ERE Adventuring

Where are you and where are you going?
NuncFluens
Posts: 38
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2020 6:25 am
Location: Bavaria, Germany

Re: ERE Adventuring

Post by NuncFluens »

Netherlands:
I seem to have recovered from the vacation and all its side-effects. I'm more calm and less panicked about moving there, I sleep okay again and my hunger-response (messed up by eating out and drinking every day) has normalized.
We're also planning our next trip in January. The fiance's reason to go in January was to check out the "feel" of the place in winter. I agreed to come with, with the condition that we shift one level up from "tourism" and live in a vacation home sans room-service and a kitchen installed. This should shift the experience from "vacation" to "just living there", I hope.

Finances:
Like I said before, moving to the Netherlands will leave me with 10 years max to make a dent in my dependence on a paycheck. I realize that I'm extremely anxiously clinging to money as the only resource that might provide some form of safety. And while I am working on building alternative capital (cooking from scratch, woodworking my own furniture, etc.) I want to reduce my expenses even more than before. Which is why I am attempting a no-buy month in August. A few things will have to be allowed for, such as date night at actual restaurants (as my fiance is not wholly on board with the frugality thing). More on that next week.

Moving:
I started to clean out shelves and drawers to sell or give them away. I also disassembled the bed, which I plan on cutting down and making it into a few storage boxes I would have otherwise likely bought. The apartment went from a "living"-look to a "moving"-look, which is an immensely pleasing visual marker of progress. However, all the things need to be sold still and there's a huge heap of "stuff" that needs to be sorted out/through.
My parents will be coming next Friday so we can use their car to move the washing machine to my fiance's and take a lot of junk to the recycling center. This recent progress has eased my irrational worries on whether I'd be able to move out in time (which is until the end of October).

Work:
We had a "strategy meeting" last week and while I didn't expect much (except the alluded-to food that wasn't provided), the boss seems to want to go into more of a consulting direction. This is quite new, since we mostly were doing research projects on government grants for the last 10 years. Although I could have seen it, since we started a few smaller consulting/contract work style projects to get our foot in the door with those companies. I just assumed it would be to tangle them in bigger government funded projects. Anyway, this is a good thing, since I hate being left to my own devices without actual targets or deadlines, and external expectations should provide the structure I so sorely missed up until now.

Adventuring:
Since the Netherlands vacation I am not motivated to mountain hike as much. My goal of doing the GR20 next year seems pointless now. I have gone on a few nature walks, though, mostly to identify foraging spots and listen to podcasts. I'm not sure if I won't reorient my adventuring activities toward bikepacking, which is much more Netherlands-compatible.
Which brings us to the bike situation *long sigh*. Like I wrote, I received a very unhelpful mail from the retailer, which had me create an account on a german biking forum, asking for advice. This opened up a few new avenues: Apparently, there's the retailer warrant ("Garantie"), which is more like a bonus, so they can actually force additional requirements like having an inspection first. There's also the manufacturers Warranty ("Gewährleistung"), which is defined by law and can't really be denied. So I might get my problems fixed by them, maybe. Another user on said german biking-forum provided me with very detailled documentation on the shifting lever, though, so that I might actually still be able to solve the problem myself. If all else fails, I have resolved to just open the damn thing up and see if I can fix it. This is well knowing that a fuckup on my part might result in 300€ of parts + installation fees from a professional :/

Alphaville
Posts: 1057
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:50 am
Location: Quarantined

Re: ERE Adventuring

Post by Alphaville »

NuncFluens wrote:
Sun Jul 26, 2020 6:47 am
And while I am working on building alternative capital (cooking from scratch, woodworking my own furniture, etc.) I want to reduce my expenses even more than before.
i looked into the woodworking thing, and besides lacking the space, the payoff would not be very big for me as i’m not a huge furniture buyer, already have stuff, often prefer metal, can find cheap, etc.

but one of the things i decided to learn in greater depth was bicycle repair, because that’s a continuous thing for me in the expense front, and manual labor in this country is costly, and so any tools, books, etc would pay for themselves quickly. one of the things i’ve decided for future builds is to keep things simple and easily repairable—a bit retro and all.

sorry about your ongoing warranty problems 🙈

i hear from friends that bike theft in the netherlands happens a lot, so they don’t want to buy expensive models. not sure if it’s an amsterdam problem or a countrywide problem, but i’d check where you’re going. it’s a pretty flat country too... one of their omafiets might be enough for general use there.
Last edited by Alphaville on Sun Jul 26, 2020 7:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

