I've wanted to change my life for a long time now. I hate the work life and how you just work, work, work just to get money to pay for bills. It's endless. Get money to pay for the water bill, to pay the electric bill, to pay the heating bill, to pay for food, to pay for transportation to get to work. Society is solely money based, where if you have money, however way you get it, you can function well in society, but if you don't have money, if you don't find a way to produce it, you can't afford anything, even essential things.
Though money-based society has its advantages, it also has lots of disadvantages. Suppose you get fired from your job, and you weren't able to save because your salary just met your expenses. Now what? You can't afford to pay for your water bill, your electric bill, you have to cut back on food. And this has happened to people time and time again. The person who gets laid off and now life has gone dark. They can't afford their mortgage, to pay the bills, and they end up doing something crazy like killing themselves and their family.
Now imagine if you lived off the resources of the earth. You build yourself a small hut, you grow your own food, you no longer need a car and all the gas, insurance, maintenance/repairs needed to maintain it, living in the tropics, you wouldn't need any heating systems, and most tropical islands have natural cooling trade winds, so you wouldn't even need an air conditioner or fan which would use electricity. To get water, you could situate yourself by a nearby water stream and have a filtering system so that you could use it for drinking water and water suitable for taking showers in.
Obviously, living off the resources of the earth is not that simple. It takes a lot of planning and work and effort, but long term, I believe it's the much more suitable and safe in the long term. You never have to worry about getting fired from your job when you have 5 kids you have to support. To the world, this may seem radical but this is the way humans lived millenia ago. This was normal.
And about healthcare, this is not something I'm concerned about, because I believe in preventative care. We should take care of ourselves, our bodies and teeth, so that we shouldn't need doctors or dentists to look after ourselves. Animals in the wild don't have doctors and dentists. They're expected to take care of themselves. Women in the past didn't go to hospitals to give birth. They gave birth in their homes. It seems like so much of what we do in the healthcare world is unnecessary. I understand, surgies such as organ transplants, saves lives. But this is the exception, not the rule.
I don't know. These are just my thoughts. This is what I want to do long term. It's safe. I don't want to depend on a constant influx of money because the moment I stop producing thousands of dollars a month, I'm going to be in trouble and not able to afford anything. Finding a way to use resources of the earth to maintain life is better.
And if you grow enough of your own food or are able to purify water, you can sell it to earn some money in case you need it. Plus, if you set up an internet service at your place, you can still earn some money through running a website, doing surveys, so you can still have some if you occasionally want to travel or whatever.
It would be great to hear everyone's thoughts, though I know these aren't new ideas.
I have often thought about this to the point I over think it. It intimidates me and feels so unatainable. I realize I haven't tried yet but honestly it isn't practicable for me at this time.
Yeah, Mike, I know what you mean, which is why I haven't tried it either. It's not easy at all. But I hate the 9-5 so much that I have to give it a chance at some point. In theory, it's possible, but setting up is another thing that takes time, effort, and courage.
Well one way to relise how less you need is to go traveling. If you can fit everything you need in one bag, then you are already there.
There even more ways to save money
ride a bike
dumpster the local fruit and veggie shop
rent smaller house
don't buy unnecessary stuff.
shop at the second hand store.
buy stuff that last for years
This is definitely my goal. Humans are not meant to work to make money to buy food and pay for needs. I believe we are meant to work to find food and grow food. In other words, take out the middle man (our job) and go straight to the source (earth). I need to first make enough money to buy some land. For now, however, I have many relatives and friends with land and I've been buying fruit trees like crazy to plant on their land.
On my mom's 5 acres, my boyfriend and I have planted 2 pineapple guava, 2 apples, 3 pears, 7 plums, 2 mayhaws, 2 paw paws, 4 apricots, 2 wild cherries, 4 mulberries, 6 blueberries, and 1 persimmon and they already have many wild persimmons and 1 fig tree. I also enjoy planting fruit trees in public places like on the median in my neighborhood where another tree died and created an empty space. My dad has 300 something acres in Mississippi where he has a camp and will one day live and I usually give him fruit trees for christmas, so we are working on the orchard there as well.
