What is the right way to live?

eplegrand
By eplegrand on Sat, Apr 18, 2015 - 10:37pm

I am slowly converting my life from the regular way to hopefully a new way. Now just working in the computer industry in a big city (Bangkok, Thailand). Driving every day up and down (100 km total), etc.. I think this is rather normal.

But I also think it is totally wrong.

and luckily, I think there is a nicer way of living.

Last year my wife and I bought a piece of land in the North of Thailand in the mountains. It is in a small agricultural village. Still the land is bare, but we plan to get something build on it by this year. We plan to grow food on it just for own consumption. But the size of it and the fertility is way too good so we expect to get too much and are planning to give this away to activate a kind of informal barter.

Finally, the idea is to actually permanently move there and sell the house in Bangkok.

al together I think it will be a better life. No more 3 hours per day in traffic, clean air. No more hours behind computer screens.

At the same time, I think that life will have too move in this direction. Based on the 1.5 earth consumption, life as we live it now is not sustainable.

My question though is, how should / will life look like in the future?

 

Looking forward to people their ideas.

 

Peter

12 Comments

stmcgarret's picture
stmcgarret
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 29 2014
Posts: 2
re: What is the right way to live?

Peter,

I commend you for looking for a way to live a more sustainable lifestyle.  Commuting as much as you do and sitting behind a computer all day will certainly drain the life out you.  Especially if you are not living under the illusion that this is a good thing (as corporations will tell us).  I can relate as I have worked with computers my whole professional life for a variety of large corporations.

This is a hard world to live in and it is getting harder.  Globalization is seeking to squash the indivual and to make everyone part of a singular collective.  As such it would rather have folks like you and me slaving away at life and getting ground into powder through the daily grind of eat, sleep and work. 

I encourage you to seek your passion and build a homestead in the mountains.  Look to others for advice and counsel and see if there are people you can connect with locally.  Consider your financial state and how much money you will need to build a cabin, grow crops, harvest, buy supplies, food, etc.  Things always seem to be more expensive than we initially imagined.

I would also see if you can do some remote work by connecting to sattelite to the internet.  Don't throw away your skills as possibly you can make money while there is still opportunity.  I belive in the future these opportunites will be fewer and fewer. 

As far as the world and its sustainability, I believe our world as we know is dying and as such we are going to see more wars (local and global), more destruction of the environment by rapacious corporations, more disease and a shrinking standard of living for all (except the overlords).  Sadly many people do not see the writing on the wall and are oblivious to the tsunami that is speedily rolling towards us all.  And they won't see it until it washes them away.  If you can build a little "ark" for you and your famly, this in itself could be a great blessing that far surpasses what you left behind.

Best to you and I hope you are successful in your endeavors -

Michael

eplegrand's picture
eplegrand
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 5 2014
Posts: 8
Re: What Is The Right Way To Live?

Hi Michael,

Thanks for your comment. I really appreciate it. I will slowly comment back on various areas of your comment. Indeed, I believe my (and many others) lifestyle isn't very sustainable. Actually, I believe we are harder and harder working in an as much as possible not sustainable way. At all makes little sense to me. It is all about growth and profit and related stuff. While I believe growth isn't the direction that we should go in. Did you ever read "Small is beautiful" from Schumacher? We are already consuming the world 1.5 times. So I don't see the point in increasing this.

Indeed, the planning is to move into the country. I have a couple of friends that have partly the same idea. Not a total match but enough matching points to be interesting. 

The good thing then is not to be part of the singular collective. That at the same time is the difficult part as well. As you have to think on everything you do. So indeed these people with similar ideas around are a good sounding board. 

Indeed, the finance is an important point. It is very hard to estimate. Though costs in general in Thailand are not that high. Especially outside of the big cities.

Good point on seeing if I could work remotely.

On your point about wars, environmental destruction, I mostly agree. But I think the standard of living is maybe a little different. I think we have defined standard of living wrongly. Though I don't know how it should be defined. What has a higher standard of living. Waking up in a large house in a secure compound with a big car in front of the house (and driving then 1.5 hours to work) or waking up in a small house in the valley in the mountains with dew on the land and seeing all kind of produce growing?

But defining this standard of living is a difficult thing. What kind of environment can we expect in the future. How can we be happy, and how can we be happy in this new environment.

I might be lucky that I like a lifestyle that fits sustainability. 

