People choose to live off-grid for a variety of different reasons, and it often reflects a combination of personal values, lifestyle preferences, and a desire for independence.
Here are our top 5 reasons of why we chose to live off grid:
- Independence, self reliance and freedom: This was and still is our main motivation for wanting to live off the grid. In fact, the rest of our reasons derive from this main underlying ethos of independence, self reliance and freedom.
We have always been people who prefer to do things for ourselves and if we don’t know how, we research and learn. We don’t like relying or having to rely on others. Sure, we have had to ask to help and no doubt will have to in the future but our default setting is to try where possible and safe, to figure things out ourselves.
- Escaping the rat race of urban life: We had lived in high density suburban areas for around 20 years while working flat out. We had a big, lovely home on a large block of land in a highly sought after area which we didn’t get to fully enjoy or appreciate due to working so much. Come the weekend we were so exhausted that our weekends consisted of cleaning, washing, sleeping and getting ready for the next working week.
This was not how we wanted the next 25+ years of our lives to look like, we craved less hustle and bustle, less people and interactions and to reduce the constant stimuli and “noise” of modern day suburban life. We have also had a bucket list goal for many years to buy some land and to design and build our own home from scratch.
- Cost savings: This was a big factor for us as we wanted to live debt free off the grid. We had lived in an area with fantastic local amenities including many parks and waterways, nicely kept gardens and public spaces but with these kinds of things come added costs in the way of higher than average council rates, water and sewerage costs and higher costs for fuel, electricity, food and entertainment in the local area.
We no longer have any electricity or water bills or service charges as we are not connected to any grid or infrastructure and our council rates are now significantly reduced by living in a regional area. We also save a lot on fuel as we are not driving long distances to and from work everyday and we prepare and eat the majority of of meals at home so our spending on eating out is drastically reduced.
- Simplifying our life: Along with having a big home we also had so much “stuff” and as a perfect example, when packing up our lives to begin our off grid journey we discovered that we had items in cupboards that we had packed up from our first home that we had not used once in the 10 years we were in our second home! Pure insanity! We never considered ourselves as people who had a lot of possessions, things, stuff, trinkets as we tended to spend money on travel and experiences instead, but it was still a big wake up call that the decision to simplify and downsize our living was the right thing for us. The amount of relief and weight off our shoulders that came with selling and donating un-needed items was an amazing feeling.
The first part of our off grid life came in the way of traveling and living in our caravan as we explored Australia so the need to be intentional with our choices of what we took with us in the caravan was not only safety based so we were within legal towing weight limits but also great preparation and realisation on just how many things you don’t need or can truly live without.
- Preparing for the future: While we were doing our planning for off grid living and traveling in our caravan, our plan was always to travel around Australia with the main view to see and experience new and different towns and areas to see where we might like to buy some land to settle next.
The pandemic threw a bit of a spanner in the cog for us as each Australian State had varying degrees of stay at home orders, lock downs and border closures which meant we were unable to enter or exit some of the Southern and Western states. Unfortunately, also at this time, we had a death in the family that also reaffirmed our decision to continue to live life on our terms right now, debt free and find land to use as our base to live on off the grid and to be able to continue to travel when we wanted.
Australia is a very large country and while 90% of our population live on the East Coast there is still a lot of empty land available to purchase.
At the time we purchased our property it was in the middle of the pandemic but before prices in our regional area had gone bonkers. We both grew up on farms and we longed to have our own space without neighbors who could see into our windows, room to grow some of our own food and to work on hobbies and projects, maybe have some goats or chickens and be remote enough that if we wanted to hunker down and not leave our property we wouldn’t get cabin fever or feel crowded.
Here are some other common motivations:
Environmental Concerns: Many off-grid enthusiasts are motivated by a desire to reduce their environmental impact. Living off the grid allows them to minimize their carbon footprint, use renewable energy sources, and adopt sustainable practices.
Connection to Nature: Living off the grid often involves being closer to nature. People who choose this lifestyle may appreciate the serenity and natural beauty of their surroundings.
It’s important to realise that the motivations for living off the grid can vary widely among individuals, and there is no one-size-fits-all explanation. Each person or family may have a unique combination of factors and previous life experiences influencing their decision to pursue an off-grid lifestyle.