NuncFluens
Posts: 38
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2020 6:25 am
Location: Bavaria, Germany

Re: ERE Adventuring

Post by NuncFluens »

Alphaville wrote:
Sun Jul 26, 2020 7:15 am
i looked into the woodworking thing, and besides lacking the space, the oayoff would not be very big for me as i’m not a huge furniture buyer, often prefer metal, etc.
I'm not sure if the payoff is huge, either. But my fiance is into interior design and thus remodels the place on a 1-2 year basis, which has in the past involved some woodworking. If nothing else it makes me feel less useless during those remodelling times. :)
My current project is a few drawers/trays for inside our storage closets, though as right now we just can't see whats in the back. So that one will be useful at least.
Alphaville wrote:
Sun Jul 26, 2020 7:15 am
but one of the things i decided to learn in greater depth was bicycle repair, because that’s a continuous thing for me in the expense front, and any tools etc would pay for themselves quickly. one of the things i’ve decided for future builds is to keep things simple and easily repairable, a bit retro and all.
Yes... due to a personal crisis I had pretty much fallen out of the DIY-mindset when I bought the bike. Now that I'm reconnecting with my former self again, getting aerospace-grade equipment seems like a suboptimal move :/
Alphaville wrote:
Sun Jul 26, 2020 7:15 am
i hear from friends that bike theft in the netherlands happens a lot, so they don’t want to buy expensive models. not sure if it’s an amsterdam problem or a countrywide problem, but i’d check where you’re going. it’s a pretty flat country too...
I think I've been aptly burned by my last purchase, so maybe I'll get a fixer-upper next time. The fact that it's very flat minimizes the need for intricate gearing and shifting solutions, at least.

Alphaville
Posts: 1057
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:50 am
Location: Quarantined

Re: ERE Adventuring

Post by Alphaville »

NuncFluens wrote:
Sun Jul 26, 2020 7:24 am
If nothing else it makes me feel less useless during those remodelling times. :)
My current project is a few drawers/trays for inside our storage closets, though as right now we just can't see whats in the back. So that one will be useful at least.
ah! yes— well worth it if you get meaning and satisfaction from it 👍👍

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fiby41
Posts: 1303
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2015 8:09 am
Location: India

Re: ERE Adventuring

Post by fiby41 »

I've similar attitude towards wood/metal sheet working as Alphaville. Manual labour is cheap here and they do it in far more intricate detail than I could without breaking but I don't bring up the marginal utility of learning it as it is a skill nonetheless and so as not to blaspheme against those here who're really into it. Although I've not resold the second-hand tools that were required for "Workshop Practice" subject, they rarely come out.

@NuncFluens Have you discussed ERE with your fiance? So far your marriage year and pre-marital honeymoon country have changed within a month and you also have 10 & 20 year goals so I ask.

NuncFluens
Posts: 38
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2020 6:25 am
Location: Bavaria, Germany

Re: ERE Adventuring

Post by NuncFluens »

fiby41 wrote:
Sun Jul 26, 2020 8:50 am
@NuncFluens Have you discussed ERE with your fiance? So far your marriage year and pre-marital honeymoon country have changed within a month and you also have 10 & 20 year goals so I ask.
Yes, we've talked about it and it's a "live and let live" kinda deal, as we're coming from two very different sides. My view is that I'll probably live forever and I want to build a system that sustains me indefinitely. For this I am willing to "suffer" (as she would put it) disproportionately right now. Her perspective is that she might just die tomorrow (no medical reason or anything) and she wants to live now. You know, the story where one saves and saves and then dies a week before retiring. Or - less drastically - she wants to travel while she's young, go out with friends, etc.

So I build my systems and she lives in the now. Which has indeed contributed a little bit to the plethora of problems that ended in us splitting up for a while last year. There were a LOT of other things, though, which we've since worked through. We've both become a lot more accepting in the process and found concessions on both sides that make it work a lot better for us. I guess we "put in the work" and accept that we're not exactly the same. Call us old fashioned...

