Before you live the dream, you gotta work out which dream you’re living

I’m sitting on my inner city balcony, checking out the skyline. In a little while, I might stroll in to town to see a movie, pick up some pad thai, or maybe take a promenade by the lake. The whole thing is so chic it hurts.

At least, this could be me, sometime soon.  River God and I are looking at buying Property – at the moment, an inner city apartment – each of us with our own dream of car-free urban living and sky-rocketing rental income.  That’s what property does to you – it turns you into a real-estate dreamer, just the sort of person an agent likes to see wander in over their brochure-strewn threshhold.  The question is,what exactly is the dream, and do we want it?

Are we going to be living The Good Life on our country estate, surrounded by rescue donkeys and lavender plantations?  Or are we going to be inner city hipsters?  We can’t do both (can we?). Are we going to live cosily in our little place round the corner from the blues bar – or are we going to rent our love nest out to strangers?  Are we going to be scared to read the property section of the paper in five years’ time – or are we going to have trouble wiping off our smug smiles?  Will River God have long since fled, due to uppity teenage kids (mine) and dogs who pee on the verandah (also mine)?  Will I be glad to see him go, so I can sleep in for a change?

What’s your dream and if you got it, are you sure you’d want it?  Is your dream by any chance a book for Christmas? If it is, you should head over to Smorgasbord for some pointers about what to read – my personal favourite is Bertram & Gertrude’s Steamy Amsterdam Weekend.


  1. But what if you want all the dreams? Isn’t there a place where we can do it all and not have to decide…it isn’t any fun being realistic and responsible and settled

    1. Maybe that’s heaven…but yeah I agree, it’s very boring thinking about all these things. If we were filthy rich, that’s when we could have all our dreams at once (but maybe it doesn’t feel so good if you don’t have to work at it).

  2. The hubs and I have contemplated the same thing: Move to a major city when the kids are gone? (We love being able to walk places, have so many choices, etc.) Or stay where we are but downsize to a condo? Guess it’s good we still have decisions to make and dreams to chew on when we get older.

    1. The thing is to put aside for your old age the things you’ll enjoy then. Like tottering to the coffee shop and the library and watching people pass by and commenting on the awful things they get out in these days.

  3. I too go back and forth between the urban and rural dream. It would be nice to live in an inner-city area that is walkable, with restaurants and stores and parks nearby. But, then there’s my desire to live by the ocean in a small town. So, yeah, I can combine them both, by living in a small town on the coast, where the town is large enough to have a few restaurants and stores and I can walk around the town and walk to the beach and walk through the woods.

    1. Except babies, I guess? Will you have a chance to move into town someday? From my observations working with older people, it’s very easy to get stuck in your home when you’re old and immobile – much better to be steps away from the places you might want to go (steps,but not stairs).

  4. What city do you live in? Rolling out of bed and strolling to work would be rather nice. So would being able to people watch from your balcony. My dream is to be a flaneur.

      1. Its my fave concept. A person who strolls about the city taking in life and doffing his cap to people and stuff. Might have spelt it wrong.

  5. Oh girl, wasn’t it jut yesterday (or a year or two ago) that we were musing snarkily at the ups-and-outs and ins-and-downs of internet dating whilst trying to find the perfect lover and partner-man? And here we are, a scant time later trying to figure out the intricacies of the attempted melding of dreams…I could use a chance at either hipster living or rural donkey paradise, instead I live in the midst of a ghetto-fied suburb, and the holidays have already made me tired! Anyway, fun read, and I hope you find happiness or adventure, or, pleez Jebus, both!

    1. I guess it was! You seem to need money to live the dream, whatever it is – so hard without that. Mine was provided by mum and dad, bless them – not a lot, but enough I hope. Without that I don’t know what I’d do. It must be quite scary living in a ghetto-ised place. I guess all one can do is make plans!

  6. My dream when back home in Zambia, was to live just outside the capital city, Lusaka, on a smallholding. I managed to buy a plot about 30 minutes outside Lusaka and started building a house. However, I had to move to the US before the house was finished. I have lived in or near cities for the past few years and even though I like the convenience, I have started yearning for living outside my current city (Vienna, Austria). I want to be surrounded by nature but still be able to take public transportation even in the middle of the night.

  7. Austria’s country towns are quite well connected to public transport, aren’t they? I get the impression it’s a very efficient place, and the countryside is just beautiful. Mind you for my money Slovenia is the most beautiful place I’ve ever been – I’d love to live in the country there! That’s a pity about having to leave your house in Zambia!

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