My name is Jon. Currently I’m living in The Netherlands, but I’m soon going home to my motherland of Australia to live a simple life in the bush. Specifically I intend to settle somewhere in Eastern Victoria. Either coastal or the highlands. I haven’t decided yet. I will spend some time at both and decide based on their merits.
Initially I intend to spend one year learning how to become self-sufficient. I recognise that I probably won’t be 100% successful in achieving this goal within a year, but I intend to learn as much as possible.
As everyone has a varying definition of self-sufficiency, I should outline what it means to me to be self-sufficient.
I must have a place to keep myself dry and relatively clean. It will initially be a car, but I intend to build a simple hut.
I must have food and water. I would consider myself self-sufficient if I have means to buy food, however I’d like to learn how to hunt, fish and collect bush-food.
I’m fairly introverted and can spend a lot of time happily by myself. However I believe it’s not in my best interest to be without external stimulation of both body and mind for long periods of time. I must be within reasonable travelling distance of other humans. For this reason more than any other I’ll need to keep a car. Living in a hand-made hut on the edge of town is going to invite trouble, probably not have the resources found deep in the bush, and simply just not what I want. A car makes long distance travel much more realistic but has a financial burden and makes it much harder to trek off the track.
As this will be a relatively long-term experiment, it is important to me to have the room I need to relax, spread out and make a mess to work, a place to keep half-finish projects, etc. I have lived in my car in the past and by far, the most difficult aspect was not having a place I could call my own. Everything I did was in public. At the time I was working full time which gave me a place to rest though-out the day and become absorbed in my work. I intend to make use of some public spaces like hack spaces and libraries to replicate a workplace, but ultimately I’d like to find somewhere quiet enough where it’s effectively my own.
I have no illusion that I can become completely independent of our society within a year, nor do I want to. What I want is to strip my life back to it’s most basic form. From that vantage point I can decide if it’s a life I want to continue to live, and if so, what is required of me to sustain it. I have savings to allow me to live fairly comfortably for a year before I have to start thinking about earning money. I have of course thought about what I could do to earn money if I need, but that’s a story for another day.
Lastly I’m writing this journal because I feel it will be of interest to some people. It’s an unusual journey that will hopefully find an audience. If not, I know my friends would like to follow how I’m going.
I recognise that I’m a terrible writer. One day I think I’d like to write a book, but before doing so I really need to improve my writing. I’m not going to spend too much time polishing my work, instead I hope that over time my skills will improve enough that I’ll be able to write well written prose without too much effort.
If I set the bar too high, there may be a couple of high-quality posts before I decide that the effort isn’t worth the result and give up. I don’t want to deny my audience my stories, nor do I want to deny myself the lesson of how to write. I’m going to publish everything, no matter how bad.
And on that note, I’m going to stop writing now. No excuses, no apologies. :)