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I want to escape  RSS feed

 
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I need a space to rant....

I'm 24 years old and everyone I know thinks I'm insane. Though I'm probably quite similar to many of you here.

I've worked a job since I was 15. And in those short years, I've developed a pity for society. Everyday I drive to my job and all I can think is 'this is miserable'. And it's not working that's miserable, it's working for someone else's system, it's being reliant on a paycheck. It's paying an entire paycheck per month for car expenses, when the only reason you own a car is to get to the job that pays for your mortgage.

Let me emphasize, I am a hard worker. This is not an anger of the inability to 'make money', nor the desire of a 'lazy' lifestyle. I wake up every morning with the urge to 'work'. The anger comes from the urge to work for myself and my family.

If I won the lottery today, I wouldn't buy an island, I would buy a mansion, or a Lamborghini. I wouldn't even buy a big TV. -- I would buy acreage. I would start an apple farm. I would raise alpaca. I would live in a cob house that I built myself. And what would I do with an apple farm?? Why would a millionaire want apples?? I would give them away, for free!
-- The moral to my story, is that apples are free. Everything that matters in life is free. Society however is not free, and makes you think that everything that matters is not free. I wish I could teach this.

I made minimum wage when I was 15. I now make triple what I made then. I have nearly all my debts paid off and should have about $15,000 saved by the end of next year. Its no lottery but its a step in the right direction.

And so these are the options I have come to consider I can do with my life right now.

1. I can continue my miserable life in society, working the job I despise and putting a down payment on a house that I will spend my entire life working to pay off.

2. I can quit my job, take the scenic route cross country and see things I've never seen before, things that I have to see before I die. I can move into an apartment when I arrive, and have just enough money to restart myself into society. I will be refreshed by the change of scenery for a few years at least but begin to get upset when the repetition begins again.

3. I can buy a small piece of land, on the far outskirts of my city. Build a cob house on it. With hopes of being able to live in it. Quit my job and work part time at a gas station. Add those 20 hours of free time at work to gaining life skills that would make me happy.

Option 3 is my favorite in my mind. Though it comes with fears. A 'sink or swim' fear comes to mind. I have no experience in homesteading, construction, gardening or anything that would suit the lifestyle. I wasn't raised by a society that taught me these skills. I was raised by the modern society of money, electronics and entertainment.

How do I take a dive from what I've known my whole life, to pursue something that my friends and family view as suicidal.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1453
Location: northern California
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Check out WWOOFing and intentional communities. These can give you the experience you crave for starting your homestead. And they might convince you that it's better, if at all possible, to abandon the American solitary pioneer ethic and do it with a group of people who will watch your back. There are still communities out there which will take you in and support you, provided you work, and can get along. Many things follow on from this, not least of which is decoupling land access from land ownership.....
 
Posts: 537
Location: Chicago/San Francisco
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Sounds like you're having a frustrated moment. Like you want to "punt" as they say in U.S. football jargon. Trouble with punting is you lose the ball...

Would you go permie if you knew you could do it for sure but had to go by baby steps working the job you have over the next 10 years?

Maybe? Maybe not?



Rufus
 
Posts: 112
Location: Mountain West of USA, Salt Lake City
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Be content with your present moment. If you can't do that, stop what you are doing immediately.

I'm in the process of working a job that I don't love (don't hate it either) for the next 21 months so that I can move to Hawaii and give a go at tropical permaculture. It seems like a long ways away but hey, its a plan that makes sense.

In the mean time I work on an urban farm, garden, and try to practice permaculture in the city. It scratches the itch at least.
 
pollinator
Posts: 167
Location: NE Ohio (Zone 6a, on the cusp of 6b) 38.7" annual precip
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Hi Justin-

Welcome to permies! I think you have found the right place!

