So, back to this concept. I like this idea of being self-sufficient and not relying on what society has. But there is a part of me that would probably have a problem with being 100% off-the-grid. The biggest is, of course, that I am a geek. It is part of who I am and permeates my heart and soul. I do think, however, I could live partially off-the-grid. If I could create my ideal environment it would be the following:
– a house with a decent amount of space (not hundreds of acres but a couple).
– a backyard garden that includes, during season, peppers, corn, tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, garlic, onions, squash, various herbs
– a couple of fruit trees — peach, pear and apple
– the house would have solar and wind power, with excess sold back to the local grid
– satellite for internet
– no credit cards except for one small one for specific internet purchases
– a farmers market I could trade my knowledge for things like flour and other grains
– minimal cash purchasing of items we cannot grow or trade for
It isn’t total off-the-grid but for me, it’d be enough to allow me to enjoy life, provide for family and deal with my responsibilities. I think this is more possible in Canada than the US since things like health care are covered. Additionally, there’s less of a suspicious view of people who live isolated because of the size of the nation. It’s not unusual to be living outside of the larger population areas and yet, still be in a remote area. I truly do not think it’s impossible to have one’s cake and eat it too. Being vegan, being partially off-the-grid, working from home, having a home gym and limiting outings via car unless absolutely necessary are things that I can do to reduce my impact on the environment and the world around me.
Plus, it means I’ll be far more relaxed. This helps build and strengthen an already strong relationship plus opens up a better environment to be a foster parent for someone or a few someones who need a home or place to stay. One thing I know is that in Canada (at least my experiences in Toronto and Ottawa) it’s possible to live in the rural and have access to the city since the city buses often provide access to rural areas.
I wouldn’t choose the US for this because of the limits of health care (at this time) and because of the quality of public transit (at least what I’ve seen thus far). Additionally, the East Coast is heavily populated. It’d be hard to find a small town in this country because of the reality of the size of the population. One would be more likely to find open space in a country like Canada since it has a population 1/10th the size of the US but has the 2nd largest land mass (the US is 3rd with about 100,000 less square acreage). I suppose I could do it here, particularly if I continued working for the company I do. I like being near NYC but I think the reality is that I may not find the kind of property I’m looking for here, at least not in this area. As much as I don’t like the kind of cold that freezes the snot in your nose (Ottawa’s winters) neither do I want to live in an area where I cannot cross-country ski, snowshoe and bicycle. I truly do miss those activities. Maybe Halifax, where my aunt lives, would be a nice option.
Ah, perchance to dream a little, eh?