I know you want to quit your present lifestyle and jump into this independence dream, but hold your horses just a bit! You can do this the hard way, or you can do it the easy way. Charging into this new adventure may feel like the only way you will ever escape your present lifestyle, but in reality, it’s a sure way of turning this dream into a nightmare.
You have to plan this transition into small steps. Small steps can turn this dream into reality.
The Most Important Step: Know What You Are Getting Into.
Most people envision a life of independence a little like this: They find a small parcel of land, build a small energy efficient home on it. Make it even more energy efficient by using wind generators and solar panels. The idea is to lower their monthly cost and dependence on the utility companies (and that is a good idea). Then they plan on making a living raising chickens and growing organic gardens or some other poorly thought out plan.
And that’s about as far as their planning goes.
They are in for a rude awakening!
You can easily spend all the money you’ve got and more just setting up your small farm (or workshop or whatever your dream needs)! It takes land. It takes equipment for raising animals, growing crops, creating your craft and building structures on that land. And, this assumes you know how to use all that equipment, if not you have some learning to do.
If you don’t ask yourself some basic questions, like “What kind of lifestyle do you really want?” this independent lifestyle can quickly become a prison.
Animals need care every day of the year. Set your farm up wrong and you are shackled to those animals.
The traditional garden needs work every day. Set your garden up wrong…well you get the idea. Building a traditional sanctuary is a lot of work.
The traditional idea of a sanctuary is creating some degree of self-sufficiency with very little use of public utilities such as electricity, water and waste management. Then you grow or raise your own food with animal husbandry and gardening. All of this lowers your cost of living. A lower coat of living allows you to persue your dream lifestyle.
Another basic question you should ask is “Why would you do all this?”
The first reason is to save money. No electric bill, no water bill, no sewer bill, no food bill.
I’ve got some bad news here. For most of us, this is a pipe dream. You have to spend money to replace the public utilities, and becoming self-sufficient costs a lot of money (or work, if you have the know-how.) With a huge investment you might make utility bills disappear, but you will still have the initial cost of the investment. Then, you have the animals and the garden. Unless you do it the right way, that’s a lot of work.
The second reason is to ensure you have services when the grid goes down. This is probably the best and most rational reason for minimizing your reliance on public utilities.
Unless you are a survivalist and want to prepare for the worst, you really don’t need to get completely off the grid. Some simple preparations like a gas generator, a safe emergency water source and some stocked food is all you really need.
The third reason is you want to live in the middle of nowhere where there are no utilities and grocery stores. You like the idea of relying on nothing but your own efforts. Again, this is mostly a pipe dream! A select few can do this without going nuts. The rest of us need some degree of modern conveniences. The idea of living in an isolated home with no connection with the rest of the world sounds more like hell than heaven to most of us.
So, what is the real reason most of us want to escape the Rat Race?
Escaping the system is all about independence, not relying on a job or the public infra-structure to make a living. It’s about living life on your standards, not your bosses’. To hell with what everyone else wants you to do! It’s all about you calling the shots. That is the real reason we want to escape the system.
Now, for some good news. You can make this dream happen, and you can design your dream to fit your standards.
The secret to success is….do it one step at a time.
Unless you are a survivalist (and I do have a little bit of that in me), you really don’t have to get completely off the grid. Do this one step at a time and design your lifestyle to fit you as you go.
You are much more likely to survive the transition from city folk to country folk if you do it one step at a time.
Browse the categories that fit your dream and you will find those steps.
Lee (The Slacker) Cain