In my last installment, I spoke of my journey to “going for what makes me happy”.
I came to some very definite personal truths. Some revolved around the change in culture, the others were politically motivated. In both arenas, I found no peace where I was living.
City life is not for everyone- and it is your happy place- bless you. You are better than I.
The new culture is well, …….not something I am comfortable with. If you are- Bless you.
I spoke on this in the last post.
For me, peace and quiet are my places, and from what I am learning, there are a lot of people feeling the same way.
Much has been made about The Great Resignation- the mass exodus from the cube farm jobs, but there has been another “Great”.
If you Google “people moving from the cities to off-grid” you will find 98,600,000 results.
Read that number again.
One of the questions asked was “why are people moving off-grid?”.
Though there may be many answers, the simple one was “An off-grid home or property creates the kind of independence not many other lifestyles can; no need to rely on others for your basic necessities. People who live off-grid because they love the idea of independence often have their own vegetable garden and maybe animals to sustain themselves.”
This is a flash-in-the-pan trend you think? Info please notes that about 180,000 families are living off the grid and the number increases each year (2017)
There are listings for the 7 best places to live off the grid and how to move off the grid for 10K (https://offgridworld.com/how-to-move-off-grid-now-for-10k/)
While I was not able to do it for 10K, I do applaud the folks that can.
Here is another take on who is leaving and how they are doing it.
The Great Leaving.
As I research “off-grid living” I expected to find ramshackle-looking preppers. We all know the stereotype. What I found was people- young and old- looking at the trappings of keeping up with the Jones and walking away.
They had the 2400 sq. ft. or more house, two cars, all of the goodies and toys, and the HUGE mortgage and debt that comes with it.
Covid was a wake-up call for many. The two reasons I mentioned above were the call for others.
Suddenly, we decided living the rat race, working, and owing was not the place.
Monster homes were sold to pay for land and tiny homes to make living debt free a reality. Work, the once guaranteed thing was sacrificed to the stay-home mandates and store closings. Displaced people learned how to live off the gig economy, found “at home work”, or were savvy and gutsy enough to start their own business.
Decisions were made about the kind of life there would be for children. The overcrowded classrooms were traded for a work area with a computer for homeschooling. Children were encouraged to be outdoors in nature, playing games, reading, and helping in a garden or with farm animals.
Fancy vacations were traded for camping, hiking, and fishing trips.
Families and family ties renewed.
I am sharing this link from the Nomad Company. It is a “gut check” look at the why to and why not to move off-grid.
As I noted in my last message- living off the grid is not for everyone, but the peace of mind knowing you are living virtually debt free makes all of the issues you encounter worth it.
For those that cant move- find a way to live more simply. Pare down your bills, pay off debt and start a savings account.
1. Have balcony gardens. You would be surprised what you can grow in containers. A quick search will net ideas on potatoes, tomatoes, beans, lettuce, and herbs. Believe it or not, you can grow vining plants like watermelons, cantaloupe, pickles, zucchini, and others. Most of these can my moved inside during winter for additional harvest.
Involving your children and neighbors can increase the yield and grow the sense of community. Perhaps even speak to the apartment management to see if there is a section of the grounds where a community garden could be placed.
The goal is to have and keep fresh food and to reduce food costs.
2. If you are in an apartment, start looking at where you want to be.
If you are comfortable in the town - the area you are currently in, look for a home. There are plenty of homes that have “good bones” but need tender loving care. If there is vacant land that is a win too. Tiny homes are very affordable and customizable.
There are ones that come completely finished- no muss, no fuss. There are others that arrive in various states of completion. This is the option I took to keep costs down. I recommend this if you are handy with building or know people that can help you.
There are several companies that have “sheds” that can be made into homes. Tuff Shed has a 2-story cutie.
Best Barns is the next. They have nice lines and note they can be built in a few days with normal construction skills. They are sold through several retailers- some offering free shipping.
Is a 16X32 2-story home with plenty of headroom up and down stairs. It can hold a 30 lb snow load and 140 mph max winds.
For the area I am in, Montana Shed Center was the builder of choice- though there are others in the area.
For me- the dealers out of Casper, Bryce, and Melonie are the best. They worked with me on upgrading the design and finding the exact “look” I was going for. On the website, there is a page to “design” your own. Pick the style, size, where the door(s) and windows will go, porch or no porch. There are many choices.
As I post, there will be pictures of the progress- so stay tuned!
Well, I have typed on for several pages and headed down the path of nuts and bolts instead of focusing on The Great Leaving. Sorry- I am excited about this journey!
But. The truth is.
We are Leaving.
Leaving behind the trappings that keep us on the hamster wheel. The things that we are told we need by people who either don’t know us or are only trying to make money. We are leaving behind old and useless patterns that had left us sad, depressed, unhappy, and feeling like life was the endless drumbeat of mediocracy.
We are the new pioneers. The new settlers. We are discovering the land with fresh eyes of wonder.
We are Leaving.