43 degrees outside - 12:40 pm - overcast...
This weekend marks our first year of living off-grid.
Six years ago we decided to look for some property where we could build a home. One weekend we went out for a drive in the mountains and saw a ‘Land for Sale’ sign. After looking at the property several times, we sold our home and purchased 22 acres, off-grid, up in the mountains. It was only 31 miles to a major airport, half hour drive to town, had a phenomenal view of mountains and valleys, no man made structures in sight other than two radio towers way off in the distance, nice flat to semi-rolling build site for our new home, great new neighbors… we were sold. The whole off-grid thing was not something that we had been looking for but would be kind of fun and different, so why not.
In the beginning we thought we were pretty prepared. We had just built a house two years ago and thought we could figure it out and do it again, but build it ourselves this time. It didn’t take long for us to realize that we weren’t as prepared as we thought. Everything has taken longer than planned and cost two to three times more than planned. We have also had to work around the weather. So needless to say, our home that we thought would take 12-18 months to build, is taking considerably longer to build. But it is all part of the adventure, right?
Now, after our first year’s plunge into off-grid living, we stand a bit humbled and wiser by the experience. We don’t have a television but we do have a computer with internet; we have to wash the dishes by hand; go into town to do laundry; air dry the wet hair instead of using a hair dryer; if we want electricity for anything, we have to go outside and turn on the generator; and we still have to go on the almighty treasure hunt in the storage where the majority of our belongings are kept. This may not sound like much fun, but it really puts things into perspective and makes you appreciate the little things in life that normally you take for granted.
We are living the dream, but it is not the romantic dream we originally had planned. It is the get-tough dream. It is the realization that we can do anything! We have learned that we are responsible for ourselves. Those things worth having are worth working and waiting for. We have learned contentment.
And yes, we do live the dream… just look at what we see out our windows…