As I mentioned in a previous post, I’ve been interested in going off-grid and living sustainably for several years. My girlfriend Amy and I have been struggling to keep bills paid and a roof over our heads for years due to a lot of different factors. At two points in our history, we’ve actually been homeless, and that taught us a lot about ourselves.
For me, it was homelessness that showed me that things really needed to change. I realized that living paycheck to paycheck wasn’t sustainable. I realized that being stuck in jobs that could be lost at any moment, and losing the paycheck I needed to keep a roof over my head, wasn’t how I wanted to live.
The first time we were homeless, we lived in our van through a Canadian winter. We were allowed to stay in people’s houses during the worst of the weather, but it was a truly miserable time for us. We ended up collecting bottles and cans for the deposit so we could eat, and it turned out that this was fairly lucrative, and enabled us to get enough money together to get an apartment.
The second time we were homeless was really different. This time, I was employed, but our bills had gotten out of hand, and our landlord required we move out so they could have family live there. We couldn’t get the money together for rent in a new location, and a damage deposit, and moving costs, and even if we could, we couldn’t find a suitable place. So, we moved out, and all our stuff went into storage, and Amy and I borrowed a camping trailer and lived in that for a couple of months on a friend’s property in the country.
I lost my job due to discrimination over my personal life during this time. We managed to get by, as we didn’t have bills for those few months. We had no running water and minimal electricity. But we spent a great deal of time outside in the sun. We woke up each morning and the fresh air welcomed us. We had a tiny little bit of space inside our living area, but there were acres of space outside, and it was peaceful.
Time passed, and our living situation changed, and our goal is to live sustainably, and we won’t back down from that. We have set ourselves a number of steps we need to reach to make that happen.
I moved to Kansas for personal reasons, and Amy is coming later. The two of us have the ability to become American citizens, so we’ll be able to stay and start a new life here. In Kansas, I have a family that I love and respect and think the world of. They have a home, and they have a large plot of farmland nearby that we plan on using to create our sustainable life.
We have goals that we needed to set up in order to make things happen in a way that works for us. We are not wealthy people, so we have to do things that cost as little as possible. Below, I’ve listed our goals, and we’ll document our journey as we reach each goal.
Short Term Goals
- Have an income that we can set aside specifically for creating our sustainable life
- Start creating food options that we can raise and grow ourselves to cut down our food bills
- Create simple, low-cost housing that we can be comfortable and happy in.
- Heat, power, and water at a low cost
Long Term Goals
- Plan for a business we can create on the land that will sustain our lifestyle
All of these goals are possible without breaking the bank, and we’re going to show you how with each step. Thanks for joining us on this journey!