As for the recent changes that doesn't really bother me. The wedding ceremony (making it official) is pretty meaningless for me, and eastern europe was more of a working title for our vacation before we worked out the details. As long as a few key components of my X-year-plans stay untouched I don't really care about all other components changing all the time. E.g. I want to spend the rest of my life with that woman, whether we marry officially and when, is an unimportant detail.

---

Aaand, I fixed my bike (I'll put details in that other thread)

NuncFluens
Posts: 38
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2020 6:25 am
Location: Bavaria, Germany

Re: ERE Adventuring

Post by NuncFluens »

So this is a long one and I will contradict most of what I said to this point - again! I though about what @fiby41 asked and whether I'm too fickle in what I want and/or plan (not sure if that was the intention, but it was good input anyway). But I meant what I said in that my future to me is wide open, with very little set in stone. Which is also why I am writing this journal (let's be honest: It's a diary, more like). A big part of my thinking is writing things down to see how it feels, kinda like saying a thing out loud to hear how it sounds. And seemingly, most of the time, it doesn't sound right 2 weeks later :lol: But it's part of my process, so here we go.

---

Monday was team-building day at my workplace, so we hiked up a small mountain, had lunch and did some disc golf in randomly assigned teams. It was fun overall, but I had a near-mystical experience that I'd like to elaborate on: As I was walking down the mountain down to the cabin where we were scheduled to have lunch I looked at the nearby mountain ridge with its ~11 peaks and it suddenly hit me: "This is what I'm giving if you move to the Netherlands". And I'm honestly not in a place to do that right now.

I thought it over some more on the way home and realized that mountains as part of the geography are an important feature for me. Like I never hiked up my home mountain until I was 28. But as I crossed that ridge for the first time, there was a whole world behind it! I mean I knew there's something there, but it never clicked like that. All of a sudden a fuzzy knowing of "there is supposed to be a forest there" became this crystal clear image of villages and forests and even bigger moutains in background. I guess it's this kind of wonder and exploration that I'm going for right now. And a flat country might not do that for me.

I'm not saying that biking across the (flat) land, reaching a new village with a nice pond or something won't do similar things for me. I did hike the flat parts of my home region when the mountains still had snow on them, and it was fun to go from village to forest to village. It just couldn't compete with the mountains. So I'll definitly continue biking (it's ready to go with new handlebar tape now) and see if I can get that sense of wonder without the mountains.

Later in the evening I also talked it over with my fiance, and it went quite well. The ocean is for her what those mountains are to me, so she wouldn't want to force me to leave that behind, she said. But I don't want to keep the ocean from her either.

So the plan right now is to still go to the Netherlands in January to see how I feel there if I'm not in my tourist-mindest. But we also agreed on going on another vacation in the summer to scout other places. My favorite right now would be Norway, but I hear it's mad expensive (with correspondingly high pay, but that's irrelevant if I'm retired). So we'll see.

---

Another thing I'm contemplating right now is whether I'm unhappy working or if maybe I'm just unhappy at my current job. The problem is that I really like my job compared to the previous one which is mostly because of all the amenities (work from home whenever, take vacation days whenever) and laid back atmosphere. So I'm afraid of downgrading and regretting it later on.

The other dimension is the time I'm supposed to spend at/on work (currently 32h). Noone really cares what I get done one way or the other. There's only one 90min meeting per week, and only a few people are actually held responsible for what they do (chosen at random), and there're no consequences anyway. "As long as the work gets done..." my boss says. But noone is assigning work or deadlines, so it basically becomes a game of "if I sit here for an hour longer, I can go home an hour earlier on friday". Repeat that often enough and you have a free day.

I just don't feel like my performance matters and the work itself is not inherently meaningful either. This might change with the upcoming reorientation towards consulting-type work, but right now it's just mucking through the hours. I also know I could just work less and enjoy some more energy and time to do things I find valuable in my free time. But that would just mean that it takes even longer to reach FI, so I'd have to work longer.

Maybe I'll have to interview around and see if I can find a 20h job with comparable pay. Maybe there's some structure to the work there too, so I don't have to feel so pointless all the time. Hm...

