Five Things To Do When Going Galt

from The Burning Platform We decided to chuck it just as the 2008 market meltdown was in full swing. We had seen enough signs to know that whatever direction our society was headed, we wanted to get off. Some of the signs were big ones that few people missed; 9/11, Waco, TBTF. Others were more subtle; the PC movement, the tattoo thing, the sudden appearance of huge numbers of morbidly obese people everywhere, an increasing number of people with their heads fixed in abject submission to an electronic device, and an overall decline in civility even in places we had known all our lives. If this was the initial trajectory then we weren’t planning on being anywhere near the re-entry and splashdown. Not that we hadn’t fallen for it ourselves with the constant consumption of resources, the enslavement to granite counter-tops and cable TV, the ever widening gap between what we thought we wanted and what brought us peace. We tried to mitigate our sense of unease by going to church and doing good deeds for others, but this only highlighted the failure to live up to our own potential in all things. When you do something bad or careless or wasteful or selfish you can’t undo it by being nice to a stranger or roasting a turkey for the folks at the nursing home once a year, it only makes it worse because you know you’re trying to hedge your bet. At some point, if you have any sense of honor and decency you have to make a decision to throw in with the rest of the world and go along for the ride, or strike out on your own path and see if maybe there isn’t a better way. Looking back over the past six years it’s clear that we didn’t really have the first clue about going off grid. We’d watched a lot of youtube videos, read the core curriculum of the alternative lifestyle school and even developed a few essential skills for our new life, but we still had our heads firmly fixed in a time and place that we were leaving behind. If we had to do it all over again there would have been a lot of things we would have changed and a few we would have done better. I am often asked about what motivated us, how we have adjusted, if it was worth it, but rarely how we did it. This is a short course on the five most important considerations of actually saying goodbye to the popular culture of the US and finding a sanctuary wherever you go. atlas shrugged economy collapse 1) Find the right place. This was one that we nailed more by pure luck than by intention. We had looked around the country, visited numerous properties, considered as many possibilities as we could in the two years we spent getting ready to head out including staying put. We made several lists with things that were important to us and things that we wanted to avoid wherever we settled. Primary consideration was given to the necessities of life; water, energy sources, arable land, a distance from urban areas, but proximity to emergency service like hospitals and fire services. We also wanted seasons to play a part in our life- something we considered extremely important but which others may not. Once we had narrowed it down to that we were able to focus on places that had an aesthetic appeal; mountains, lakes, proximity to a coastline. The final decision was a stroke of pure luck. We had made our final decision on a Sunday and the next morning I sat down at my desk and googled two words that yielded, as the first hit, the property we were to buy one month later. Looking back now it seems as if we were destined to live here, but we had based our choice on specific criteria and stuck with it when it came time pull the switch. A place where you feel at home is one of the most important decisions anyone can ever make. Choose wisely. 2) Do it yourself. Big mistake on my part at the outset. We had saved enough to purchase the property and to stay afloat for several years until we developed both the skills and the markets for our surplus. The basic idea was self sufficiency as much as that is possible in today’s world but when we arrived here we immediately began to recreate the patterns we had left behind by finding specialists to do what we should have done on our own. We hire someone to clear a pasture, we found a new mechanic, we hired a guy to paint the house, etc. Not that there aren’t some things that require a person with experience, like a good dentist, but for the most part we were capable of doing nearly everything we needed to do. We had become so used to the idea that one hires out work to specialists that we missed numerous opportunities to learn new skills and perfect old ones. Once we started to handle things without help we discovered that we were not only preserving precious capital, but building self confidence, developing abilities that seemed difficult but were in fact quite simple and because it was for ourselves doing a far better job in most cases. The idea of fixing a broken timing bar on the tractor- a piece of equipment I’d never owned before- seemed impossible until I took the time to do it and once done gave me the confidence to work on increasingly more difficult tasks with success. 3) Live in the moment. This was the one that jumped out at me more than any other. Most of my life had been lived either planning for the future and making plans for a life I wasn’t living, or looking back on the past and either regretting missed opportunities or dwelling on past successes. When every day requires an effort, the repetition of chores, labor outdoors in every weather, endless corrections and fixes of present problems there remains very little time to live in any time but the present. Continue Reading>>>

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