5 Reasons Why You Should Give Off-Grid Living A Chance & Why Workaway Is The Perfect Place To Start
It’s no secret that modern living can be stressful – from working overtime at jobs we don’t love, to expensive rent in cities that no longer excite us. Then we have the pressure of social media where we constantly compare our everyday to other people’s highlights. Before we know it, we’ve wasted hours scrolling and our brains feel cluttered from constant consumerism. How wonderful would it be to escape it all? Take a step back and return to our roots? Well, thanks to Workaway you can do just that.
What is Off-Grid Living?
Living off-grid is an empowering lifestyle that means you live independently from “the system”. Instead of being dependent on the usual infrastructures of urban living, you are self-sufficient. By living off-grid, you reconnect with nature through supplying your own power, water and even growing your own food. Overall, this way of life minimizes negative impact on the planet alongside providing you with freedom like no other.
However, switching from modern living to off-grid life is no easy task. It may sound picturesque to sell all your belongings, hike into the wilderness and live off the land, but in reality, it can be a major culture shock. Without the right knowledge and mindset, you won’t last long before it’s back to the rat race and unfulfilling modern life.
Thankfully, Workaway provides the perfect opportunity to ease you in gently and test drive this rewarding lifestyle. There are many off-grid communities around the world looking for people just like you. They are happy to help kick start your off-grid journey in exchange for you to roll your sleeves up and embrace the great outdoors. An off-grid experience through Workaway avoids the drastic decision to go it alone and will equip you with a better understanding of what this way of life entails.
Not convinced yet? Here are 5 reasons why you should give off-grid living a chance with Workaway and once you do – you’ll never look back!
1. It’s a more sustainable way of life
Think of your day to day life right now – how much water do you use? How often do you grab a takeaway coffee? Are you always connected to your laptop or mobile phone? We are constantly consuming whether it’s information, energy, water or food and due to the fast pace of modern life, we have become more and more wasteful.
It’s become more convenient to replace rather than repair or reuse. However, it doesn’t need to be this way. When living off-grid not only do you produce more than you consume, but you learn how to be self-sufficient. From building your own shelter to using solar power and growing your own food, anything you take from the environment you replace. When something breaks, you do not chuck it to landfill but instead, learn to repair it or find a new use for it.
2. To reconnect with nature
Living off-grid strips away the stress from modern living and allows you to return to nature and adopt the “hunter, gatherer” way of life. Off-grid communities are often based in the most beautiful, remote parts of the world surrounded by dense forest, natural water supplies such as waterfalls or lakes and a wealth of wildlife. Not to mention the lack of pollution and incredible views. Imagine falling asleep under the stars and waking up to the sunrise and birdsong instead of traffic jams and sirens?
Forget mindless scrolling on social media, when living off-grid you will never be bored again – there are always waterfalls to swim in, birds to watch, fires to build, trees to plant and fun to be found. When living (and working) outdoors, your backyard has never been so big. When nature becomes your neighbour, there’s always something to do!
3. It’s more rewarding than modern living
Off-grid living is tough at times, especially when you have weather and wildlife to contend with. Without Wifi, supermarkets or even cell phone signal in some places, you will find you can only rely on yourself and the land for survival. However, these barriers are what make this way of life so rewarding!
You will discover an epic sense of pride as you eat food you have grown yourself or sleep in a shelter you helped to build. Not only will you find a greater sense of achievement, but by sharing your skills, you are contributing to these communities and influencing positive change on both those around you and the environment. It beats yet another dull day sat a desk!
Your confidence will flourish as you learn to adapt outside your comfort zone, not to mention the skills you will develop, which would otherwise be impossible when stuck in modern living. Even simple tasks like making a cup of tea will prove more rewarding – you may need to find wood, build a campfire and collect water so popping on the kettle is no longer possible. Imagine how much better each sip of that tea will taste knowing the work you put in and best of all, the minimum impact you had on the environment to do so.
4. To be part of a community like no other
Workaway has always been about connecting cultures and building friendships, but with an off-grid experience, you are thrown in the deep end as your neighbours become your colleagues, your flatmates and your family all in one. Too often in modern-day living, we don’t take the time to get to know our neighbours, or we focus too much on our screens and what other people are doing through social media. With off-grid living, you are part of a team, and there is a sense of community like no other as you all work together to complete a project whether it’s planting, picking or painting.
