Couple Goes Off the Grid For Less Than $10,000

This couple bought their land and are building their house all for just $10,000. I'm Rob Greenfield and I am here with Kyle and Jolene at Lake Atitlan in Guatemala and I am here at their Superadobe dome build and workshop. I'll get into that in a minute, but I wanted to tell you about them because they have an awesome life. They are living their dream traveling the world, and right

now building an off the grid Superadobe home. In about a week they will be living here. Some cool facts about them, Kyle has hitchhiked and has had over 400 rides in his life. Between the two of them over 500. They have hitchhiked across Canada and back, Belize, Guatemala, the USA Alaska, and Canada. They have lived in a school bus turned into a camper, as well as campers, and a sailboat for a little while. Jolene is

a certified yoga instructor and has a Bachelor in Kinesiology, Bachelor in Science in Kinesiology. So really rad people doing really rad things, and I wanted to share their story because it is super inspirational. To me it shows an example of being able to get out of the rat race, or a life that is not the most satisfying, and really follow your dreams. So tell me what a typical year is like for you right

now? Kyle: A typical year in our life, well we spend the summers working in Canada, working seasonal jobs outdoors usually, then in the winters we live in Central America working and volunteering and doing stuff like this, and in the spring and fall that is our transition time. We travel between the two. So work half the year and travel half of the year. Rob: So you are both from Canada, and you don't live a traditional

life. You are traveling the world for a good portion of the year and going to live off the grid in this dome. Why do you choose to live this way? Jolene: laughs I traveled to the tar sands in northern Alberta and I just got a real first hand view and experience of what fossil fuels are doing to our planet, and I thought to myself, this just can't be the only way we

can progress as humans. So I set out to learn different ways to live off the grid and to live in a good kind way with the earth and with other people. Kyle: Yeah and I am on a very similar path and it's really just about following your heart and choosing things that make you happy instead of just doing whatever everyone tells you that you should do. So that path to happiness has led

us to traveling and living in a kind and gentle way Rob: Nice, So I feel like for a lot of people in our generation the thing that really holds them back from living out like you are talking about is money. So how much would you say in a year that it takes to be able to live this lifestyle? Traveling, and you know being able to do mostly everything that you want to? Kyle:

Well right now between the 2 of us for all of the traveling and all of that stuff it's about $20,000 US a year. Rob: Okay, so $10,000 each per year. So let's talk about this little piece of land. You got this land for $3,000 and then this dome that we are building, which I will show you in a second, this is costing about... Kyle: $4,000 to build this dome. Rob: So between

the two of these, buying the land and building your house it's about $7,000. So for under $10,000 a Canadian or an American could feasibly move to Guatemala or somewhere else and live off the grid, and live this life? Kyle: Totally! Totally! Jolene: they could definitely get started for sure. Rob: So they could come down here and live year round or the other thing is that they could live down here for 8 months of

the year, work really hard during the summer or the winter, and make $10,000 and be able to do 8 months here and 4 months back home. Kyle: Exactly. That is kind of our plan and it is sort of what we are doing already. Jolene: Yeah exactly. Rob: And some of you might be thinking, "But flying back and forth isn't really environmentally friendly." But you can hitchhike or you can go overland the whole way. Kyle: You

can take the bus, you can sail, you can work on a sail boat and come down. Rob: Now what is going on here? Tell me a little bit, onto the Superadobe. Kyle: We are filling these big sandbags with compacted, packed earth. We take a mix of adobe which is the right mix of clay and earth and rocks and then we add in a small bit of cement as well. That is what

makes it Superadobe. And that is for extra strength so we don't need as much support as in butresses and rebar. So coming over here we have the mixing area. This is where we mix up all of the different soil we have. We are using some combinations of soil from the land as well as some land and some earth that we got from the landslide near by on the highway. So between the two,

