For most of my adult life I've chosen to disregard the idea of buying a home. In fact, I was haunted by the thought, opposed to the concept of committing an obscene amount of money and losing my freedom in order to do so.
As an entrepreneurial young woman I simply couldn't digest the system-imposed notion of "get a sturdy nine-to-five, sign a 20-year mortgage, climb the corporate ladder, consume and obey". This path simply does not resonate with me.
In December last year, my boyfriend Harrison and I visited the remote, wild and beautiful Kangaroo Island -- home to around 5,000 people off the coast of South Australia. Harrison's dad moved to the island recently in search of a simpler life -- one that would allow him the freedom to start his own business and release himself from the tedium of days spent paying bills, sitting in traffic and working a job that did not allow any kind of creative individualism.
I had always consciously tried to close myself off from the prospect of buying property -- worried about the stress, imprisonment and disempowerment the commitment to a $500,000 loan could induce.
I felt curious, and mystified by the island the moment we landed. Looking outside the Rex airplane window at the tiny airport, with nothing but farmland and wilderness beyond, I could feel something shifting within me. We drove for 50 minutes from the main town of Kingscote to Baudin Beach, where we would spend the next five nights. Down the one sealed road on the island, past farmland mostly, there was not a traffic light, billboard or high-rise to be seen.
One night over dinner, a local couple in their seventies revealed that their one regret was not moving to the island sooner. I was beginning to understand why. This comment, their hand-built, original home, surrounded by trees and wild vegetation, the slow, introverted sunsets, the clean, fresh air... it was all beginning to light a fire in Harrison and me.
The price of vacant land shocked us both. So normalised to the exorbitant million-dollar-plus price tags of property in Sydney, we were excited by the opportunity to own a piece of Australia for less than many people spend on a new car.
As we shared our intention with friends and family after arriving home, it shocked me at how little anxiety and cautiousness I felt at coming to such a quick, intuitive decision. I had always consciously tried to close myself off from the prospect of buying property -- worried about the stress, imprisonment and disempowerment the commitment to a $500,000 loan could induce.
The price of vacant land shocked us both.
I feel that my generation has been conditioned to believe we are living in a time of immense opportunity, and therefore should be grateful for these high-paying jobs which afford us an inner-city lifestyle. That we should stay in these jobs, despite the lack of fulfillment they offer. That we should spend our money on designer outfits, cosmetics and fancy cars, simply because we can. That we should buy that stupidly overpriced loft apartment, because the generations before us couldn't.
Having removed myself from the corporate world on a whim three years ago to follow a more unconventional, financially insecure path, I feel nothing but gratitude that this opportunity to buy property has been presented to me.
I am grateful that I don't need to relinquish my dreams, my lifestyle, and my desire to live in accordance with my truth, and that I can untangle myself from the systemic conditioning that has bound young Australians to the anxiety and financial stresses of owning a home.
ALSO ON HUFFPOST AUSTRALIA