NuncFluens
Posts: 38
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2020 6:25 am
Location: Bavaria, Germany

Re: ERE Adventuring

Post by NuncFluens »

Moving:
My parents lent us their car on friday (only for 2 hours, though), so we managed to move a few things between apartments. The biggest hassle was getting the washing machine down from the 5th floor without an elevator. It was pretty exhausting but we managed to carry it in an old blanket somehow. When we tried to install it in my fiance's basement the water wouldn't turn off, though, so we got pretty wet before I managed to turn the main valve off (sorry neighbors :p). The old one (~16 years) was already pretty iffy, so we disposed it along with a lot of junk from the basement before visiting our parents. We also visited my brother-in-law's new apartment and managed to interest him in 2 chairs and a table (for 50 bucks, even), so that will be gone by tomorrow, too :)

Finances:
July was pretty much okay-ish with a ~45% SR despite the vacation, which was mostly paid for this month.
I also decided against making August a no-buy month. This is mostly because I'm not sure how to do it when my fiance buys (necessary) stuff for the apartment. So August will just be a very frugal month again.

DIY:
My in-laws started making their own Kvas (a russian fermented bread-drink thing) in their kitchen, which we got to talk about a bit when visiting. This reminded me of my own kombucha-phase from 2 years ago and inspired me to give it another go. I will however start with water kefir, because the turnover is just that much faster. This should allow me to substitue it for most of my store-bought fizzy drinks (mostly beer, often non-alcoholic) which make up a big part of my "unnecessary" spending. It's also a nice way to use foraged berries (synergy!).

Speaking of which... when we were at my parents' I managed to forage the first blackberries of the year, which made for some nice ice cream. They have a slightly more favorable climate, but we're not that far behind, so I can probably start the foraging-season next week. Which means I'll need to learn how to make jam :)

On the woodworking front, I managed to score a 100€ job of repainting my fiance's bathroom door. She was thinking of just buying a new door, which had my frugal feathers ruffled there for a bit, so she offered to pay me to do it. I'm not yet sure if I actually take the money, though. On the one hand I'm proud to have inspired enough confidence to get someone to pay for my work. On the other hand, we're operating from a team-mindset, which doesn't really allow for monetary compensation inside of our relationship... If I take the money at all I'll probably use it to take her out to dinner and/or further home improvements.

NuncFluens
Posts: 38
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2020 6:25 am
Location: Bavaria, Germany

Re: ERE Adventuring

Post by NuncFluens »

Work:
I decided to use a few vacation days to make August a more relaxed month. I have arranged for two 4-day-weekends, which leaves me with 4 weeks at 4 days (of 6.5 hours) each. I'm now at the end of my first long weekend and it was really rather nice, like a preview of how life could be once I don't need to work that much anymore.
As a nice side-effect, I actually did a few hours of work on some off-days, which added some overtime that I can use later. I did those with the Pomodoro-technique, where I would do small chores during the break times. So after 4 hours of work I had also baked bread, cooked some food and cleaned the kitchen. Surprisingly, I also got more actual work done, as I didn't spend 30 minutes to catch up with coworkers in the morning, etc. Because of this perfect synergy, I'll now try to do this at least once a week without even feeling bad :)

Lifestyle/DIY:
I went on a 2.5h nature walk last week and found a grand total of 3 edible berries. Apart from the walk itself being a satisfying experience, this was very disappointing, as at my parents' everything was growing quite nicely, yet in my city there's pretty much nothing. It's hard to even find bushes that could grow berries, and once you do there's just nothing on them :(

I did get my water kefir crystals, however, and finished the first batch yesterday. At first it tasted weird, but after the second fermentation with dried goji berries it was much better. The process of setting up the next batch also took less than 5 minutes, so this should be a low effort way of producing my own fizzy drinks :)

Lastly, I managed to repaint the bathroom door for which my fiance offered me 100€. It took way longer than I thought, but the end result was okay. I could have done better, but my fiance was satisfied and told me to leave it alone. Seeing how she already paid 50€ in materials and supplied me with takeaway food on both days of working on it, I waivered my 100€ fee :p

Edit: forgot to add "Social":
After working on a more post-work lifestyle over the last 2 months I've become convinced that I should build my social network. I am very introverted (99% as per the MBTI test) and formerly had a bit of social anxiety (which was actually diagnosed by a doctor). As such I have at the moment exactly 0 friends in the classic sense.

Anyway, I decided to participate more in my fiance's social cirlce for starters, so I went out on saturday to have a few beers by the riverside. It was very low-key and chill, which was a nice contrast to the few pub-crawls I attended in the past.

Next up is moving another of the fiance's friends sofa in about an hour. He also hinted at a barbecue, which should be nice :)

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