Our Terlingua adventure continues.
The plan is to set up a self-sufficient living environment so that our living expenses are as close to zero as we can get them while keeping my “real world” career going and growing.
It seems like the perfect lifestyle to me. The fact that I love it here in the desert helps.
Just another sunset in the desert.
I’ve recently noticed a phenomenon that I’m calling “recalibration.”
A couple of days ago, I was talking to my buddy Lance, who was an engineer for a large technology company who traveled the world. He and his wife, who was a CEO for another large corporation, decided they wanted to live in the desert.
For the first year, as his wife was winding down her career, Lance lived in a tent. His bathroom was a five gallon bucket with a seat. He cooked his meals on a one-burner propane stove.
Now, they’re living in a nice travel trailer. The septic system is in. They’re making plans for the large home they’re going to build.
Lance and I talked about that first year. The recalibration year.
It’s easy to mindlessly adopt a lifestyle and, if you don’t question it, it becomes your “norm.” You want electricity? Call the electric company. You want water? Call the water company.
Live in a tent for a year, and your concept of what living is and what you need to live changes dramatically.
We agreed that it was a healthy exercise.
I didn’t live in a tent, but when I first started staying here at my off-the-grid cabin, the bathroom didn’t work, the Solar Power System wasn’t set up, and I didn’t know anybody.
Camping out in my cabin and gradually (over a period of about six years) acquiring water, indoor plumbing, electricity- totally recalibrated my preconceptions about what living meant. Now that the cabin has all that, plus my stereo, TV, books, and my tools – computers, musical instruments, cameras, etc. – I feel like I’m living a life of luxury.
It’s a good idea to question your preconceptions occasionally. Most people would still find our lifestyle primitive. Heck, it’s almost five hours to the nearest Starbucks!
You get some interesting answers if you actually ask the questions.
I’ve talked to people in New Mexico, Colorado – even in Europe – and when I ask them where they would live if they could, they answer, “Big Bend.” I agree. The sunset above is a good example of why.
You may get off to a cooler climate. Possibly beaches and water are your thing. Why deny yourself the environment that makes you happy?
To me, the real meaning of wealth is: freedom and happiness. Read the rest of this entry »