How To Make The Move From Live Aboard To Traditional House

‘So will you ever get a house then?’ we get asked it a lot, I blog about it a lot, and whilst I never like to say never it’s becoming harder to imagine. There was a time when the boat was just an investment in the quest to get the perfect house, that quickly changed. Fantine scuppered those plans. When we first moved aboard I began to follow a lot of blogs, blogs of people around our age, already on the journey we were embarking. Slowly but surely these blogs have died, my favourite one hasn’t posted for over two years. So either there is a serial killer targeting young boat dwellers or these people are moving on. (In seriousness if anyone knows what happened to Carli, Ed and Skipper on Albion its been a cliffhanger that’s been bothering me for a long time, please let me know!).

Of course I’m not one to talk given my yearly posting sabbaticals! But these bloggers where much more regular than me, and no amount of stalking has resulted in me finding out more information on where they are now.

Thing is, whilst I am happy for these people, if they have moved on, not if they are the liveaboard serial killers’ latest victims, I’m at a point where I struggle to imagine making that move. I’ve posted before about the things you miss from a traditional house, two words … Carpet … Baths … but never the two combined! I can absolutely see all of the benefits with a land life, I know how boat life can grind you down, I know there are times when you are just ready to move on. But I can’t help but wonder how you make that leap back, and away from water.

I may of lied slightly in the first paragraph, we can still imagine a land dwelling life, but it’s very different to the one we imagined a couple of years ago. Whilst we still want space, that has moved from interior to exterior space. I can’t fathom the extents people go to for space they simply don’t need, I had to laugh out loud at someone the other month trying to justify his and his wife’s move to a five-bedroom detached house down the road from their current three bed. Five bedrooms … two people? The world is going mad.

I can’t imagine making the transition from our tiny living space to a house, I think I’ve lost the ability to fill space, the way I used to be able to. Trinkets, useless sideboards, armchairs which were never sat on, decorative things. I imagine your thought process soon switches back to having space to fill, but I’m not entirely sure I would want it to. All that extra cleaning, expense, headache, for what exactly? I don’t think I’m convinced anymore.

I’ve always felt more at home in smaller places, prior to Fantine my tiny little 42 sq ft annex was the most homely and comfortable place I’ve ever lived, perhaps it’s the liberation of a small space and a less cluttered life? Now living at the extreme end of that scale, whilst there are times that I would give almost anything to be able to do more than two side ways steps in the kitchen, I struggle to imagine packing up our ten boxes of boat belongings and moving into a house.

Do the people who have done this miss it? I imagine you miss the freedom of being able to make home pretty much anywhere you choose. I imagine you miss the freedom that space constraints give you, I don’t for a second imagine you miss water roulette or danger area only showers. I’m just intrigued by that readjustment process, and whether a portion of your life spent living aboard effects your life and choices going forward.

James & Kirsty

A diary of live aboard life

8 thoughts on “How To Make The Move From Live Aboard To Traditional House

  1. Today, we have sold our boat and we are moving back to land. If you had asked me a few months ago, I would have said we will never sell it but my husbands health is too bad to live on a boat now. I loved my life on my boat, I am sad but things happen for a reason. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Linda, I’m so sorry to hear that, I think it’s often a change of circumstances which requires this type of move. I wish you and your husband the best of luck in your new house. Home can be anywhere 🙂 xx


  2. Could you direct message the missing boat people through their blog?
    I’m glad you are comfortable in your floating home. Belongings and “things” become a problem when you either have too many or too few. It’s all relative though and has lots to do with your outlook on life. I enjoy reading your blog and I would miss you if your blog disappeared!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’re the best! Believe it or not I’ve never thought to message them! Their last post was in 2017 so I’m not sure if they will monitor it but it’s worth a shot! I can’t believe I didn’t think of that thank you!

      And fear not, we have no plans to disappear, unless my fears are confirmed and there is such a thing as a live aboard serial killer! 🙂


    1. Thanks for the follow! It’s such a difficult subject, we’ve written before on how living aboard seems to becoming a buzz at the moment. I do worry that people expect a narrowboat to just be a cheap way of life, without truly appreciating or being shown the quirks of boat life! I’m so intrigued though by people who have gone the other way, from living aboard back to a house and how they have found that transition 🙂 Thanks for the comment and welcome to Living Narrow

      Liked by 1 person

  3. We are live aboards in Boston and are asked the same question all the time. I actually just wrote about living as a minimalist on our boat. . We feel very similarly to you, having been on the boat for 5 years it’s hard to imagine moving to land and losing this way of life! Good luck with your search/transition, I look forward to reading more.

    Liked by 1 person

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