I also have a few dwarf citrus trees in large pots that produce fruit abundantly, so that's always an option to start with if you don't have land and don't have enough money to buy land.
As far as being scared to start living this way or to make it work, don't be!! Like you said, you can start moving towards living this way while still making some money for support. We attract what we think about. So you can begin now by waking up every morning and picturing yourself in the life you desire. My plan is to make enough money to buy land, buy land while I continue working to support myself as I begin filling my land with fruit trees and eventually have some sort of small structure to live in. So I think I will slowly make my way to that lifestyle instead of jumping in all at once and quitting my job.
Ok...sorry for rambling. Good luck! Keep us posted on your thoughts/actions towards your new life!!
One last thing - I live in Louisiana and we can buy native bare root trees from Wildlife and Fisheries for 20-50 cents each. Most of these trees don't produce edible fruits, however, the list does include mulberry, mayhaw, and persimmon. Just wanted to mention that as a source of cheap trees! :)
Much love! Erin
I'm glad to see we have the same views. There was a time when humans lived in the wild just like animals. We grew our food, we constantly were outdoors getting fresh air and exercise. Now we're tied down by the whole system. We have to be at a 9-5 job 40 hours a week, we're tied down by our boss. We really have no independence. This is what I want to change.
It's good to see you've take such steps, but I don't believe your post was a ramble. I liked all of it. And I hope to keep you updated on my future life, which should be in the upcoming months.
I really do hope that one day soon, all of us with similar goals can get together and make a little village somewhere abundant, safe, and beautiful.
This does indeed sound ideal. However, I am having trouble figuring out how that works in the society we have created. There is no way that I have seen to get out of the current money system. Even if one is able to obtain land and have no mortgage, there are still taxes. Has anyone figured out a way to get around this. Someone did briefly mention to me something about perhaps setting up some type of tax-except society, but I haven't been able to figure that out, as of yet.
I could sure use the benefit of some brainstorming to help make this a reality.
I don't really know how to get around this, but I plan to make enough money from my land to pay taxes and buy a few things I need that I can't make or grow myself. I teach yoga and plan to have yoga and raw food retreats a few times a year. I would also like to have gardening/orcharding workshops and sell fruits and veggies and other things that I make and grow. These things don't seem like work to me and they are things that I can do when I want to and don't have to do EVERY day.
However, I would love to know if anyone knows how to get COMPLETELY of the money system.
True, I forgot about this, but yeah, property tax is definitely something that's hard to avoid. I think the US has some of the highest property tax, because my family owns land in Jamaica and we have acres and acres and don't pay much at all. Like owning one acre could be as cheap as $20 a year in Jamaica, which is easily affordable.
So maybe it's best to have land in a foreign cheap country.
I live at a house now in NYC where the property tax is $9000 a year. And in other places in suffolk county, regular houses, the property tax can be $20000 a year. Some people have jobs and don't even make that.
So it all depends where you are.
Not only property tax but control too. The freedom in Latin countries is a refreshing thing. No building code for starter, so you can make your house your way. And of course almost no property taxes, it was 0.40$an acre at the time I owned my property. Although, the best go around is forming some bogus religious status society like the "Cult of the crazy fruitheads" which would also ease the immigration process.
Weather is the other obvious main attraction. After what I read of Hawaii, rain and humidity would scare me. Where I live is similar to south Miami, winters are too cold for my taste. I have my eyes set on Panama, I was there last year and saw some nice spot in the pacific hills with almost year round 27C (80F) with only a couple month of heavy rain. That would make for a pretty sweet spot considering the possible rise in temperature...
As a piece of information, eating off the land in our kind of diet is a joke. The thing is trees grow by themselves so work is not really involved at all when it is not commercial. Papayas are almost considered weed here, bananas are so easy, my mango never gave me problem, my avocado had a disease once as some of the citrus, nothing tragic but it does affect the yield. But I never ate the complete yield of a mature fruit tree, it produces a lot! Usually you would have overabundance which easily marketable if that's your interest. Buying the land is the only real first problem and some money for housing but being under the tropics it is quite cheap. I built my first wood house for 500$ and with a thousand would almost have been luxury. Anyway, the concept of housing should rather be a place to sleep and keep from rainy days rather than a very extent mansion, in my view. Maybe that brings some hope for the less fortunate.
