Have you ever felt chained down by the public and other modern utilities and conveniences? Have you ever wanted a stress-free lifestyle? Have you ever felt that something is keeping you from having your off-grid dream realized? If the answer is yes, then there may be several reasons for that.
Firstly, people sometimes feel that their social responsibilities, career or misplaced idea s of duty unable them to reach their personal freedom. We are social creatures but that does not necessarily mean that we have to live close together in little comfortless houses in congested cities or play specific roles imposed upon us by the society.
The main reason we agree on such lifestyle is the fear of the unknown. This fear is so real that it makes our long-hour commuting to work or spending our monthly salary on bills and mortgages incredibly comforting.
It is indeed an act of bravery to decide to leave this social life machinery even though it has many weaknesses and plunge into the unknown. However, there are immeasurably plenty of benefits if you decide to take a risk and live unchained life. Here are some reasons and tips which will clearly reveal the world of the unknown:
1. Be your own boss
This does not necessarily mean being the head of a big business. On the contrary, it means having official commitments but leaving time for other people and activities you love. When you live your life on your own terms then you are your own boss.
Spend more time with your loved ones, go on holidays when you feel the urge, do activities which you enjoy and make you happy. This may certainly be difficult to achieve in these modern times but believe it or not there are many people out there who can reassure you. You should talk to them and find out how they make a living, have fewer bills but more freedom.
2. Have a debt-free life
Debts seem to be inevitably a big part of most people’s lives. Many have started their lives with educational loans which later when we start earning become just one of the many debts. Nowadays, if you want to have your own place to live or at least rent a place you will probably need a considerably high loan.
The moment you feel that you have no more mortgages to pay off, you realize that you need bigger home for your growing family.
Thus you spend your life leaving one debt and entering a new one. Therefore, it is very difficult to believe in living a debt-free life. However, there is a way you can avoid these debts and it is very simple – DOWNSIZING.
Have a smaller house built on your own piece of land, add to it whatever you want without creating any debts. This will not only help you save up but it will also relieve you from stress.
3. Full-time work is not a must
People often find themselves thinking that they are stuck in life of working all day and paying bills. There aren’t many people lucky enough to enjoy life as much as they enjoy their career, most of them are doing their job simply because they have to because there is no other way to find money and pay for electricity, water, fuel and the like.
If these utilities did not have to be paid, people could spend more time doing something they like instead of doing the job they dislike. Off-grid living gives you this opportunity because you are not dependent on water supply since you have your own private water source, you have no need to be connected to the sewage because you dispose your own waste in a way that doesn’t harm the environment, you have your own solar panels and use other alternatives or wind power to avoid power bills.
4. Work hard for yourself
Even though many people associate off-grid living with being lazy, based on the pictures they see of laid-back persons in their crumbling huts in the wilderness, this is not true.
Most off-gridders are very hard-working people with clear objectives ahead of them. They work hard but they do that for themselves, they do not have targets and deadlines because they work at their own pace.
5. Sharp skills and increased earning potential
When people decide to live independently they need to apply a different set of skills from those they have gained in the modern society in order to make things work. It is a fact that even when living off-grid you do need some money. Fortunately, you do not need huge income because the costs are not so high.
A good way of making money is your hobby. If you are good at painting or sculpturing, at making herbal or organic products, writing or composing music you can find this knowledge very useful in order to get some cash. However, you may need to sharpen these skills or learn some new ones if you want to get the best of them.
6. The fewer items you have the better
Most people get attached to their possessions and it is very difficult for them to get rid of them. However, off-gridders have no need of fine china or expensive furniture, all they need are just essentials.
You can take some pictures of those items you value or have some sentimental significance to you but the best is to donate them or sell them on yard or garage sales which can even bring you some cash.
7. No need of unnecessary costs
You can reduce your present living expenses by getting rid of club memberships and credits cards you seldom use. Instead of going to the gym, you can exercise by doing some outdoor activities which cost nothing or you can play basketball, football, go hiking or cycling with your children or friends which can be very enjoyable.
