SO… I have a lot of wonderful things going for me right now. I have a wonderful husband who also happens to be my best friend, I’m working on my first full length book, I’m starting a YouTube channel and blog, I have a wonderful Etsy shop and amazing customers, I’m working on opening this functioning eCommerce website, and I have wonderful friends and family.
So what is missing? Honestly, if I had to live life in this moment for the rest of my life, I could be content. However, that is not the type of person I am. I dream of two things:
First, I would love to travel the world. Due to the fact that I am not a millionaire or lottery winner, I know that traveling abroad full time is not a realistic goal at this time. I do believe, however, that traveling the country and seeing all the wonderful places the USA has to offer would be a wonderful, realistic adventure. As an artist, I’m always looking for inspiration. New surroundings fuel our creativity.
Second, I would love to live in and maintain an of grid homestead in the middle of no where. I would love to build a cabin with my own two hands, and rely on the land with nature all around me. I told you, I would make a good hermit. HA!
Having a full homestead with livestock, poultry, gardens, etc is not super easy to do while still working on my first dream: Traveling the USA. Thus, I think I’m going to plan for an off grid “Base” instead. Once I have removed the traveling bug from my system, I could convert it to a proper homestead. Also, there is the matter of where to homestead… How can I pick the proper place without having properly looked?
Keith and I have talked about this for quite some time, and I think we are closer to setting some sort of outline for how we will accomplish this. Keith has opened up to the idea of travel and homesteading in the last few years, but I believe he will still need time to mentally disconnect with certain luxuries that are dependent on electricity. Of course, we will have solar, but it has it’s limits.
At the same time, I want him to be able to meet his personal goals as well and flourish in his chosen career field. I figure, even if we have to put off our traveling and homesteading plans for a while, it doesn’t mean we can’t eventually do it.
My thought process and reflection in regard to homesteading or RV living in general:
It seems like america today has had this shift where hard work is scoffed at. Frugal living is also laughable. When having conversations about this topic with random folks, they look at me… like I’m crazy. They say: “Ok… so you want to be a hobo?”, or “are you going to move to Walmart?…hahaha”.
How as a society have we become so disconnected with what is real? How can we always sit inside 4 walls, like a climate controlled self-assigned prison that you work all day long to pay for and go sit in? We go to work, make money, pay our insane bills, go to our expensive prison, sleep, go to work, make money, pay our insane bills,…. etc etc etc…
WHY? Why do you work simply to pay for 4 walls? That, unfortunately is the reality for most folks in America today. There is no savings… there is no retirement, there is no emergency fund. Most of us live pay check to pay check and get to do nothing… accomplish nothing. We go nowhere. No wonder there is so much depression… so much disconnection… so much anxiety.
The new American dream would seem to be this: Get a “dream” desk job inside a climate controlled box, buy a house you really can’t afford, and spend every other penny on all the new shiny, mass manufactured things that everyone else has. Get more things, and more things, and more things, because things make us happy! We cannot possibly survive in our prison without more shiny things!
Why can’t I live frugally and save my money? Why have I wasted half my life trying to accomplish all that society has deemed “normal”? I really do feel like I have wasted half my life trying to accomplish what is expected of me. Why is a debt filled, stress filled, pointless lifestyle the norm? WHY? Who woke up one day and decreed to the world that we shall grow up, go to collage, compile debt, consume, and die. We also have kids, so they can grow up and do the very same thing.
Why was I one of those folks that used to laugh at homesteaders… at tiny house people… at RV nomads? Why did I think that choosing a frugal lifestyle was a joke? Why did I allow myself to laugh about people that were connected to nature even though deep down inside, I felt that was the very thing I was missing? It is simple: I was still living life as I had been taught to live it. I was following the majority of Americans as all of us are herded like sheeple into our assigned rolls and ideals. I hadn’t woken up yet. I hadn’t learned what it means to be happy.
Now… with all this being said, I do not look down upon those that enjoy the modern “normal” lifestyle. I have plenty of friends and family that work very hard within their choose career fields, have a lovely house, and are perfectly happy! This is the beauty of choice. Things that work for some do not always work for others.
It is the judgmental, frugal shaming folks I’m talking to here… those that are like I used to be. Trust me… they exist and are prevalent. Those that look down upon others for their choices despite their obvious happiness. To those folks, I say: Think. Think long and hard at that which you look down upon. Are you encouraging yourself to ignore your unhappiness by focusing on the way other’s live?
This can indeed be true for both sides of the spectrum.
We think it would be reasonable to plan for financial independence and lay out a timeline to become off-grid within 5-6 years. Keith and I have already begun to pay off debt. Although we don’t make much more than our current living expenses allow, we have chosen to quit any extra activities such as eating out and other entertainment. I think it is also probable that we will sell off our entire household worth of furniture that we have been paying storage fees on for nearly 8 years. It is a non-justifiable expense to keep “things”, and quite frankly, the money we have spent for this endeavor is embarrassing.
So, hopefully we can maintain our motivation to downsize and live more frugally… and freely. You are all welcome to follow us on this journey. I will give updates from time to time.