Living off the grid

My dream is to own land in Central America and/or Europe and to build a self-sufficient property. The house would be small, as green as possible, and be outfitted with solar panels and natural materials. I would have an organic garden and a water well, and ideally trade with other nearby farms for other necessities.

I began thinking about this in the past year or so, and I assumed that it was a somewhat novel, radical idea, or at least very uncommon. It turns out that there are a lot of people who live like this and love it. I recently joined World Wide Opportunities On Organic Farms (WWOOF), specifically WWOOF Italia, and they sent me 72 pages of amazing farms all around Italy where I could go stay at (and learn how to do a variety of outdoor tasks while getting free lodging, delicious food and wine and a priceless cultural experience). Some have goats and cows and so get raw milk, butters and cheese. Many have beehives. Others have herbs, rose and lavender gardens, animals, fruit orchards, vegetable gardens, vineyards, fields, etc. They are inhabited by families who love the natural, outdoor lifestyle and sound like cultured, interesting people. Many have websites, and the photos match the descriptions: utterly beautiful and impressive.

I also just found a video on Youtube that shows people how to build a home and have no mortgage and no utility bills. Which means you wouldn’t be a slave to the system; you would be free.

Besides allowing you to have healthy food, fresh air and clean water; to be financially sound; to be in touch with the natural world and to be active and independent; this lifestyle is a safeguard against rising oil prices, wars, economic catastrophes and future food and water shortages. I think I would be happy if I was in a beautiful natural environment, was able to access a village or town at times, could travel, and had access to books and the internet.

I know that many people, however, would prefer a two-car garage McMansion in a master-planned suburban community. Well, to each his own!

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