Erik Nelson moved from house to house as an urban dweller, never living in a space that he felt connected to. Until he found forest land that appealed to him and built his own home there. Or as he explains it: “While most people find a job and then live near that job, we picked the place where we really want to live and then made it work with jobs we could get.”
But approach to work isn’t the only thing interesting about how Erik and his family live. In this podcast we talk about the reasons for making your own home on the side of a hill in Vermont, how the experience was building it and how it is now living there. In his experience we find yet another example of those who have left the conventional path and made their own home in a unique place/way.
What happens when two New Yorkers leave their successful careers and fabulous apartments in favor of building their own house and a new kind of life on a former trailer park in New Mexico? 5 years ago Wendy Tremayn and Mikey Sklar set off to live life in a radically different way in Truth and Consequences, New Mexico. Building their own home-compound. Growing a lot of their own food. Using alternative energy and sources for basic needs. And working from home as independent professionals and entrepreneurs. Whats more, they’ve been blogging and vlogging the process the whole way.
How did they do it? What do they say about the experience 5 years in? Whats the biggest drawback or benefit? Listen to this inspiring couple as we cover all this and more.
Part 1 in a series that focuses on the topic of making your own home, work, and life in what these days might be considered a nonconventional way.
(note there was an extremely loud storm in Amsterdam as I recorded this interview, so be ready for the sounds of rain)
This week Im working on a series of podcasts as well as an article for United Academics Magazine which focuses on people who have created their own home and work spaces. Those who left cities and suburbs, left houses and apartments, left conventional jobs, and moved to a rural or undeveloped place. In their new environments they have built or rebuilt their homes using a mix of traditional, proven techniques and new, innovative features. They do things like grow/raise their own food, collect their own water, generate their own power, and create their own kinds of income-generating work.
This phenomenon, at first glance, is nothing new; people have been leaving cities for the country periodically for decades. (though statistically more people do the opposite) But this generation is the unique above all for the techniques and knowledge it brings to these remote locations. Knowledge that is not only their own, but the never-ending collective knowledge one can consult via the internet. Installing a solar power system? Never built a barn before? Canned your own preserves? Check youtube, the step-by-step instructions are there waiting for you.
Of course the internet is not the only source of knowledge, the offline community that one joins when moving to a rural area also has its own experience and skills which might be called upon. Between the depth of the internet and the generations of experience in your town, whatever it is you don’t yet know how to do on your own, you can learn. And this is exactly what is happening.
Back in the urban-suburban world that so many in the western hemisphere see as the only two choices, such life changes are probably still seen as odd or undesirable. They might lose sleep over barely tenable costs of living and work stress, but they’ve grown up with the idea that this is all normal and simply “life”. Need something for the kids or for the house? Go to Walmart. Need heat? Turn up the thermostat. All needs are met by some external service or source, all of which come at a monetary cost. Again, at some point this may seem like the only way life works. But this group of people has proven otherwise, and their will to take action in this manner has inspired more people to do the same.
In the coming series of podcasts you will hear from this special group of people. They’re explain how they used to live and what led them to make a radical change. They’ll also explain the details about why this way of life not only works better for them, but why they are better prepared for the foreseeable future where the value of money decays further and the ability to grow or make things becomes more rare and necessary.
Podcast recorded on my last day in Lisbon, thinking out loud about the issues related to housing and squatting in Portugal as well as the Netherlands. Also further laying out plans for what to look into and who or what to be consulted in the quest to find answers and plant the seeds for a solution. No interview in this edition, just thinking out loud and an update for you the audience.