Looking forward to hear more from you.

 

Peter

stmcgarret's picture
stmcgarret
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 29 2014
Posts: 2
re.

Peter,

I am 100% in agreement with your view about "standard of living".  I no longer buy into the lie that has been foisted on us by the rapacious corporations who want us to always buy the latest and greatest.  Or those who tell us a bigger house is better, or a fancier car, or a new wardrobe, etc.  It is nothing but greed on the seller's side (mostly), and lust (in large part) on the consumer's side.  I only wish I had come to this knowledge and awareness sooner in life.  But I'm grateful and thankful that my eyes have been opened even if it has been later in life. 

I'm glad to hear you have some folks who are like minded.  I'm sure in time more will come your way as you get to know the area more and step out and meet others. 

I never did read that book you mentioned but it sounds like a good read.  I actually have a similar one (at least in spirit) in my library waitng to be read.  It is "Amusing Ourselves to Death" by Postman.  It deals more with the over indulgence of entertainment and how it is destroying society.  I liken it to what happen in Rome with their "bread and circus" and how most did not work but only lived to be fed by the govt then be entertained.  

Best to your in your plans and look forward to seeing you online and engaging in more dialog -

Michael

 

 

eplegrand's picture
eplegrand
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 5 2014
Posts: 8
Almost weekend - busy again

Hi Michael,

Again thanks for your message. Planning for this weekend is to dig out all the small banana trees in my garden. Also to propagate the pumpkins. The banana trees I will bring next weekend to our land. 

Next, after starting a little prepping and buying some food in slightly larger quantities a few weeks ago, I start seeing which products are more frequently consumed. This weekend I will build up the food a little more based on the consumption experience of the last few weeks. Last time, I put on all packages a sticker on which I wrote the year and month of expiry with a big marker. That makes it all much more clear than checking what has been printed on it in production. 

Finally, have to work on my sprinkling installation. I installed a timer and valve a while ago for the mushrooms. But when the valve goes open the pressure is too high so one of the pipings get loose. So this weekend have to fix that.

and all of this work I enjoy ;-)

Btw, I will check the book "Amusing Ourselves to Death" out as well. I really love reading. Based on what you wrote, I for sure will enjoy it and recognize the craziness. If you have any other book suggestions, let me know. 

Next weekend go to Chiang Mai (city in the north of Thailand). check out the house expansion that we work on so we can live there with my whole family in law (no we don't need a big house for me and my wife). Also we will go to the land. A friend of mine will join. He is very much into the permaculture but so far is doing it on a very small scale (just his garden). So when he sees the land he can help me designing how we we should develop it. Really looking forward to get a lot of ideas from him.

Also getting the approval for building a small house on the land that weekend as well.

That's about how it goes here. Looking forward to hear from you

Peter

Waterdog14's picture
Waterdog14
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 18 2014
Posts: 127
Lifestyle in Thailand

Hello Peter,

I commend you on transitioning from the commuting/computing/consuming lifestyle in Bangkok to a a more agrarian and family-focused homesteading lifestyle.  I have been to Chiang Rai and rode a rented bicycle through along pineapple fields and banana plots. What a beautiful country, and so agriculturally productive.  (I live in the high mountains in the arid western US - Colorado - where we have to work a bit harder to coax our crops to thrive).

Your future lifestyle may look different from mine, but the common thread can be found on this website.  Energy will be less available.  Community and people will be more important in coming decades than in recent decades.  We will revert to many of the old ways, while having the luxury of some new technology and knowledge. 

Consider long-term energy availability in every choice you make.  Buy a car or buy an electric scooter or go by bicycle?  Live close to work, or close to your land?  Buy gold now, or buy solar panels?

As you plan your homestead, take a look at the "old ways" around you.  How did the oldtimers manage heat and shade?  How did they deal with water and drainage?  What did they plant?  How did they store food?  How did they ferment food for storage and maintaining the health of their gut microbiome?  How did they stay warm - or cool - without electricity?

For example, my 100-year old house (which we have remodeled with double-pained windows, more insulation, and solar roof) is passive solar design!  The old timers knew to put many large windows on the south side, with beautiful views and lots of light for the kitchen & dining room & living room.  They put the bedrooms and bathroom (toilet) on the north side of the house, with a few small windows.   I did not realize the significance until we spent our first winter in the house, 7 years ago.  The 100-year old passive solar design works!  Our solar gain on -20 deg F days is astonishing. 