I think you may like these two items here:

1. Paul Wheaton did a podcast with a guy named Josiah, called How to Dive into Permaculture. I think that conversation would be "right where you live" right now. If you haven't listened to it already, I think you'd like it. http://www.richsoil.com/permaculture/1285-118-how-to-dive-in-to-permaculture/ .
2. While looking for the link above, I found another thread from a year ago, that may interest you. There is someone there that chose your option #3:
http://www.permies.com/t/15514/introductions/learn-permaculture-organic-skills-money

Thanks for your post, Justin.
Mariamne
 
Justin Shapp
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I'm not content with my present moment, and 'stopping it' is the struggle I currently face. I start getting ready for work at about noon every day, and don't arrive home till nearly midnight. Even if I took a leap and bought land outside of the city, it would be too far away for me to logically continue working at this job.

I have looked into intentional communities in the past. They somewhat terrify me. The idea of becoming 'stuck' in one with the only other option being an entrance to a minimum wage lifestyle back in normal civilization.

I often tell my wife,"'I'd rather work 80 hours a week to support my life than 40 hours to support my job".

My wife is the next part of my dilemmas. She isn't ready to become full fledged into a lifestyle like this. Which I'm fully understanding of. She likes the simplicity of a paycheck and doesn't want to get her hands dirty. Though shes content with the idea of us living in a 'mud house' as she calls it. So I search for a happy medium. Perhaps our ideal lifestyle would be one where I could provide this mud house and our basic life necessities, while she could still work and afford the luxuries that she desires from civilization.

The consistent passion that me and my wife do share is the itch for an adventure. She's more supportive of option 2 that I had listed prior. We both want to move far away. If I could convince her to get her hands dirty for a year, I would love to give the WWOOF thing a try. Though I'd much rather that year be spent working on my own land.

Whatever I do, it needs to be soon. I'm going crazy. I haven't had a chance to finish that podcast but I like what I've heard so far!

Thanks for all the responses. They all help with ideas and motivation. Thankyou.
 
Posts: 58
Location: Surrey, British Columbia
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Justin, where are you located? You sound to be in nearly the exact same boat as me. I'm 26, married with two kids, making a decent wage with almost no debt and minimal savings. I'm on track to save a fair amount within the next few years, but nowhere near the amount needed to be able to "escape". To blaze the path on my own means being stuck on the treadmill for many more years.

I'm looking for people in a similar situation to myself. Like you, I'm turned off of the typical intentional community, yet I see the massive benefit to pooling resources and labor to creating a permaculture. The likelihood of finding a community that exactly suits us seems slim. It seems to me the best thing to do is gather the like-minded people and begin your own. Definitely visit others, learn what you do or don't like, and implement that.

If you're anywhere near me, perhaps we could discuss options?
 
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I feel your pain my friend. There are many of us in this same position, giving the best years of our lives so others can pad their bank accounts and keep the rat race going.
I understand what you mean when you say you'd rather work 80 hrs for yourself than 40 hrs for your job.
Although it may not fit your exact situation I can promise you at least some inspiration from reading the book, 'The Four-Hour Work Week' by Tim Ferriss.
I know I am in the beginning stages of trying to expand and start working for myself on the side.
It's possible, you have the drive. Don't give up.
 
Hanley Kale-Grinder
Posts: 112
Location: Mountain West of USA, Salt Lake City
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Have you considered ayahuasca?
 
Nicholas Green
Posts: 32
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Mind altering chemicals? Certainly not my first choice ... :/
 
pollinator
Posts: 755
Location: zone 6b
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When I lived in Philly they had this cool community gardens project where you could get a plot in a community garden for free. Then grow whatever you like. They planted borders with fruit trees, flowers, herbs, whatever. I moved to the suburbs and they had a group that got donated land from churches and businesses and grew food on it for the local food pantry. There was a club that met monthly about growing fruit, with workshops on grafting, apple tastings, tours, lots of fun stuff. You haven't mentioned where you live but it could be possible there's something like that in your area. Lots of cities are doing it now in empty lots to fight blight. If there's nothing like that in your area, maybe you could start something. If you start working at noon then you've got your mornings free (or do you have kids too?) You can always start to prepare for the life you want so when the opportunity arises you'll be ready to take full advantage.

