There’s a new movement that’s gaining traction around the world at an astonishing pace. From obscure corners of Belgium to West Virginia woodlands, from the Australian outback to the South African Karoo to the Mojave Desert, homemakers are choosing an alternative lifestyle, off the grid.
Some of these nascent communities resemble hippie communes, while other homesteaders are tech-savvy graduates, who want to ensure their personal freedoms into the future. They all have one thing in common, a desire to escape the creeping social authoritarianism which seems to be engulfing the world like a grey mist, pouring out of the old, affluent economies, and eagerly adopted by the newly emerged power blocs. Big Brother is everywhere these days.
The hallmark of offgridding is to be as self-sufficient as possible, and not beholden to the state for one’s everyday needs. Most offgridders have the latest solar power and energy storage systems, small scale or co-op farming opportunities, and access to permanent water sources like lakes or aquifers.
What they value most is personal sovereignty, individual freedom.
Don’t be misled into thinking that offgridders are a doomsday cult or pastoral luddites. They may be sensitive to climate and sustainability issues, and live in ‘earthship’ homes, or geodesic domes, or practice circular economics; but most are still connected to the digital world. Offgrid doesn’t mean offline.
Perhaps paradoxically, many offgridders sustain their lifestyles by engaging with the outside world, offering their services as researchers, translators, keynote speakers, data scientists and the like. They avoid Facebook and Google, communicating with their clients on more private channels, like Telegram and Twitter.
Offgridders are not hermits; they’re quick to get to the airport for a gig, and happy to keep a passport current. But they’re never truly relaxed until they are back home, off the grid. And they like to get paid in Bitcoin – it keeps things simple. They don’t trust megacorps or the government – do you?