Living Off the Grid: The Challenges and Benefits

If you have a large family, you likely have some relative who’s a conspiracy theorist. This person might be a Q-Anon backer, or they may try to tell you at gatherings that most politicians are lizard people. It seems there are more of these sorts of conspiracy theories floating around than ever 

before, and more people than you might expect believe them.

This relative of yours might be a Doomsday prepper as well. That could mean they’re hoarding food and water on a compound somewhere, isolated from the rest of society most of the time.

There are plenty of people nowadays who choose to live an isolated lifestyle off the grid somewhere. They might seem eccentric or strange, but are there elements of their lives that make sense to you?

Let’s talk about what it means to live off the grid. We’ll cover both the positives and negatives if you want to take this action.

You Can Avoid Working a Regular Nine-to-Five

Maybe you’re not a full-fledged conspiracy theorist. You might have mainstream viewpoints, and you’re not eccentric at all. Still, you might be a bit antisocial. You may not enjoy the idea of having to work every day at a regular nine-to-five job in an office.

If you live somewhere remote and off the grid, you can probably avoid that sort of life. You will not have to punch a clock and work a conventional job.

You can avoid commuting to work through heavy traffic every day. If you don’t like driving very much, this might be ample reason to live somewhere remote.

If you don’t drive to and from work five times per week, it makes getting in an accident much less likely. Commercial truck accidents kill over 5,000 people per year, so it’s not as though this isn’t a legitimate concern.

If you do live off the grid, though, you’ll still have to support yourself unless you’re independently wealthy. If you want to try out this lifestyle, you’ll have to come up with some way to make money.

There are all kinds of online work you can do while avoiding society. The real issue is that you’ll need Wi-Fi access. If you reside in the middle of the woods, far away from any other humans, internet access is almost impossible to set up and maintain.

You Can Keep Away from Modern Life’s Complexities

The naturalist Henry David Thoreau said that he went to the woods because he wanted to live deliberately. He wanted to enjoy nature’s simplicity. That might be the reason why you want to live off the grid. It might have nothing to do with conspiracies or Doomsday prepping.

It’s true that modern society offers more from a technological standpoint than ever before, but some people don’t like that. They want to simplify their lives, and they feel like technological improvements do the opposite.

If you feel that way, living apart from society might be the answer for you. If you know your nearest neighbor is miles away, you might be able to breathe easier. You can live a private, simple life if that appeals to you.

You Might Get Lonely

Now, let’s review some of the negatives if you feel like this lifestyle might be for you. Regardless of exactly why you want to live off the grid, if you do it for any extended length of time, you might start to feel lonely. Humans often crave interaction, and only the very rare individual can stay completely on their own for very long.

Even if you’ve got a partner or spouse, the isolation might get to you both. You might start fighting because you are the only people who you each see, day after day.

If you have kids, raising them in isolation is going to make them antisocial. When they do meet other people for the first time, their social skills may be virtually nonexistent.

There Are No Emergency Resources Nearby

Another problem if you live off the grid is that if you hurt yourself or a family member gets sick, help is probably miles away. If you elect to cut yourself off from the rest of society, that means a fire can easily burn down your house before a firetruck can ever get to you.

A solution might be to isolate yourself partially, but you can still be within a few miles of the nearest town. That way, you can be an isolationist, but you can still reach out for society’s help if you truly need it.

The fact remains that even if you don’t like society very much, or whatever other reason you have for shunning other people, it’s very tough living entirely on your own. The only individuals who are usually able to do it are those that have excellent survival skills.

If you have what it takes to farm a patch of land, raise crops, hunt animals for food, and so forth, you may be able to get away with this sort of life. You might also be the sort of survivalist who can’t do any of these things, but you live near enough to a Costco that you can make an occasional run there to stock up on supplies.

Living apart from society appeals to people for various reasons, but few can go through with it. Remember the potential challenges if it’s something that you’re seriously considering.

Humanity can infuriate you sometimes, but cutting yourself off from it altogether is a drastic action that can irrevocably change your family’s fortunes. Unless they feel the same way about the world as you do, it’s probably best that you continue allowing them to interact with society at large.

This is not a decision that you should make lightly. When you decide to live off the grid, either fully or partially, you’re essentially stating that you’re abandoning civilization. Few humans have what it takes to do so and remain mentally and physically healthy.  

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