Been there, done that! I mean really.... It was at the beginning of January 1999, between jobs, had become vegetarian the year before and I was eating organic mostly. 20 year old, a real utopist, it was the end of the holiday in the cold Canadian winter, when I announce my family that I would move to Bolivia at the end of the year! Did I mention I had no job and no savings? OK, they did have a good laugh... can I blame them?
Although they overlooked how decided I was. The previous year we had the infamous great ice storm of January 1998 which broke down a big part of Quebec electrical supply. This was my first wake up call. Did I want to live my life depending on infrastructure to preserve it? By February I had started working and also open a side job business of computer in house service. I start living very conservatively: no going out, no eating out, no more organic for now, I was saving! By April, The Matrix was on screen... final nail in the coffin! It was now irreversible, I was going to make it... and I did! November the thirtieth I was flying to Bolivia with a little less than 20 grands in my pockets.
To make the story short, I bought my land in April 2000, about 100 acres for 3500$ with a nice amount of fruit trees mainly bananas, papayas, pineapples, mangoes, oranges and avocados. Start building a small suite-like house of wood from the land about 20'x26' and a cement floor. I would have current water but I would bypass electricity. A friend of mine joined me by the end of April and things were moving slowly but surely.
My 2 years girlfriend from Canada didn't come with me, she wasn't ready for this life. Although my friend was there, I would still feel some loneliness?. At the beginning when I stayed in the city, I made a lady friend, much older than me, that did provided me comfort? when I felt alone. So I would go to the city every two weeks to get my fix and then go back to building. But as months went by, I really realized I needed a women by my side and that wasn't going to be an easy endeavor... I would overlook the very poor locals for obvious reasons and the richest one wouldn't be interested in my lifestyle, which was even worsened by being vegetarian. Yah, no raw foodist, no frugivorous, plain old vegetarian and it was already too much! That got me very preoccupied...
Again, long story short, I met a girl in august which I really impressed and was ready to give that life a shot. The problem was, she just moved back from Manhattan after 10 years away from her homeland. So how easy is it to trade one jungle for the other? Not so easy... we are habits animals and jungle for jungle, neither are really welcoming. The first few weeks after she moved in with me, our brilliant local neighbors started a fire to clean their pasture fields which ended up burning a good part of my land. That was more that she could take, and to make it worst, we learned that this was a normal and regular practice around here.
At that point, I thought to move to another country, I had Ecuador in mind. Making a kind of honeymoon we went there to check the place. It was a little better but not by much. So my wife convinced me to move in the suburbs of the main tropical city (where she had a house) for a while, till we figure things out.
Now, 11 years later we're still figuring it out... Goods news is we haven't worked a day in the last decade, we live a simple life on a very low income provided by my secret benefactor (my mom) but we both feel its time to try countryside living again. The things is I am much more prepared today, I know myself much better and I know that to really make it work we need a strong community of at least a dozen of person. Like a family, the real deal, deep bond, united in one spirit. In the words of Tennyson :
Come, my friends, 'Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite The sounding furrows;
for my purpose holds To sail beyond the sunset,
Tho' much is taken, much abides;
and tho' We are not now that strength which in old days Moved earth and heaven,
that which we are, we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.
I think I should start a group here to talk about an intentional community. To discuss ideas, parameters, rules, lifestyle and finally make it happen. Some kind of a bonobo-hobbit paradise. We would define what we think are necessary commodities of modern life and what we can live without. Cause I saw a video here on this site (I'll try to link it later) of a girl who lives in Costa Rica in quite a really naturalistic lifestyle. I was impressed but I'm not sure if I really could keep up.... Sorry for the long post but it did inspire me. Now we just have to try to make it happen...
Here the link from youtube