thor's picture

We share a dream... but mine lives in New Mexico. I, too, will get there.

asgalbraith's picture

Do you know about this website:

There are listings for communities in New Mexico, that you may want to check out.

Good luck with your dream!

Nashrunner's picture

I wanna go too. The only thing holding me here now is my chronically ill mother. When something happens to her, I might be ready for a really radical change. I have always thought the world might be better if something happened that set our entire civilzation back 150 yrs or so, so that we all had to work harder and more honestly for what we had and appreciated it more, had a better understanding from where it came and what it took to get/make it, etc. And while I like and appreciate modern technology, I think we have lost some of the caring and skill of more close, interpersonal communication. It might be nice to live somewhere that it didn't matter if my haircut was really cool or if my clothes were really fashionable, just as long as my face and teeth were clean and I was healthy and felt well and alive, everything was good. Just one request: We gotta have a really good massage therapist to come with us and keep him really happy. We'll knit him wonderful things and provide for him well, as long as he keeps us in good working order!

asgalbraith's picture

I will continue to post on my blog ( my progress and what I learn in my search for a living community. I believe that this is something that should be done with a group of people with diverse talents, each assisting the benefit of the community. For example, I have NO mechanical or building skills, but I know a good deal about gardening, herbalism, food preparation and sewing, among other skills. I think a group with diverse skills can accomplish anything when focused on a common goal!