We used to take a lot of things for granted. For example, it’s good to buy a big home. And it’s normal to pay for it with interest for the next 30 years of your life.
Once we overturned that assumption, we started to question all sorts of things. As a result, one of the most exciting aspects of our off-grid adventure is the opportunity to rethink every little object and method that we’ve come to take for granted.
Here are some examples.
Towels are terrycloth.
When I was getting ready to move to the RV, I realized we’d have nowhere to hang five towels. And even if we did, they’d stay wet and get smelly in such a small space. Thanks to the internet, I found out that in parts of Europe, the traditional towel was made out of linen. It has all these great properties that make it superior to terrycloth. It’s antimicrobial, and it dries incredibly fast. It’s natural and durable, lasting even generations. In fact, it even gets softer (better) over time. No, our new towels aren’t fat and fluffy. But they’re not wet and smelly, either. And that’s better than fluffy. We hang them up and they’re dry pretty instantly. While they’re quite expensive, I expect not to ever buy new towels again. And that goes along with our policy of buying, when we have to buy, really good stuff that we won’t eventually have to throw away. Some of our old towels went to my mother-in-law. Some went to Goodwill. Some went to making scrap cloths for cleaning.
The towel is just a representative of all the everyday things we never pause to rethink. Maybe there’s a better, cheaper (or free!), longer-lasting, more sustainable solution. We’re getting creative. Underwear, look out.
KIds go to school.
This is one we figured out pretty early on, before we started all this. Actually, Stella figured it out for us when she staged a sit-in in kindergarten, refusing to budge from her carpet square for three hours after she got reprimanded for working ahead. She’s an introvert, but she’s no pushover.
We became reluctant homeschoolers that year. As a former teacher, I figured that if people would trust me to teach 30 kids, surely I could educate my own three. We became gung-ho homeschoolers the following year after that, as we watched our kids flourish. Once we were freed from buying into a “good” neighboorhood in order to go to “good” public schools, we also freed ourselves to be able to live and learn pretty much anywhere we wanted to. Which, today, is here.
A house is permanent/rectangular/architect-designed/contractor-built/permitted/_____________.
We’ve been working under the assumption that this RV is temporary while we plan the building of something permanent. Something more house-like. The more we think about it, the more we examine what our goals are, the more we’re realizing that we might not end up with a house at all.
We just ordered a kit for a 24′ geodesic dome that will look something like this, from Pacific Domes:
We’ll begin building the platform next weekend. Will it be our permanent home? Not sure. But we’re open to the idea of it. And rethinking that, too.