It’s fair to say that most people spend a heck of a lot of time ensuring that they and their family have long term security. What I mean by security is having a roof over your head, and food on the plate. These are the two most important things we need in order to feel safe in the world. The only thing I think is more important is having a strong family, but that is something we either have or we don’t.
In order to meet this desire, many people take on extreme measures. To me, that includes having a large mortgage to pay for a home, and with that means a job that you may or may not like. Let’s be honest, it’s only a lucky few of us who can say that we love our jobs and would do it whether we had security or not. Now, this is a massive sacrifice! So many people are ‘stuck’ in a lifetime of debt and unfulfilling work in order to meet the bills and loans that they have taken on to be secure. It’s a bit ironic really, since sacrificing most of our lives in order to save our lives is not something that makes that much sense to me. Now, here is the thing… Even with all this sacrifice, we can all lose our jobs in a heartbeat.. and then risk losing everything we have worked so hard to have. This situation is quite stressful, and it makes me sad to think that so many people are stuck in this rat race just so they can have a home and food.
I would like to offer you an alternative that I have chosen that I believe offers true security without nearly the same sacrifices or risks. Self-sufficient living is something that many people associate with ‘alternative’ lifestyles’ or some kind of back to basics living that they would not want to have. What I want to share with you all is that this doesn’t have to be the case! I learned about a particular type of self sufficient home called an Earthship way back in 2001. In those days I was 27 years old and had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. All I did know was that I wasn’t prepared to sacrifice everything for a home that I didn’t particularly like, and worse still, being stuck in a job that I didn’t really like to pay for that home. I had NO idea that there was an alternative option, until I met Mr Michael Reynolds in Brighton, UK as part of a seminar he was giving. This day was the day that my life changed, forever! Michael Reynolds is an American architect who has devoted his entire adult life to developing and perfecting a new kind of self-sufficient home. He saw the vulnerability of the people as a great problem, and also the lack of real security that the normal model of a home can provide. Michael explained that he had learned how to create a home that could offer you everything you need to live and survive in great comfort. This home would heat and cool itself, provide clean drinking water, grow organic food within the home, and all at no ongoing costs… i.e. no bills! This idea was compelling. A home that could give you everything you need to live comfortably without any bills! Now hold on a minute, suddenly my idea of security changed in an instant! I totally got it, and from that moment on I knew that this was what I wanted to do. I wanted to make my own Earthship that would provide me with real security, whilst still giving me freedom to choose what I did with my time. Sure I would still work and earn money, but if something happened that meant I lost that work I would not be nearly as vulnerable as I would in a normal home. If I lost my job and income I would still have everything I needed, and no bills! This made perfect sense!
I carried this dream and vision with me for many years. In fact, it took me 8 years of searching and dreaming before I eventually found my spot! The place I chose to build my self-sufficient Earthship was on the side of a mountain in the South of India. An unlikely location perhaps, but a very beautiful one. Self-building is never easy, and particularly so on the side of a mountain in a location with almost no skilled labor or access to material and power. Nevertheless, I persevered over a period of 4 years to build my own Earthship! It was the hardest thing I ever did, and also the most rewarding thing I ever did. I had a LOT of help and also inspired a lot of people in the process. The entire build cost me most of my money in savings, but I did not have to take on a loan to complete it. I simply took as long as it took to finish using my monthly salary as a web developer. With great patience and perseverance, I finally met success in 2012. That was great timing in my opinion as I had also been a bit preoccupied with the doomsday fears of the end of the world happening in that same year. So I was quite relieved to know that if the end of the world did arrive, that I would survive it and also be comfortable!
The end of the world didn’t come, thank G-d! But the start of my new world did! Finally, I had what I would call real security. My Earthship performs like a kind of magic. Even on the coldest winter nights, I am able to relax comfortably without even needing to make a fire. The house just seems to stay warm all by itself! I don’t even need to flick a switch. Everything Michael has said was true. I have food growing inside my home feeding from my waste kitchen water. I don’t even need to water the plants since my dish washing and showering provides enough water and nutrients for then all to grow quite happily. I have solar power that gives me as much electricity as I need, and piping hot water also heated by the sun. I basically have everything that I need, and more, but without having to sacrifice my life for it, or worry about bills.
So, I want to offer some advice. Why sacrifice the majority of your life for a perceived security that could vanish at any moment, when instead you can have real security? If you are right now at that point in life where you are making the big decisions, maybe you should consider this option. I’m not saying it’s easy to self-build, in fact it is one of the hardest things i’ve ever done. But to me it makes so much sense to do it, when for the rest of your life you can be truly safe, come what may.
And I didn’t even mention the environment yet!!!
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