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Aug 10

Lessons from Living Off-Grid

Posted by: Jim Lillie

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Jim Lillie

Lessons from Living Off-Grid

After two years of living off-grid, Mark Boyle writes that he's learning to appreciate decent sleep, daily letters, and his jerry-rigged hot tub.

He says the the reasons he decided to ditch tech are more or less the same as the ones other people have, but that those reasons have slowly changed.

These days, he explains, his reasons are less about saving the world and more about embracing it. "Savouring" it, even.

And there's a great deal to enjoy every day: Casting a line in the water for pike, manufacturing his own cider, carving tableware, planting tree saplings, and many other tasks that he'd willingly delegated to a host of others.

Has he turned his back on world issues? Perhaps, he concedes in a column published by the Guardian newspaper of London, adding, "But I’m not sure a tweet from me about Brexit would help the world more than rolling my sleeves up and doing something that’s useful here and now."

Of course, Boyle admits, it hasn't all been easy -- particularly since, without a phone, he can't speak to friends whenever he'd like. And taking a bath in an aluminum tub with a jug of water isn't exactly romantic.

"But I’ve learned that this way of life has its own pattern," he adds, "with old, forgotten solutions."

He puts thought and effort into writing letters to loved ones, and the spare responses he gets mean something to him.

So does the outdoor hot tub he eventually built.

And while Boyle and his romantic partner have broken up, he's since met someone else, writing, "If you remain honest, things work out as they need to, hard as it can feel."


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