I asked my friends on Facebook for inspiration for a blog post. We have transitioned to the life we are living very slowly. It took us about 5 years from reading a book about farming in Vermont (while living in a very dense, downtown area), to where we are today. This question was raised by a dear friend from my previous life, back when I was in college.
I chose to answer this question first because I remember looking at pictures of land and houses back then, and craving the sense of peacefulness those pictures evoked.
The pictures I share on social media are close to reality, they depict the essence of our life pretty accurately. But as the normal social media consumer, I do not share every details about my life. Mainly for privacy concerns, but also because I often assume that some aspects of rural life/my life is so obvious, that I tend to not share those aspects. Like how to stack wood, how to split wood, how to cook on a wood-stove. It has become second nature.
Picture from our side window, that I would probably not share on social media. We have neighbors! And a road a few yards from our house.
We have reached a routine that only seem relevant to mention when friends from a previous life or when family visit us.
So, back to the main question: “Do you get lonely?” My honest answer is “sometimes, I wish I was”. Sometimes, I wish we lived in an even more remote area, in an even smaller house. Sometimes I wish I could live in those pictures you find online when you type “off-grid living”. Sometimes, I google picture of off-grid living, and want to just escape from our life.
Our life hasn’t changed that much since moving here.
We both have a job, we have a child that attends the public preschool, and we volunteer whenever we can. I am the librarian in our little town, which means that I interact with a lot of people, even on days when I don’t feel like talking to people. Off-grid living doesn’t mean I am not connected to my community. I am still paying property taxes, I am still very much connected to my neighbors.
I have actually never felt so connected and not-lonely in my life. I am friends with people of all ages, of very different backgrounds. I am friends with people I would have never associated myself in the past. Being physically close to people, but far from other communities tend to bring us closer together. We all have something in common: we love this place we call home, and we work together to make it better. And sometimes, that is enough to forget our differences.