Hello everyone. We currently live in West Michigan, but are in the process of transitioning to becoming "homeless" outside of our van, that we intend to drive out west or somewhere, and find somewhere we can live away from the majority of the corrupt, deceitful, and superficial society we live in today. We are not being FORCED out of our home, but we can no longer afford it, due to a number of circumstances out of our control. My father passed away last July, and a couple of weeks later we were the victims of a random but very traumatic and detrimental act of violence. It changed our whole lives, and since then, the financial repercussions of that incident have impacted our lives more than you can possibly imagine. Because of this, we are choosing to leave before we are forced to. We want to build a cabin, live off the land, grow our own crops, raise our own livestock, and get back to a more peaceful, natural way of life. We've got a 95 Chevy Cargo Van packed full of food and essentials, tools and seeds and various things we believe we will need to survive. We've done a lot of research [though there is always so much to learn, and I'm sure in the grand scheme of things we know very little]. We feel prepared, but we're probably not as prepared as we'd like to think. We just need to get out of Michigan. The people we are surrounded by are awful, heartless people. We have had so much bad karma come down on us since we've lived here, it's insane, especially as I am a firm believer in karma and I have done nothing but live my life treating others as I wish to be treated; with kindness, love, and respect. We just want to be happy, away from the bad people and bad things. We want to live simply and quietly in the woods. I'd also like to write a book chronicling our experiences, as I am an English major in College [taking some time off, obviously], and have aspired to be a writer since I was a small child when I started writing my own books.
We need your help. We don't know what to do or where to go. We thought about going to Utah, because I have an aunt in Park City we could visit...but where do we go from there? We realize we can't just find a patch of woods and squat there. So what do we do? I don't know if I can afford our own land, I will have my taxes back here soon once all my W-2's get resent to me...but even that won't be enough I don't think. So are there other options for us? Places for people with these dreams, aspirations and passions to go?
We are hoping to find someone already living the type of lifestyle we hope to live one day that would be willing to let us stay on their property, work for them, learn from them..etc. We are young, innovative, open-minded and hard-working individuals, especially for our age, and we are simply looking for guidance. We aren't asking for any sort of hand-out. We have our own vehicle, our own supplies, plenty of food, etc. We just need somewhere to go, and would be willing to work as hard as possible in order to have a place to stay and people to learn from. Or we would like to find another couple with similar ideas and goals that would be interested in joining us on this new path and would like to share in a joined effort to achieve a combined goal of self sufficiency and peaceful, natural living.
I've posted on some other sites as well, but seeing as we are leaving Michigan tomorrow and still don't know where we're going...please help us. Like I said, we will work for you as hard as need be, learn whatever you have to teach us...as long as we have somewhere to go that we can achieve our dreams as well.
Thanks for all the advice and support but we now face a very BIG problem. we just lost our home. for good... so now it is crucial that we find a place to start heading in our travels. WE ARE LEAVING TOMORROW MORNING WITH NO DESTINATION. Our only plan, as of the moment, is head South.
We ask that if anyone knows of anyone looking for extra help on the farm or perhaps just has some extra land that they could let both myself and my partner "enhance" for a while let us know please. The only thing we are looking for is someone willing to either employ us for a period of time while we save money to venture onwards, teach us more about permaculture, and/or let us work towards purchasing a section of unused/unwanted land. WOODED LAND. That is the MUST. our goal is to build a log cabin. therefore w ask that if you have the land to offer it must be wooded enough to build a 20 by 20 cabin of preferably pine as it will be the easiest to do by hand, with slim to no power tools. We would be more than willing to work out a payment plan [owner financing perhaps], or a partial payment/partial employment contract to someday have ownership of a parcel of land.
So sorry to hear about your run of bad luck. A violent crime can really shake your faith in people. I hope you find some nice people in your travels. You might think about heading to the east coast and living on a boat rent free while you get your bearings and figure out what to do. I have seen livable sailboats go for 800$ and you can moor your boat for free in the intercoastal waterway in a lot of areas. We have people in my town that have done it for years. It's very peacefull. Good luck, and keep us posted if you get a chance.
Sorry to hear that you are having such a struggle. You are young, and it will toughen you up...just stick together and don't worry about the small stuff. I am nearly 80 years young, and still maintain my own home and garden, so I know you will do fine.
Having lived pretty much all over the US and several other countries, I have found that:
1. If I was young and needing a fresh start, I would head for the hills of Tennessee, or Arkansas. The folks there are very friendly and helpful. Land in Arkansas is cheap, the climate is moderate, and there seems to still be work to do, especially in NW corner of the state. Most of the land in this area is very rocky, but fertile.
2. I would not consider settling on the east coast, as it is very expensive for the most part. I have lived in North Carolina and love it, but it costs more than mid-America.
Living on a boat sounds like fun, but how would you survive without a source of income, since you couldn't grow food, and eating fish does stink after a while! I know folks who do live on their boat year round, but they have a retirement income. Also they are on the Gulf of Mexico where it is very warm.
3. National forests and parks are great places to stay overnight while traveling. If you need a temporary place to park your vehicle/bedroom, check out some national forests and parks. Most of them allow overnight parking, and you can check out an area, and move on in a day or two if it is not what you are looking for.
4. If I had time on my hands, I would collect cans from roadside parks. Aluminum is .65 per pound here today in central Texas. Hint...get out early, before the county crew gets to the cans.
5. Wherever you decide to live, be sure that you have a great water source. You can make-do with almost everything else in your life, but good water is essential if you are planning to homestead.
...another thing...open up your mind to alternative shelters. A log cabin is nice, but I have seen really nice adobe houses in areas that have clay. You can make them yourself, using your four good feet and straw and clay. I have seen hay bale houses that work, but I would consider them temporary. I also see that several folks have made temporary homes out of shipping containers. I would not hesitate to set up housekeeping in one of them. Later it could be your barn. You would need to hurry though...last year a good 40 ft container could be bought for $2000, and now they are twice that.