a bit of cement, we have a really strong mix. Coming up over here the dome is coming up as you can see, layer by layer we layered the sand bags and filled them with earth and then we tamp down, to compact. It has to be compact so that it can stay. Here is the inside. It is getting very dome like. This is the bottom floor and we are actually going to have a

loft as well for sleeping in up above. This is a high dome we have a 5 foot stem wall, so 5 feet high before it starts to dome in. So lots of living space for this tiny home. Over here guys we have some tools. This is where we keep the barbed wire and the sand bags. Barbed wire is added between each layer to hold the bags together with friction and to add tensile strength

to the dome. Without the barbed wire it wouldn't work. You don't need a lot of materials. You don't need a lot of tools. We are doing this all without electricity, no power tools, hand mixing, just with a lot of hands and buckets and shovels. We decided to run this as a workshop to get our friends involved and to have more help building the dome. It's a Superadobe workshop where we are housing people for

the week, feeding them, yoga every morning, and together we get to learn how to build this dome. We have building instructors here as well and a local crew that is helping out. Rob: So tell me what the plans are on this, it's about a 5th or a 3rd of an acre right? Kyle: 3rd of an acre. It's all going to be on solar power, and we want to catch rainwater for most of

our water and introduce the greywater recycling Kyle / Jolene: and stuff like that as well, and black water. Rob: So solar panels, greywater systems, rainwater harvesting, growing most of your food? Kyle: We will probably have chickens too Jolene: And we are just going to try and sustain ourselves to start. See if we can build a life off of this land and then once we do we can grow and teach people how to

do that. Rob: So what would be your 5 biggest tips for somebody who's really looking to do something like this? Jolene: I would say the biggest most important one is set the Intention. You have to have an intention, you have to plant that within you or wherever you have to hold your intentions and carry that forward. And then the second biggest thing is trust and faith that that intention will unfold with time and

the people will come into your life when you need it. And then the more practical side of things... Kyle: So practical I mean So practical really what we learned is to start small and simple. Building modular. We are building one step at a time, maybe one year at a time we add a building here a building there. Instead of trying to build it all in one go and count our catastrophes we are taking it

small and learning from our mistakes. That way it is easier to think about and easier to accomplish. Small steps. Definitely want to find people who are doing something similar in your area and link up with them. That is what we have done. And over the years we have found things like this, we wanted to get into natural building so we did some studies and courses and volunteering. That has led us to finding out about the

people here. So we found people doing natural building, we volunteered with them and now here we are as partners running a workshop together. Lastly I would say just do it as a community and invite your friends. We can't do this on our own We invited our friends, doing the workshop, it's a great way to make it happen and it's a win-win for everyone involved. Rob: If I had to add one, it would be

live simply because the less you need the easier it is to have everything that you need. Putting solar on this if you aren't powering a 55 inch TV, it is easy to solar power this. But if you need all of this stuff it all makes it so much harder. And what about resources for anyone who is interested in Superadobe or adobe natural building? Kyle: I mean for us we did train at the Earthship Academy, so

that's a good resource. Earthship Biotecture you can google and Earthships you can hear all about that. Cal-Earth is another good one too in California. That is where they pioneered and are building these domes. Jolene: Not this exact dome, but this style. Rob: And lastly how can people get involved with your adventure how can they follow you on the Internet or find you If they want? Jolene: We have a Facebook page Lewis and the Fireflies is

our label and we also have a website and then I have an instagram account that I use called SustainablePresence Rob: So the links to all those will be in the description Check it out! Again they are doing incredible things, a couple of people down here with about $10,000 turning it into having their own land off the grid sustainable living and really living out their dreams! Follow Kyle and Jolene's Adventure! Video by

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This couple bought their land and are building their house all for just $10,000. I'm Rob Greenfield and I am here with Kyle and Jolene at Lake Atitlan in Guatemala and I am here at their Superadobe dome build and workshop. I'll get into that in a minute, but I wanted to tell you about them because they have an awesome life. They are li...