A friend of mine asked me a question today, and was shocked that I answered it with very little thought or contemplation. When I inquired why he was so surprised that I could readily answer the question, he told me that he had asked many people and almost all of them had to consider the question before answering, and that some of them could not answer it at all.
I was taken aback by this. I considered the question extremely easy, and for me, the only process that went into answering it was formulating into words the answer that immediately came into my mind. Other than that, I didn’t even have to think about it.
I thought about it, and ask several friends and coworkers the same question, and found that he was correct. Few could answer at all, and those who did had to think it over before they would commit to an answer.
Now, before you start thinking that I am bragging about knowing something that other people don’t, let me explain what this question is. My friend and I were talking, and he asked me what I would do if I didn’t have to work anymore. He specified that I was not rich, not a lottery winner, not suddenly wealthy, or anything like that. Just suddenly, I had no bills and no need to work. No responsibilities*, nothing tying me down. I did ask for the clarification that he meant my wife and I were both suddenly in this position, and he said yes.
My response was that my wife and I would go somewhere, whether in the lower US, Canada, or maybe Alaska, build us a little cabin so far back in the woods that nobody would ever find me, and live out our days, eating what I could grow, catch, or shoot. Just step off the world. If we never saw a city again, it would be just fine with us.***
As stated, I asked several people the same question, and they all seemed so wrapped up in their “Stuff” that they could not come up with an answer. It all kept coming back to “Stuff” They wanted boats to sail around the world in, or Lottery Winning style mansions. A number of them actually told me that they’d rather answer the lottery question than this one. It was just too hard to figure out what to do without either collecting “Stuff” or being a working for a wage. Not having money coming in was the big problem for them, because they seemed unable to figure out a way to live without money.
How about you? What would you do? Evidently it is a harder question than I thought it was.
*This article was corrected. I originally typed that the scenario had no taxes, but that is not the scenario. Real Estate Taxes would still exist in this fantasy. Food is not free, Utilities cost money, and the tax man still cometh. Sorry for the mistake.
***Now, before you tell me that it can’t be done, I am aware of the private property laws, and aware that public land is not open to this type of activity. I don’t really care. There are millions of acres of public land in the Northwest and Alaska. I have paid taxes for almost 40 years, so I would risk it.
If they catch me, I guess I will find out what the penalty is for homesteading an acre in the heart of nowhere.