Pros and Cons of Living Off-Grid - Dundurn
Jun 22, 2023

Pros and Cons of Living Off-Grid

Hey reader!

It’s me, Josie, the author and protagonist of my soon-to-be international bestseller British Columbiana. I’m sure you have already bought and read it, but if you by some strange chance haven’t (maybe you were in a coma, or visiting an aunt on a remote island in the Pacific Ocean, or avoiding bookstores for a mysterious but very valid reason that I simply don’t know about), it is a riveting tale about my time spent living in a remote mountain town in British Columbia. How remote, you ask? There was no cell reception, and the nearest real grocery store was an hour away. However, there was indoor plumbing and roads. I will let you decide how remote that is.

Like all living situations, there were positive and negative aspects to my life in this town. Are you considering leaving it all behind and moving to a very small community in the wilderness for a period of time? I will break down some of the pros and cons for you:

  • You will feel sexier. Do you ever get ready for the day and think “I am good-looking” only to leave your house and find yourself confronted by someone much better-looking than you? Statistically, this is less likely to happen in a small, remote place, because there aren’t that many people there. Maybe this will make you feel awesome. However, as Ani DiFranco says: “God bless you if you are an ugly girl, of course too pretty is also your doom: because everyone harbors a secret hatred for the prettiest girl in the room.” I was never usually at risk of this particular drawback, but if you think you might be, perhaps reconsider your move to a small town.

  • QUIET. One of my favourite things about living in the mountains was that most of the time, it was very quiet. I live in the city now, and I can’t really remember the last time I wasn’t hearing anything. Not hearing is a privilege, and I sometimes feel very stupid for walking away from it.

  • Gossip. Everyone will know about all of your nonsense, and they might also make stuff up about you! If you like starting nonsense but hate finishing it, small-town living might not be for you.

  • Unconventional meats. If you live in a rural community, someone will try to force you to eat a meat you maybe haven’t tried before. For me, this is a big con. I like to try new meats on my own schedule. Also, someone might tell everyone you are a coward if you refuse to try the new meat (see the section on “gossip”).

  • QUIET. Sometimes things can be too quiet. Maybe that’s why people gossip so much.

Josie Teed was born and raised in Pelham, Ontario, and attended McGill University before completing her master’s in archaeology at the University of York. Her work has been published in Bad Nudes Magazine and Graphite Publications. She lives in Montreal, Quebec. Learn more here.