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Where do you want to live?

No. 030 Reading Time 4 minutes

As we daydreamed about leaving the city and relocating to the countryside, the first question that popped into our minds was 'Where'?

We lacked an ancestral village or land; we had always been city kids.

Selecting a place to live stands as one of the three most significant decisions we make in life.

This decision involves not just moving physically but also mentally.

Mountains or beaches, we asked ourselves.

Unanimously we both agreed that we wanted the best of both worlds. Even if it meant the beach was by a river.

When it was time to put pins on the map, two states came to our minds instinctively. Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh. These states are as big as some European countries.

We decided to establish some parameters and create a checklist to narrow down our search. Here is a list of parameters that helped us zero down on Rishikesh, to start our off-grid journey:

1) Use our limited powers as designers for Good

We went with Uttarakhand because it's less explored and faces the dual challenge of climate change and migration. We saw a chance to use our design skills for good and make a real change.

Another motivation was that our father had spent his youth in the capital city of Dehradun.

2) Climate

This might be the most important factor for the majority of the people.

We wanted a place with a moderate climate.

Rishikesh is not too hot or overly cold. No snow.

3) Proximity to other cities

Our village is near Rishikesh, which satisfies our city's needs. Rishikesh is closer to Delhi, Chandigarh, and Dehradun where our parents and friends reside.

4) Connectivity

Our village is well connected to the airport (60 minutes), train station (45 minutes), and the bus stand (40 mins).

5) Like-minded community and Economic Opportunities

Rishikesh is renowned as the world's yoga capital, attracting foreign and domestic tourists.

It attracts a lot of people who are eco-conscious and into wellness. This also meant we could host workshops and retreats.

6) Health Care

One of the 13 AIIMS (All India Institute Of Medical Sciences) is in Rishikesh. This gives our parents of two bearded boys living in a remote forest, little peace of mind.

7) Degree of Seclusion

We wanted a middle ground, not too isolated but not part of an intentional community either. Our village is near Rishikesh but isolated enough to experience Rishikesh in its raw form. We desired to embrace the authentic village life and learn indigenous wisdom.

You can set your criteria based on your family, life, and preferences.

If you have multiple similar options, use a weighted decision-making matrix to help you make a decision.

It is a tool that assesses various options against essential factors and assigns weights based on their importance.

It helps you make decisions by comparing choices and their importance.

You can use this free template here for other life decisions also.


Manisha answers frequently asked questions about buying land from legalities, to natural factors involved.

One of the inspirations behind our story, Atulya shares her joys and challenges from her journey of living off-grid.

“I often think how many things we don’t know that we love, because we have never been pushed into a situation where we have to do it.”

Atulya Bingham

Want to own land with friends, build a natural house, and grow your food?

Here’s how we did it.

Tiny Farm Friends Newsletter. Every Sunday, we share tiny valuable lessons to help you transition to the countryside and build naturally.



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