One thing seems certain in life: continual change. Very little stays the same for very long. And there’s little doubt, at least in my seven-plus months of virtual existence, that change occurs much more swiftly in the virtual world than in the physical world. Home, in particular, has been a virtual place that keeps changing for me. I write this post to record the paths I’ve taken to get to the place I now call my virtual home.
I began virtual life in the usual way: homeless. As I mentioned in an earlier post, my first “home” (loosely defined) was Caledon Oxbridge, under a tree or on a park bench. From there I moved to a cushion in Peace Park on Info Island to be near the library. Next I rented a large “starter” home designated for newbies in an area that came to seem unbearably bare and lifeless; and after a few weeks there, I settled on Etopia Island in a peaceful apartment with attractive surroundings and a fabulous ocean view.
For the first time, I bought a little furniture (just under the 50-prim limit), trashed the furniture freebies, and felt at home in SL. But after several months at Etopia, I grew to feel cramped. About that time, a private home I admired, the only house along the shoreline below, disappeared, and a big “For Sale” sign appeared in its place. The sign seemed an affront somehow, a violation of my view. So I leaped into premium membership.
Premium members, as you may know, have 512 sqm of space to use as they like, including to opt for a Linden Home, which is what I did. I chose a Tahoe model, received the location of my assigned home, and teleported there. Almost immediately I regretted leaving Etopia. Although the house was huge compared to my apartment and I now had 117 prims to work with, I had no yard and no view to speak of – bad luck in the Linden Home lottery, it seems. If I’d read Inara Pey’s excellent advice on Linden Homes in her November blog post, I suspect that my experience at Tahoe (and later at Shareta Osumai) would have been better. (Also see Pey’s recent post on possible changes to Linden Homes.)
I stayed in Tahoe three weeks before I happened upon an attractive piece of waterfront land on the Mainland. I found it by flying around an area I liked and visiting parcels for sale (as shown in yellow with dollar signs on the world map). So I upped my tier level and purchased three, adjacent, 512 sqm parcels (1536 sqm for L$5700). I then bought a funky beach house with plenty of space for me and began the process of landscaping – something I was looking forward to, something I couldn’t do in a Linden Home.
Given that my time inworld is limited, I knew it’d take a while to fix the place up, but I was in no rush. And it’s a good thing, too, because one evening almost three weeks to the day that I’d purchased the land, I arrived to find a stranger putting an apartment building smack dab to my property line, practically in my living room. It was a rather uninteresting red-brick building at that, one that seemed wildly out of place in a beach setting. Besides, I have this thing about being crowded. So I asked the stranger if he wanted to expand his empire. Thank goodness, he did. Right then and there I sold him the land for the same price I’d paid, packed up, and, a bit dazed, got offline.
The next day I was back in another crowded area, in a Linden Home in Shareta Osumai, a Japanese themed subdivision. I knew I wouldn’t be there long and kept an eye on the Linden auctions. Within a week I won a 512 sqm parcel for the minimum price of L$250 (I was the only bidder). I was hoping to find a larger piece of land, but this spot is quite good considering others I looked at. It’s in a nice neighborhood (if I don’t wander too far or have my draw too high); and, at least for now, it’s not crowded, has a good view, and none of the land around it is for sale.
Meanwhile, I’m having fun fixing up my little place, which I call Pergola Retreat. I built an open-air home with a raw wood pergola from Scully’s Place (L$30) and a free platform I stumbled on at Moco Furniture Emporium (the pieces of which I was able to unlink and move around). I took advantage of a Premium Sandbox to put the structure together.
With the purchase of two trees, a little furniture and decorations, and soon with the purchase of other landscaping items and perhaps a cat, I estimate that I’ll have spent less than L$2500 for everything. Plus I’ve had the satisfaction of creating a home from scratch, beginning with a deep hole in the ground (I learned how to do basic terraforming). If it doesn’t work out, so what: I’ve had another intriguing virtual experience and, in the process, discovered a few of the many possibilities for making a home in Second Life.
I would love to hear about the paths you’ve traveled to find your home in Second Life. Enjoy!