Fil Keller wrote:Hi there!
I'm a 32 year old from the Seattle, WA, USA area who's planning (and hoping) to retire to a sustainable, mostly self-sufficient lifestyle in about 3 years, in Europe. The challenge I'm facing is finding the right place to do this because there are so many options. It would be ideal to start homesteading in a place with other permaculturists, so I could learn from them and hopefully find a way to help in return. My question is: where can I find large concentrations of permaculturists in Europe?
If you want more details, read on. If you don't have time for pesky details and already know the answer to my question, please let me know!
If you're wondering "why Europe?" - I firmly believe the best location to be in Europe given the increasing healthcare costs in the US, and the overall higher cost of living here, and the unfortunately high degree of instability and crime in South America. Other than achieving self-sufficiency, my ideal criteria also includes accessibility to nearby hiking (via electric vehicle is fine), internet access and a Mediterranean climate which allows being outdoors year-round. My best guess as to where this would be is the coast from Valencia going up through Barcelona, Marseilles and ending in Genoa. I am quite clueless about the area as a whole other than an exceptional ability to research the weather at these places online
Since there are so many options, the deciding factor will be "cultural fit", i.e. how friendly the people are and how well we can get along. Reading this thread it seems like Central Portugal is a popular and affordable choice with friendly locals, but it also seems like that area has serious wildfire risks. Reading articles like this one in the NYT is concerning: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/12/world/europe/portugal-forest-fires-pedrogao-grande.html. If you think that Central Portugal is an ideal location, I'm curious what your thoughts are on mitigating the wildfire risk.
The only place I've visited in the Mediterranean was Madrid, whose climate I enjoyed in early June. I didn't feel that the people around Madrid, even outside the city, were particularly friendly though. I am planning another visit to Spain exploring the coast from Valencia to Barcelona and up to the French border in April. I'm hoping some of you may know more about what places are worth visiting and what places to avoid so I can skip some of expensive, uncomfortable and polluting overseas airplane trips. The ideal scenario is 2-3 years from now, I buy a plot of land near a couple homesteaders who speak some English, build a yurt or other sustainable home, and spend the rest of my days hiking and learning (reading, online courses, conversation, hands-on, etc).
Any recommendations on where this should be?
Hugo Morvan wrote:
Come on fellow europeans, pull your maps out with the permaculture communities, i'm dying to be proven wrong.
Anita Martini wrote:
Spain: Galicia is great weather-wise, but be aware that there is also the risk of wildfires. Same goes for Portugal. When my parents looked for a retirement place however they were dissuaded from Portugal by the surprisingly high prices compared to Southern Spain.
Don't buy in Madrid, summers are too hot and winters cold, it is more continental than mediterranean. Valencia and Alicante are fantastic, the people are lovely, and it is not cold in the winter. The South of Spain has cheaper land. I am originally from Spain and I am considering buying a small plot for playing gardener in the South of the province of Valencia . I heard there are permaculture expats in Spain, land is cheap and eroded, the weather is great. Marseille and the French Meriderranan surprised me because its humidity, I did not like it in the summer. If you want really cheap land and relatively near to the coast consider the province of Albacete between Madrid and Valencia in Spain. Here is my favorite city in valencia https://www.recordrentacar.com/blog/en/europes-largest-palm-grove-elche/and some real-estate.
For land in Spain, check idealists.com and milanuncios.com