"This is an invitation to those who can hear it, those who already know that something is deeply false and diseased about our way of life and who are looking for fellowship in truly confronting our crisis."
I am 31 years old and have a small piece of land in Central Portugal. It is 6000m2 (20,000 square ft) consisting of olives, grapes, oranges and many other fruittrees and space to plant a forest garden. I moved here in September and have since built a small cabin (15m2) in wood. There is also a tiny stone building to renovate. I moved here with my girlfriend but she has since left and now it is just me (plus the cat, the chickens, ducks, trees and the all the rest). I have realized just how important community is to have a sense of meaning, so I would like to start some sort of mini-community of maybe 4-5 people. Maybe more if we buy surrounding land (it's for sale). But it is not for just anybody who happens to like permaculture. You have to share somewhat the same values and visions. And you have to feel it deeply. What inspired me was the recently published journal Backwoods, which described in a general but accurate way what I want to do. I knew it already, but this was the first time I saw someone else describe it and that made me realize that there are other people like me out there and that I want to find them. I really urge anybody who can relate the slightest to what I am writing to find a copy and read it.
So basically what I want people to join me in is deserting. To abandon the values and practises of the spreading cancer known as Civilization, the culture of cities. This is a process, not something that is done overnight, possibly not even in a lifetime. If you read this you probably know this already; for 99% percent of the human existence on the planet we have lived without civilization, we do not need it, it does not define us. But we have been brought up in it, and some of it's perspectives imposed on us regarding certain things will be hard to shed. So this is very much about changing as a person also.
This community will be anarchist in spirit. That is, we do not vote about things, instead we reach consensus. Communicating is extremely important, something I will admit I am terrible at, but eager to learn. You do not have to self-identify as anarchist or any type of -ist.
The community will be critical of modern technology. That does not mean we abandon all modern technology immediately, but we know that technology always comes with a cost, and industrial technology is not something that can co-exist with a healthy planet. We might for example use a solar panel, but have no illusions about it being "green" and whatnot. I have internet and I have a smartphone, but I see it for what it is. We are not absolutist and this is not a cult. We have more questions than answers.
The community rejects consumerism and instead of thinking about what we could buy, we try to think about what we can do without, or make ourselves.
I don't have to mention that we practice permaculture, seeing the the human being as just another organism in the web of life. We do not see that land as "producer" that we should exploit as much as possible.
The land is just outside a small village of about 600 people, mostly elderly. There is no big city life close by, Lisbon is about 2 hours away by car.
Friends and family and whoever wants to visit but do not share these ideas are of course more than welcome. It will be a welcoming place.
I have no experience in neither country life or starting a community, and you don't have to either, as long as you feel as strongly about these things as I do.
If you want to know more about me and what I have in mind just send me a message or write here. Let's communicate. I am very glad to hear your ideas. Also if you are not interested in this project but just want to connect.
I really want to emphasize that this is not absolutist, there will be no rules saying you cannot to this or that otherwise you have to leave. Or maybe there needs to be some rules? You see!
There are som many practical problems regarding this but the first step is to find the people.
I hope it doesn't sound too much like a religious cult. I am quite a normal guy! I just want life to be as beautiful and meaningful as possible.
We are in wales, we presently packing up a 3 bed house to young adult children off to where they go so we can hit the road and we plan to head to portugal. My partner has lived in off grid remote communties and I have skirted around the corners of them . We have reasonable idea of what works and what doesnt it. You sound like you do as well. We have read mark boyle and zerzan.
We do; hardwork , we both ran bushcraft and foraging courses, sustainable agriculture practices both small and medium scale, freeman on the land stuff, anarchism, lime rendering, natural building, some electrics [12v systems solar], we follow advice but not orders. we know how to dig a hole and crap in it [sorry badgers and hedgehogs that were in the learning curve], humour.
We dont do; hard drugs, dictators, wife swapping, complaining.
We will be ready to go once we have sold the van we bought by mistake and bought a smaller one and got rid of our "normal life". Dont worry I got my life down to one rucksack and walked out it on three previous occasions.
Best of luck to you, friend! I'd definitely be happy to exchange messages and if I could manage to get my passport/visa (or even better, a way out of the US without needing 'statist authorization') I'd ex-pat and unplug from civilization right along with you! Keep us posted with how things go! One of my favorite music genres is Portuguese Fado (Amalia Rodrigues is a huge inspiration to me and her music always soothes my soul) so maybe there is a certain calling to coming to Portugal!
posted 6 months ago
Hey Cristopher and Fiona.
Thanks for your interest! Whenever you are in Portugal feel free to drop by.
That's right, John Zerzan is a big influence and I really enjoy Mark Boyle's articles in the Guardian.
Sounds like you've got a project on your hands and plenty of animals to boot, no messing eh! I've recently started plodding around these forums looking for people moving to the backwoods of central Europe (currently siting in the South of France hand wringing whether to buy an abandoned mill in the Cevennes mountain range!) To get a feel for their experiences and also to try and find some of the smaller less established communities about. To be honest I haven't really considered Portugal. Guess I was just abit captured by your titles thread, I was really into Zerzan's ideas for some time. I've been living off grid for the last three years up North in Sweden, but looking to relocate to a warmer climate, for a bigger garden and the hope of a more like minded community.
How are you finding it out there, especially with regards to integrating with the community? Do you have any pictures you would be happy to share of your place? If not, I'm always happy to chat, and should I find myself down that way I'll be sure to say hi!
All the best,
posted 6 months ago
I am actually Swedish and moved to Portugal just because of the climate up north, plus the fact that land here is much cheaper. I think to live in Sweden you kind of have to have a piece of land the size of a small country and lots of animals.
I am liking it more and more every day. I think it is kind of difficult to feel a strong connection with a lot of the villagers since they are all from an older generation and very traditional, they can not understand why someone as young as me would want to leave "the good life" in a - by capitalistic standards - successful country and instead choose to live here, it is completely backwards for them. As one neighbour said; it was a big mistake by me to buy this land, what I instead should have done was to buy an apartment closer to the beach that I can rent out. He says that there is no development here, and I respond; good, I do not want any development, progress, growth or whatever it is that everyone is worshipping in the insane world. He will never understand, and that's ok. But most of the villagers are very friendly and helpful. And there are more and more people like me moving to the region, both Portuguese and foreigners, and I have a group of friends that I am really lucky to have found, but none of them live within walking distance.