Yesterday I loaded up in the truck and headed up to the transfer station to dump off some trash, dog hanging his head out the back window. About a mile up the dirt road I ran into a neighbor who was taking a walk, I stopped and we chatted for about 10 minutes with no worries about any other vehicles coming or going. I love living out here in the mountains and while there are risks and inconveneinces it is far superior to the subdivision life I lived before. While I understand everyone is in a different place in their life here are, in my opinion, 4 reasons you need to leave the traditional life behind and move out into the wide open spaces.
1- People. I’m not a big fan, I try to avoid them as much as possible. For sure if I have to go “into town” and interact with folks I’ll play nice and I do have a tight group of community that I’m working with but generally I like to avoid crowds / traffic / people as much as possible. Living out here provides the opportunity for me to disconnect as much as I want and control my interactions. There are no cars driving by, no sounds of other folks, no stores or other commercial outlets within my AO.
2- Freedom of Maneuver. I remember living in my subdivision, we had a stupid HOA which controlled what we could or could not do. Permits for everything, licenses, local sheriff, township police, city police and state troopers always lurking in case you set off a firecracker at the wrong time or have a mischevious dog and your neighbor wants to report you. Not so out here, I could (and have) literally walk out onto my deck and take a piss off of it in only my underwear with no worries. Build a pole barn, set in some fence, take a shot at a target 500 yards across the gully to the other hillside. Whatever, nobody cares….and oh by the way the law consists of the Sheriff and they might be 45 min away depending.
3- Self Reliance. Living out here has been quite the learning experience and I enjoy the challenge. From well water to a septic system, not being close to resupply for most things and surrounded by wild animals (bear, coyote, deer, elk, turkey et al) it has been a change. We have had to work a bit harder at things but I value it and much prefer it to punching a button on my iphone and having it done for me. I must clarify, in no way are we homesteaders but we are much further along than we used to be.
4- Personal Gratification. I sit on my deck in the morning and watch the sun rise over the mountains and take it all in, so thankful for everything we have and hoping that we never ever take any of it for granted.
Living out here is not a panacea, we could still be suspectable to major or minor SHTF events (biggest being fire, water shortages). Yet when it comes down to it I feel like we are much better off than we used to be, I was not a fan of being surrounded by neighbors in cheaply built homes and well manicured lawns. At least out here we have the abilty to succeed and/or fail mostly on our own terms, and can do so in relative peace and quiet. Right now the snow is falling hard and the wood stove is roaring, I wouldn’t go back to a 5000 square foot house in XYZ subdivision in whatever town for anything. They can have it, all of it.