If you can make yourself be bold and just try asking, maybe you can find a church in your area that has lots of unused grounds and see if they'll let you plant your apple trees there, saying you'll donate x amount of apples to the local food programs or something. I'd start with one nearby, because then you don't lose time traveling, you know?

I know that doesn't address the fact that you're unhappy now and mulling over these choices, but sometimes doing something that's a step in the right direction can breathe new life into your days because you have something to be excited about again, you know?
 
Posts: 15
Location: Tennessee
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Justin Shapp wrote:My wife is the next part of my dilemmas. She isn't ready to become full fledged into a lifestyle like this. Which I'm fully understanding of. She likes the simplicity of a paycheck and doesn't want to get her hands dirty. Though shes content with the idea of us living in a 'mud house' as she calls it. So I search for a happy medium. Perhaps our ideal lifestyle would be one where I could provide this mud house and our basic life necessities, while she could still work and afford the luxuries that she desires from civilization.



I am with you, I have a good job, but I spend most of it on car payment and babysitting... We just bought some land, and want to make our own way, but I have to go slow as I cannot afford to quit cold turkey. My wife, while supportive, really doesn't get it at the same gut level as I do.... She is more afraid of being different than the work involved in homesteading.

Good Luck
 
Justin Shapp
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Some people have asked where I live now... It's Cincinnati Ohio. I've been looking into what projects I may get into locally. This one may be interesting http://cincypcguild.blogspot.com/?m=0

Lets just build our own city. Run by trade and barter.
 
Renate Howard
pollinator
Posts: 755
Location: zone 6b
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Well, we're practically neighbors!

Here are some more: Cincinnati Community Garden Center - http://www.civicgardencenter.org/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hillside-Community-Garden/166730160053652

This is a CSA that says they exchange labor for a share of the crop and recently put in fruit trees: http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20130512/NEWS0103/305120078/Alexandria-community-farm-adds-fruit-trees
 
Alder Burns
pollinator
Posts: 1453
Location: northern California
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You can define community as loosely or as tightly as you want. Even within this very thread there are a couple of people in similar positions, but facing years and years in the system in order to make the jump onto land under conventional private ownership. What if you got ten such folks together, all interested in a few acres? Working together, you could obtain a large parcel at a discount relative to all working inependently. Then you can simply split it up whether formally or informally and get on with it. Tight intentional communities can be stifling, and they can also change or disband and leave you with nothing. (I know this...lived in two that blew up in my face!) But so can a mortgage or a job!
 
Justin Shapp
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Thanks for the links Renate! I emailed the farm in Alexandria right away. Just being able to see how things work right now would help me a lot I think.
 
Posts: 505
Location: Eastern Kansas
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This is how I bought my land.

I always wanted to be a farmer. But, every time I got some money scraped together, life would kick me in the teeth and kick me hard! The money would be spent on one urgent problem or another.

So, anyways, my pickup truck was getting old and so I started putting a car payment in the bank every month. I did not always succeed but I MOSTLY succeeded which was good because I knew the pickup would die soon!

Only, it didn't die immediately: it lasted a couple of more years. Then I found this property and they wanted $6000 down and payments of 150 a month, and it was 5 acres zoned agricultural. And, I had $10,000 in the bank.

Well, I did the budget and even if only DH was working we could swing the payments plus a vehicle payment, (barely but it was do-able) and so we took the plunge and bought the land: 5 acres for $27,000 and it was 20 minutes from out house.

The very week we signed the papers life kicked me in the teeth AGAIN! I went out to our new land on a bright sunny day and the world took on a strange yellow color and things got a bit fuzzy..... I have multiple sclerosis. Oh, joy. I will not be strong enough to farm and the heat makes me weak as well. So now I will NOT be a farmer I will be a Permie!!! With help from the family (the kids work for $5 an hour plus a sonic run when the work Is done) I have daffodils and asparagus and young fruit trees. I have wheat growing in the lawn my back yard (scattered seed and it is doing fine, I will harvest it soon), and so forth and so on.

This is how I found my land.

DH is a city boy. He is very MUCH a city boy! He has a degree in city and regional planning and I have half a degree in Animal Science: we are the odd couple!

