I am sure that at least once in your life, you have either asked or answered the question of whether you would prefer living in the countryside or in a big city. But were you ever asked if you would be willing to go and live off the grid? If not, prepare yourself for a new way of life!
If you are not familiar with what “living off the grid” means, let me summarize: you give up utility services like gas, electricity, and sewage. Any kind of power is self-supplied and based on renewable/green energy. During the winter, you can heat your home with wood you cut and stored, and in the summer, you can cool down under a tree or by bathing in a river. Having your own solar panel for electricity is permitted, though you can choose to live without one. You will still have to find water to drink, wash, and cook with, so most people living off the grid choose a location close to a river or other water source. You won't be able to shop—this includes both food and clothing—so cultivating a garden, hunting, and fishing are musts. All minor injuries will have to be treated with whatever you have or can produce (there are natural alternatives to many medicines), because you will be living quite far from the closest hospital (and civilization in general). One other big no-no is the use cars or any polluting vehicle.
It may sound rough, but fear not, my friend! Most people who choose this lifestyle are not completely alone. Recent research confirms that more than 1.8 billion people in the world already live off the grid, so if you decide that this is the way you want to go, you can easily get informed by reading the many books and websites available. There are also a large number of communities join if you want to take a step into this lifestyle. You will still have your own land and will stay unplugged, but at least there is company and help.
In his book Off the Grid, Nick Rosen notes that there are different degrees to which people can live off the grid. For example, some might just need to recharge, so living completely off the grid becomes a sort of vacation that they take for only few months every a year. Others think of it as the “real” way to live and go all the way—maybe never turning back.
A big city is far different from countryside living, but no matter which one you choose, you aren't giving up modernity and its comforts. Why? Because modernity makes life easy. It improves our lives, but it also pushes us to our limits—confusion, noise, constant interaction, and information load from multiple directions can become extremely stressful. More and more, people are finding the need to step back, give the earth a break (we all know how modernity is endangering the environment), and relax by living off the grid. Without a doubt, this is an interesting possibility, so don't miss the chance to get more information on how it really works! You never know—you might find out this is exactly what you were looking for.
By Noemi Clark
CEO at Athena Parthenos