Serendipitous as our life is, we have made some great strides this past month. It is the end of a wonderful chapter on our journey, and we’ll be leaving the community for a more rustic lifestyle. Thanks to good ol’ Craigslist we have found a new place to live and a new “home”.
Here is the low down. The other day Erin found a post on Craigslist asking for someone to park their RV on an off grid ten acre plot of land near the Malibu/Topanga border. The post continued, build your permaculture paradise here. Now how could we say no to that?!
We’ve been secretly dreaming of living as such for a while, albeit temporarily. This, coupled with the savings (for our own land later) we’d accrue and we were hooked. We contacted said poster and soon got to the location. As it turns out we had mistakenly(?) trespassed on it about a year ago while looking for hiking spots near our area. I remember saying “what a cool place this is, can we live here?”. At the time, the owner merely informed us we were on his land and helped us find our way to an awesome hike. But now my wish was coming true!
We chatted for about three hours and had a tour of the land. It is mostly hilly, facing south, with a gorgeous view of the ocean and no other homes within sight. Oh, almost forgot to mention the natural spring we’ll be getting our water from. Needless to say, the offer was accepted and informed him that we’d be on the hunt for an RV…
About a week and hundreds of posts later our search came to an end. It actually came with the truck. Both came from a very nice old gentleman. His wife had just recently passed and could not back up the RV on his own. He had taken VERY good care of both and was giving us a great deal. How could we say no? After a very interesting drive, I’ve never towed anything in my life before, we now have the pair on the site. March first we’ll join them on our new location and will start a new chapter.
But first we have to get rid of many boxes of, let’s call it, stuff before leaving. It’s nice getting to finally lighten the load. How many _____s do you really need? My library is sacred however, I’ll have to figure something out.
For the time being we are just ecstatic and can think of nothing other than to be there, oh and packing…
P.S. in case you missed the moves…
Move #1 Is the Universe trying to tell me something?
Move #2 Progressing towards the goal
Move #3 Deepening into the path, our third move in three years
wow, congrats to this awesome gift! isn’t great how things come around like that? i’m really excited for you guys!
There is a fine line between fantasy and reality. Dreaming and living can also be confused at times. Be realistic when making such changes in your lives, if you move too fast it can tear you both apart, too slow it will built resentment in both of your hearts.
Wanting and needing are again two different concepts. Two people from the city, with allot of stuff have to first clear up their thoughts, and mind, not just their belongings.
Your “stuff” is only that, just stuff! If you had not changed your way of thinking, or had not become a minimalist before your move then you will not adjust as easily as you think. Your belongings are a reflection of your state of mind, so know where you are, truely are, then take a step forward.
I want, and have been secretly dreaming are not good reasons. Don’t fall into conceptual traps, if you are not careful or don’t take the long route, these kinds of changes can easily turn into traps.
Thanks for your thoughts and concerns Lee. However, I think that my choice of words and lack of thoroughness might have miss led you into that conclusion.
This all began about six years ago or more. We have been planing a rough draft of these steps for quite a while and are having a ball doing it. This is by no means the last step in our journey, and it is a flexible one. These are all incremental steps towards an ultimate goal. I would never drag the most precious person in my life into this without being sure she felt the same way I did.
As for the belongings… Well, I chose not to bore you with the details, but here it goes. We have been living in this place for almost a year now. Since then there has been a room filled, literally, with boxes. We have not opened more than four, and this was when we were looking for that one particular thing that got lost in the move. We are both very happy to get rid of all of our accumulated “stuff” (recovering pack rats). Do we really need a 1940’s typewriter, antique sowing machine table with non-functioning sowing machine, or two sets of folding kitchen tables?
I hope this gives you more of a perspective, my writing style (or lack there of) has gotten me into trouble before. Also, we are aware of the risk of failure in this project. However, we’d rather try, have a blast and walk away all the wiser, than just sit there hoping our life was different.
Again thanks for your kind words of concern. We hope to not let you, our readers, or ourselves down.
Thanks for the response, and I think maybe I too need to better explain myself.
You see the concept of “off grid” is not about one’s zip code, but the state of mind. No matter what location, or zone you will choose to live, you are still living under the rules and regulations of this country, or still being part of some county, a jurisdiction, and so on.
Not having access to water,or electricity is not really that important, given that you can choose not to use water, or electricity where ever you may be, or simply just not pay for it, and use a creek just about any where.
The structure one lives in no matter what it is made of, if it still has all the regular comforts then it will not be so different than a normal residential setting. Even if the structure is smaller, the point being that you are still protected, and living within certain sets of building codes.
Now if you work away from home, at a normal city job then how you live or where you live means even less, because you are still relying on modern comforts in order to earn your living.
Being off grid means that one thinks off grid, does not follow the everyday standards of living, by not buying into the capitalist view of what is correct. Being able to think outside of the box is off grid, it is about what you read, your ability to cure your own ailments, make your own clothes or shoes, be able to rely on yourself when it comes to repairs, Eat food that is within season not in fashion. Learning and knowledge about how others outside of our own world live is also off grid.
If you think about it, every thing that you use from the bowl you eat out of, to the shoes you wear has been standardized. Even the comb you use or buy at your local store is based on a set of rules. So off grid is about learning, and surviving based on one’s own capabilities, or abilities on so many different matters than just the land you live on.
The only thing you are loosing by moving so far into the hills is access to speedy emergency service, reliable mail service, and gaining more exposure to fires, or mudslides. Everything else is still based on everyday standards and comforts.
I appreciate your view point as I am striving towards many of the things you mentioned. However, I also see you are assuming lots about me and my situation. When I said off grid, I meant that literally not figuratively. This site has no power, gas, water, etc.
I like what you say about “off grid” but realize that is your interpretation as opposed to my reality. I can see by your points that we have read and watched many of the same things. However I am not trying to live “off grid” as you put it just now. I am building a future space, also off grid, where people can visit and learn about permaculture principals, land stewardship, natural building, animal husbandry and all around positive things that will prevent us from running on that hamster wheel till our last breath.
I strive to improve the situation of our world and all its inhabitants and plan on helping those on the same path. You have your opinions, I have mine, however I don’t feel this is the correct medium to discuss them.