At any rate, I went to the search engines (www.unitedhomestead.com was what I used but they are not as good now. It is still better than chopped liver though!) and I found an area near me that was relatively cheap. It could be reached by a major road and so we drove out and we looked for "for sale" signs. This parcel, it turned out, was relatively cheap because it had, among other things, a creek on it. I thought is was a bonus at the time, but the MS is worse and it is now harder for me to cross the creek. So, I now see why it was about $10,000 under the usual price for 5 acres of land. Oh, well!

This fall, since the grain is doing well in my back yard, I would like to try some wheat on my 5 acres, just for the heck of it. The trick on that particular parcel seems to be to naturalize something that makes good use of the winter moisture but can tolerate the summer dry spell. Wheat is sown here in the Fall and it is harvested in May-June so, yeah, I think that I will try broadcasting seed just before it rains.

I am not QUITE a farmer, but the asparagus is sweet and the flowers are bright, and I still love the outside life. Permaculture has given it back to me. I am unable to put in the "sweat equity" that I had intended and I only have the energy to visit once a week, but I rarely feel trapped in the city now!
 
Posts: 627
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
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Well Justin, the older you get, the harder the jump is because one tends to accumulate responsibilities with time...

I'd take the opportunity to learn homesteading skills and practice with someone else's land and animals until you know what you're doing and are ready to go out on your own. It might not earn you any money, but you'll get a roof over your head and food in your belly.

In the meantime, think of some small business ideas that you could maybe integrate with a homestead. Who knows, you might have an idea that a homesteader might think is fantastic. You could partner with them and earn a bit of money while you learn the ropes.

Just a thought.
 
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Justin Shapp wrote:Some people have asked where I live now... It's Cincinnati Ohio. I've been looking into what projects I may get into locally. This one may be interesting http://cincypcguild.blogspot.com/?m=0

Lets just build our own city. Run by trade and barter.



Hey, I'm in Cincy too, we should hang out and plot our escape or something.

we even work similar shifts.
 
gardener
Posts: 723
Location: south central VA 7B
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Justin -
Perspective is always interesting. I only wish I was in my 20s when the wheels of lifestyle change began. We did get there though and that want became our carrot to continue our "day jobs". 15 years ago, we bough some land (spent 2 years looking for the right piece and location). The next 10 years, we still kept our day jobs, but they quickly became nothing more than the vehicle to obtain our long term goal. it made the day/day very easy and removed frustrations. We spend every free moment on our future farm, clearing, building and eventually planting. We've now been here full time for 5 years and please believe me, it worked out just fine. Patience has never been my strong suit, but wacking away at the to do list, while earning $$ to pay as we went make the final full time transition less financially stressful.
Good luck - please keep us posted.
M
 
Posts: 141
Location: UK
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Justin, I hear you.

I walked out of my job to concentrate on permaculture. i had had enough of the rat race, working someone elses system. as far a i am concerned the earth comes first, then everything will fall into place itself. when i have finished designing the gardens, next will be the other sustainable stuff. i had no money and got state benefits, enough to live on, eventually i want to get off them, and give back in ways of meaningful activities. and am by no means lazy. i have studies hard and put into practice what i have learned and i always go with my gut feelings if something is strong enough to do, i do it.

It will continue to bug you as it seems you have experienced the same strong urge as me to move with your instincts to live by the rules of the earth.

i can understand your wifes concerns about a steady paycheck, so start small, baby steps. i started with the garden, my 2 teenage children thought i was mad to leave my job, but they are seeing the benefits of it now, i am more myself, relaxed, and content, with lots of food growing and projects in mind to help the area.

you must believe in yourself. believe that you will acheive what you set out to do, and if the worst happens(well ask yourself, whats the worst that can happen?)for me it was that i will get fed up with self sustainable living(and it aint happened yet! in fact i'm loving more than ever! and i can always go back to working in the system if all else fails.

it bugged me for years, i was anxious about giving up my steady paycheck, and comfortable lifestyle which eventually took its toll on me and my family. i wasn't getting in until late and not seeing them...getting cranky etc, is this a way to live?

the folk round where i live(UK) think i am crazy. but the kids love me, they ask allsorts of questions and help me out! before they were cheeky little buggers, but getting them involved has paid off.

good luck justin, i hope you go with it!
 