So, pay attention to what the old timers have built, and what the locals say.  Question and ask why.  Don't believe everything you hear, but listen to the simplest of folk and there may be knowledge that our computer-culture does not remember. 

And love your family.  Isn't that what life is for - now, in the past, and in the future? 

Best of luck to you in your new lifestyle. 

WLTZIMBABWE's picture
WLTZIMBABWE
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 26 2016
Posts: 3
Going basic to live better and happier lives

Hi everyone. I have just joined this site after been on Roberts webinars online. This form or Blog if its called has got some great things on it. Great tips here. Really are. It feels a bit like going back into Zimbabwe where i am orginally from. Im now based in England and have been here since the crisis there in Zimbabwe happened, i left in 2005. How ever after watching the news and seeing whats happening im getting into Property investing and have been doing so for the past 2 years, it seems like a big colapse is going to happen as a few things happened that happened in zimbabwe when it went to rock bottom.

 I plan to leave England as its not my cup of tea if i should say. I find it very hard to chill out or even try to enjoy life like i did in Zimbabwe. The culture is alot different here and way of life. Mostly the sunshine. Im not saying its a terrible place to live. Its just different

Im more into the easy way of life, being brought up on a farm, having dogs, cats, geese and many other animals running around. Whilst my father grew his Tobacco and Corn crops, year in year out. This is what i miss alot. I plan to leave England in the coming year. But im really stuck on 3 countries, - New Zealand, Zambia and Spain. Rich Dad talks about these economies getting better later on - Zambia and New Zealand, how ever Spain is not on that list.

After reading your guys comments about becoming almost Self reliant and not needing the outside world for our needs and daily consumables, i Could easy get stuck into that. My only issue is im getting a bit stuck as to where i would want to go. I have done a course on Property Investing, im still learning. My point is, do i move away, somewhere far from England, to New Zealand or Zambia and start again, or move somewhere closer to Spain and be able to keep things going in England? Robert and you guys also harp apon Communities, as this is key for keeping sain or having a life that you enjoy, friends and being able to survive. I hear Rich Dad say you can do property in any country. But i get people who are here in England that say its not that easy outside England or USA doing property.

I defiantly do have like the thought of eplegrand having a place far in the mountains in Thailand. I could see myself doing this in Zambia.

If any of you have any suggestions, i would really appreciate it alot.

Have a great day.

Regards

Wayne

Mark Boland's picture
Mark Boland
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 17 2015
Posts: 8
Right way to live

Peter,

I am a professional Chemical Engineer.  In the middle of a divorce I found myself unemployed.  In a matter of weeks I went from a member of the community with high regard - big house, seemingly healthy family, wife, starched shirts, company car,.... to moving into an unheated barn with a "beater" pickup truck.  My "year in the barn" was the most rewarding time of personal grow ever.  Echart Tolle says that in times of total loss people react in one of two ways - bitterness through the loss of the material possessions that give them meaning & an unbelievable sense of empowerment through the realization that the person is not defined by possessions.   I experienced the latter   I was never more joy filled than my year in the barn.

Find your passion - and pursue it.

 

BTW I might be willing to "WORK FOR FOOD"  ;-)

 

Mark Boland

Baton Rouge LA.

Wendy S. Delmater's picture
Wendy S. Delmater
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 13 2009
Posts: 1988
Not Spain

Their national debt is very bad, Catalonia is trying to secede, and north African migrants are pouring in.

I have a friend who lives on Flinders Island, between mainland Australia and Tasmania. He loves it there.

WLTZIMBABWE's picture
WLTZIMBABWE
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 26 2016
Posts: 3
Thanks Wendy

Thanks Wendy for your comments, i have had alot of people say that Nz and Australia is really nice. Thanks for your feed back on this

 

hydrodog's picture
hydrodog
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 14 2008
Posts: 22
another place to consider..

Montserrat in Caribbean.... Worth checking into.

robie robinson's picture
robie robinson
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 25 2009
Posts: 1182
Amish

Good read http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/prince-edward-island/pei-amish-ontario-1.3436105

I reckon a 19th century lifestyle.

hydrodog's picture
hydrodog
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 14 2008
Posts: 22
If you like Canada.,..

Check out property prices in Nova Scotia.
Hi USD ...Low Loonie....fairly low RE taxes.

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