8. Money-saving mode
The off-grid motto is live your life inexpensively. However, you need to start saving money if you want to make this transition smoothly since you will need some cash to buy land and to set up your new home. Your costs will get lower in the course of time but for startup you need cash.
9. No more expensive habits
Smoking, drinking, habitual shopping, betting, partying, eating out and beauty therapies are things you need to avoid in order to save some money.
10. Less populated areas trips
Before you decide on the right location for your dream off-grid home you need to explore other options by travelling in order to get firsthand experience. Some people prefer
mountain areas whereas others find plains more appealing.
11. Cabin rent
If you are not 100% certain of your decision, you can rent out a cabin in the forest for a longer period and get a good feel of living away from civilization before you make your final decision. This will help you realize what you would miss about city life and how different this lifestyle is.
12. The best way to learn
This refers to learning how to grow fruit and vegetables, keep animals, manage water and dispose waste. It is very useful to learn how to harvest, store rainwater or implement natural pest control. What is also essential is to learn how to preserve food by drying and pickling since these techniques are more effective than refrigerating and certainly less expensive.
Looking after animals is another low-cost skill especially because you can get fresh milk, meat and eggs from them. Learning about herbs and their healing properties is another skill that you will find useful in your off-grid life. You can learn all this if you attend workshops, read books or practise in your own backyard or garden.
13. Survival skills are necessary
Since you no longer live near the support systems that the city offers, you need to rely more on your personal skills. You can learn some basic survival skills while camping in the wild and you also need to know how to use some tools and weapons.
14. Dietary changes
One of the reasons why most people take up off-grid lifestyle is because they aim to lead healthy life. This means consuming natural diet and completely avoiding processed food. It is best if these dietary changes are initiated before the shift is made so that everyone can get used to it.
Of course, your diet must be the base for the food you want to produce. For example, if you are a vegan you have no need of milk or meat which means you have no need of animals. If your diet is mainly based on vegetables or animal protein it will be enough to have a small 1-2-acre land to satisfy your grain based diet.
15. Build a small home from scratch
If you have a small plot of land, you can build your tiny home with a little woodworking knowledge and tools. Others can help with the heavy work but generally it is not too difficult to construct a simple structure especially because nothing can match the joy and feeling of achievement when you know you built that yourself.
16. Lookout for cheap land
You have to keep your eyes open for cheap properties if you have decided to go off-grid. If you are patient, you can even get a good bargain. Estate sales, auctions and the like can help you get the land you want for a very low price.
17. Learn more about the practical use of alternate fuels.
Water, food and fuel are the essential elements you need to survive. You need fuel for cooking, heating and running the electrical appliances. A good option is a wood-burning stove although propane fuel is a clearer option. Solar power is a definite must but do not exclude other possibilities like wind and hydropower.
18. Learn more about solar panels
You need to learn how to build and install solar panels taking into consideration that the use of solar panels is great energy asset.
19. Communication possibilities.
Communication is very important when you are in a remote location. Luckily, satellite communication makes things much easier and it can help you stay in touch with your family and friends or do essential shopping.
Even though satellite connectivity is not as good in some areas, there is always a possibility of radio-based local communication systems which are important for getting weather forecasts and information about local problems.
20. No need of solitary life
Although the aim of living off-grid means escaping the bustling city, it does not mean cutting all social relations. You can keep your connections to friends and family using the Internet or social media or you can do occasional visits. Sharing your stories and experiences may inspire them to come and visit you as well.
21. Education outside classroom
Children’s education is what needs to be carefully taken into account when deciding on becoming an off-grid family. Homeschooling is an option for younger children whereas older ones can learn using online classes.
The biggest benefit they will get when it comes to knowledge is the practice from working on the land, growing food, looking after animals, making useful things with their hands, using alternate fuels and the like. This lesson is the most important lesson your children can learn to be more self-reliant.
Off-grid living may not be an option for you but unless you try you may never know whether it is good for you or not. If you do not take this risk or are too afraid, then you might always wonder and regret for not trying.
Who knows, you may be pleasantly surprised and embrace the easy and simple way of life which can be fruitful and fulfilling in the same time, too.