Posts: 45
Location: Southern Ohio (zone 6a)
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Logan Simmering wrote:

Justin Shapp wrote:Some people have asked where I live now... It's Cincinnati Ohio. I've been looking into what projects I may get into locally. This one may be interesting http://cincypcguild.blogspot.com/?m=0

Lets just build our own city. Run by trade and barter.



Hey, I'm in Cincy too, we should hang out and plot our escape or something.

we even work similar shifts.



I'm 26 and from near Cincy (Batavia) as well. My mom is in contract to buy land (91 acres) in Vinton County (see this post http://www.permies.com/t/27056/homestead/Starting) about 2.5 hours from Cincy. I'm currently in Oregon, but will be returning to Ohio in about 2 months. We could meet up as well and if you ever want a way to escape for a weekend or a week (or perhaps longer if all goes well), then you could come out to my land in Vinton county. I plan to do large scale (commercial) permaculture similar to what sepp holzer does and what Paul is beginning to do.
 
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Perfect time to keep working , take the time to go to a permaculture course, aquacujlture course, earthbag housing course
(www.calearth,org) get Bill Mollison's books, Sepp's books...etc... listen to the posdcasts and read the posts on this site, get some homesteading skills.
Learn basic carpentry, plumbing, electrical.
Do research on WHERE you would want to live. REsearch on real estate for sale that might have land and house already on it.
(they are out there , I know because I have seen them) Try wwwunitedcountry.com, craigs list, ebay has land and homes listed by state as well.
Lots of interesting stuff there if you have an open mind. For the money you have you can get land, move on a shipping container,
make it into a house,,,bam...there you are , ready to do your garden.
Look at Lloyd Kahn's "Tiny homes" book and visit www.tinyhomesnewsletter.com. They also have tiny homes for sale on a separate listing site.
I love container houses as they are secure, well made and cheap housing. finish off with your newly learned carpentry skills, and no big expense.
Find a way to get your wife on board, otherwise it will never work. "Happy wife, happy life".
Find her passions in life that can be transferred onto a homestead. Consuming/shopping is not one of them.
There must be something she likes that can be translated to the homestead life. Seek it out
Meantine since you are in the Cincinatti area , there is a great group that is a loose community that meets regualrly and is run by Mike Murphy Caring Circle I think.
email me off here and I can give you his email address. His group is also listed on the www.ic.org site under the directory setting.
Good luck.
 
Posts: 40
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
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I am in the same boat as you- Age 23 almost 24 dreaming of a cob house and some land. It can be frustrating thinking about all the years I have to spend saving up money and dreaming. But those dreams of my land keep me going, and I always remember what a blessing it is to be alive even if this society blows My small garden and local farmers market keep me satisfied until I can afford to grow most of my own food. Just keep your head up, your heart clear and take everyday as it comes. Good luck!
 
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You must take risks for a chance at what you want. Just do it.
 
steward
Posts: 979
Location: Northern Zone, Costa Rica - 200 to 300 meters Tropical Humid Rainforest
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Get creative. Life is about barter and most people never see the opportunities that come their way. One of the most expensive things for many people with assets is watching over their assets. Ask around and see if you can find an older farmer who doesn't want to give up his land just yet, but wants to keep it - but then again, can't live on it anymore.

Or, someone who owns lots of land that they use for vacation, but is idle the rest of the year.

Lots of ways that you can work with people, if you are stuck on owning the land.

The other thing is to develop a skill that you can use where ever you are. There are plenty of people who live whereever they want, and work doing what they love. We live in Costa Rica, work all over the world, from the comfort of our home. I work when I want and limit it to 20 hours a week.

The rest of the time I work on my own projects.
 
Barry's not gonna like this. Barry's not gonna like this one bit. What is Barry's deal with tiny ads?
It's like binging on 7 seasons of your favorite netflix permaculture show
http://permaculture-design-course.com/
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