With no other distractions but the beauty around you, the connections you will make are more genuine, and long-lasting friendships will form. Unlike hostels, where you meet people for a night or two, an off-grid experience with Workaway allows you to travel slower and get to know those around you better. You’ll always have a team to celebrate the good days with and a team to help you through the tough days. Best of all, you will be surrounded by like-minded people who all share a passion for the outdoors and sustainability.
5. It’s better for your health
There are many reasons off-grid living is better for your health. Firstly, you will find you are far more active as you hike, build and dig in the outdoors. No more sitting on the tube to work or stuck in traffic jams; instead, you’ll have an adventure on your doorstep with no need for a tiring (or expensive!) commute. With so much fresh air and less stress, you will also find a healthier sleep pattern which can do wonders for your health both mentally and physically.
Secondly, your diet will improve without the availability of supermarkets or fast food. Your diet will likely consist of organic, fresh produce that you grow. Free from pesticides or preservatives, off-grid living usually means you will eat from farm to fork which will do wonders for your energy levels, skin and weight.
Cities or urban dwellings are more prone to pollution and crime in comparison to the rural areas where off-grid communities thrive. Surrounded by nature, you will be arguably safer as well as feel more calm and peaceful, which will contribute to better mental health and a more focused mind. A combination of serene surroundings, a more active lifestyle, better sleep and a healthier diet is guaranteed to leave you feeling happier, which is the main reason many people make the switch to this way of life.
Off-Grid Workaway opportunities
Are you feeling persuaded yet to give off-grid living a try? When you go to search for a Workaway host, in the keyword box use “off-grid” to discover a diverse range of opportunities from all over the world. Not all are based on farms, and the majority welcome newbies without experience as long as you offer enthusiasm for the off-grid way of life.
While giving up home comforts may sound like a drastic change, with these Workaway opportunities, you have the option to sample the lifestyle before going all in. It is the perfect way to test drive if this way of life is for you, with the safety net of knowing you can return home if it doesn’t work out. Instead of making mistakes and putting your safety at risk if you were to go off-grid alone, you will have hosts to guide you and answer your questions.
A few examples of experiences include:
After six years living in yurts, off-grid in England this family transported their yurts and materials all the way to Sicily, where they now welcome Workawayers to join their community and learn about their unique way of life.
Learn about sustainability in the stunning mountains of central Portugal. This experience offers Workawayers to develop skills in natural building, regenerative agriculture, solar energy and forest management.
This opportunity offers Workawayers guaranteed stargazing and sunrise views you’ll never forget. They rely on a well for water and solar for power as their cave house is entirely off-grid to ensure the smallest carbon footprint possible.
If you love yoga and all things wellness this off-grid retreat offers workshops to restore and replenish your well being. With a focus on sustainable living, meditation, agroforestry, permaculture and mindfulness, it is the ideal experience to sample off-grid living.
Alongside dairy goats, they farm free-range laying hens and Black Angus Cattle. They will even teach you soap making from goat milk as well as how to minimize your footprint by living off the land.
Before Workaway, I always imagined going “off-grid” would be like stepping into an episode of Survivor. That it was a lifestyle only suited to the super fit, or cave-men - not a Netflix fanatic like me who at times, struggles to work a microwave. Like most millennials, the idea of limited Wifi or growing my own food filled me with fear.
That fear however, was soon replaced by a freedom I’ve never experienced before. Freedom to explore, enjoy and embrace the most beautiful natural surroundings while preserving them at the same time. A freedom to prove others wrong and that I can actually build, cook and support myself (without a Youtube tutorial) and make friends for life along the way.
When friends mention expensive yoga retreats or wellness holidays, I give them a nudge to Workaway instead, as to me, an off-grid experience is the best way to hit the “reset button.” Even for a month or two, the lifestyle is such a refreshing break from the shackles of modern living, if you don’t want to commit long term.
As you reap the rewards financially, mentally and physically from an off-grid experience it’s likely you will be persuaded to continue this way of life. Thankfully, a Workaway experience will equip you with the essential skills you’ll need to go it alone in the future to avoid any Survivor style episodes of your own.