During the Holiday season life is more hectic than normal. It is documented that people have more heart attacks and cardiac arrests during the holiday season more than any other time of the year due to high stress levels. More and more people are looking at reducing stress for more a simple way of living. Home Power Magazine stated than a whopping 180,000 families left their city life for a new life living off the grid.

Living off the grid does not mean turning off your cell phone for two days. Nor does it mean that this lifestyle is about living in a remote place far from town. It is a unique experience and way of life that includes a place disconnected from electricity networks and large natural gas companies. Moreover, people living off the grid come from all walks of life including both rich and poor, young and old.

Learning Lessons

When a person first lives off the grid, they experience many lessons in life. For instance, many take for granted the numerous modern” conveniences like a stove that runs off of electricity as well as a washer and dryer.

Off-Grid Home Variables

An off-grid home is one that is designed to be self-sufficient and free of any association with the “outside” world. In fact, today’s off-grid home comes in many shapes, styles and different amenities. The intention of a home is for protection and shelter from the elements. As well, the assurance that heat, incoming water and power will function regardless of severe weather conditions. But with off-grid homes, there is more maintenance involved. They require more upkeep to make sure that everything is running efficiently. Moreover, an owners needs to have the knowledge of how devices work in case they break down.

The Simple Life

If you are longing to escape from the city and are seriously considering living off-grid, then be prepared for a simple life. In truth, off-grid living includes sustainability, prudence, self-sufficiency and flexibility. It is not about changing ones habits or the geographical location of your home. Living off-grid is about changing your lifestyle. It is a simple way of living that consists of many volunteered choices in how you live such as:

• Buy less
• Eliminate clutter
• Be self-educated 
• Exercise creativity 
• Eat locally and naturally 
• Avoid “large scale” living 
• Re-use, recycle and upcycle 
• Utilize renewable energy sources 
• Learn skills that support self-sufficiency 
• Be ethically and sustainably responsible

Keep in mind, because you are focused on living a simple life, it does not mean there will not be complications or challenges. Life is always filled with changes. Just embrace the happenstance. It is your reaction to the challenge that counts the most.

Everyday People

A person that lives off-grid is you, me and your neighbor. Off-gridders are ordinary people that have decided to live a life away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Actually, some off-gridders had no choice but to give up modern conveniences. For example, many people in Canada have moved off-grid because their utility expenses were too expensive.

What is more, many people who buy a property in the country or away from town have discovered that to connect to the nearest electricity pole is way beyond their financial budget. In actual fact, many of those hook ups costs can add up to half a million dollars.

In result, all types of people have chosen to go off-grid — single men and women, families, retired folks, farmers, professionals, artists and even a few expatriates.

Living Off-Grid is Not Living in the Bush

For some reason, many believe that living off-grid is basically living in the bush. But it is safe to say that the majority off-gridders actually live in a “real”. However, most off-grid homes are located in rural areas where they can live off the land. An old rule of thumb was that 10 acres was sufficient to live off the grid. Unfortunately, property has gone sky high in most states as well as Canada.

Some off-gridders are happy with small lots or an acre or two. Likewise, you will even find people living on a small lot in the center of a city. Mind you, these are not homeless individuals but people who have made a conscious choice to live off-grid. Some city off-gridders are happy just giving up public transportation or their car and ride their bike instead of being a rural off-gridder who depends on a car.

The Great Escape

Living off-grid is a wonderful lifestyle. It gives you the freedom to do what you want and an opportunity to grow your own food. It also a great escape from air and noise pollution of the city. However, it is not a magical solution to our world’s massive problems. Although off-gridding can teach you many things about living sustain-ably, it does not help solve the many issues of our current global energy shortage.

As well, living separately and away from society just encourages isolation and total self-dependence. Instead, a better solution might be to share our resources and knowledge with other off-gridders and encourage diversity and possible world solutions.

Not for Everyone

In reality, off-gridding can be a great deal of work. Moreover, couples (or singles) who work full time away from home can oftentimes have major chores when they return home. For instance, some off-gridders like to raise their own animals for eggs, meal or milk. In turn, these animals require constant feeding, cleaning and care to keep them healthy.

Furthermore, the work it takes to live off-grid can be very physically demanding such as chopping wood or bailing hay. Regrettably, the work may be too difficult for some, especially retired folks or the disabled. 
Also, if you want an immediate resolution and reward, off gridding may not be for you. Like most things, the great things in life require time, energy and commitment. But with all things being said, living off-grid is a great way to escape the city. Plus, it does not need to be devoid of necessities like running water and electricity.

Originally published at medium.com