Well, off-grid living can mean so many things to so many different people but, if you look up the meaning you will see that it can refer to living in a self-sufficient manner without relying on one or more public utilities ( water, electricity, gas, sewage systems ETC).
What do we mean when we say that we live completely off the grid? It is pretty simple we take it to the extreme. We have solar power, septic system, gas bottles, and our water comes from the rain and river for our home usage, added to that we also grow our own meat, veggies, and eggs.
This means that living off grid for us is a major change to the normal thoughts of household living and we do have more work involved than the running of the normal flick a switch house and we certainly watch what power and water we use as if we enter a drought we can easily have problems with getting river water so need to make sure that our rainwater tanks are well looked after and full throughout the year.
We moved to this house 10 years ago this month and when we got here there was 2 rotten rainwater tanks, no kitchen, bathroom, laundry or power and the house itself hadn’t been lived in for over 30 years. Structurally the house was fine but, the cladding, roof, and inside were either covered in wasp, bird and bush rat nests, broken and in need of replacement, the house hadn’t been painted (ever). The roof never leaked until our fireplace was put in and we had a devils own time to try to find the origin of the leak ( never happened), we ended up replacing the roof only last year.
When we first moved in the house it was full of OLD furniture that was stored here by other properties around the region ( kinda, a dump house) and all this had to be moved out before cleanup started. OMG, what a cleanup it was, with each wall I washed I ended up finding myself a little depressed and in need of some serious colour, with this in mind off I went to Bunnings and brought a lilac and deep purple in which was quickly painted onto the walls to give an uplifting and achievement feeling ( so glad I did as purple also has a lovely calming effect).
All this said the progression of our house renovations and conversion to fully self-sufficient has been slow, with the addition of children we added necessities that homes should have as needed and as money came through the door we did more to make the house a home.
Is this home ( not a house anymore) finished?, Hell no!, Not in the slightest we still are doing little things as the money becomes available like, new kitchen, extensions etc, and we haven’t even started on the outside shell of the house which, when looked at is pretty ugly to most ( we don’t notice it anymore).
The best part about our home though, that our friends love us and come to see us not judge us by our home and they always feel comfortable and relaxed here as we keep the energies positive, Do we have family visit?? well family as we all know are in a league of their own, we have a couple of family members come and they are the type that doesn’t care about the fact we turn the internet off and don’t have mobile service and have only recently gotten a flushing dunny, they are also the ones that come here to chill, relax, unwind and enjoy the health kick that is my straight up organic cooking with no takeaway food in sight ( others would die if they knew we didn’t have soft drinks, chips, lollies etc),…..
Out of all the questions I ever get and the most common that we both get is ” would you leave for an easier life?” We answer this the same all the time, “why would we leave so we can be in a shoe box, in a town with neighbours that can hear you flush the loo and complain about the noise the kids ( we) make, when we have all this open space, no chemicals in our food or home and the kids are free to be KIDS!” so no we wouldn’t leave for an “easier life” as we don’t see our life as hard, sure we only shop once a fortnight (month) and spend our time working bees, Vlogging, blogging and socialising with other off-grid families, sure we sometimes have our neighbours pick stuff up for us ( we do the same for them depending on who’s heading to town), and sure we have to sometimes get our hands dirty doing the new veggie gardens, putting up a fence or having to pump water from the river.
Hmm, you know what the naysayers are right, our life is REALLY COMPLICATED & HARD, especially with NO water, electricity and gas bills, NO takeaway food ( having to cook ourselves) and NOBODY whinging about what we are doing and how much noise we make.
Living in a isolated place, off-grid and this far out of a town isn’t for everyone, it can be complicated (if you make it so) but living off grid is also a way to escape the NOW and ME society which means that we don’t feel the need to have what we want now as we don’t feel that we want to travel 140km to have the “must have item of the moment” we also don’t miss the cellular life that comes with close to town / in town living. We choose this life as it’s family friendly and an amazing way to raise our children, we enjoy knowing that our food is all organic, our meat comes from reputable sources and that the eggs we eat are fresh that day. Also, we love the fact that we don’t have neighbors close by but instead have a community of people that have also chosen this life for similar reasons to us, these are people we call friends not people that live next door and we don’t even know their names.
Would I recommend living off-grid, It isn’t for everyone but it is defiantly something for those that would like a lifestyle change and don’t mind doing some extra things to do what you need, NOT for a random want…
This life is all about freedom and minimisation but comes with some work.