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Friday Freedom Question: Where/How would you live?

I once lived in a town where the most successful realtor had a huge home with its own golf course (just six holes, but still …). Incongruously to me, this estate sat bang on the side of a main highway, enduring vehicle noise day and night.

Apparently I wasn’t the only person who wondered why anyone with that much money would choose such a public location. When a curious acquaintance asked him, he had the perfect (and IMHO perfectly awful) answer: “What’s the point of being successful if nobody can see that you are?”

My idea of successful householding is about the opposite. If I were “as rich as Creosote” (a Terry Pratchettism), I’d build a tiny gem of a house (fan shaped, with a sweep of windows on the rounded side and movable shoji-screen walls within) on a hilltop in the middle of 50,000 wooded acres. It would have a single winding access road nobody could even find and no sounds other than those provided by nature (or perhaps a few strategically placed manmade brooks or waterfalls). It would be in the State of Jefferson, near the coast, and the hilltop would be cleared enough that I could enjoy a sweeping ocean view. But nobody — nobody — would ever “view” me.

How about you? If you could live anywhere and any way you wanted, what would you do?


BTW, I have a bigger blog I’m working on this morning. I’ll probably schedule it for posting on Saturday.


  1. noah bodie
    noah bodie March 18, 2016 11:31 am

    If I could live any where and any way I wanted I would live higher up in the Rockies but have it a better Ag zone to garden all year. I would also outlaw Stupidity, Egoists, Busybodies, Statists and other Democraps. Outside of that I’m good!

  2. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty March 18, 2016 12:05 pm

    I already live exactly were I want to be. 🙂

    If I had the money, I’d get all the house repairs here done to the nines, build a nice barn/garage, chicken house and a big greenhouse. Then I’d build a nice cabin and hire some caretakers for the place, since I can’t really do much to take care of all that.

    I’d have alternate energy production capacity, and plant hundreds of pine and other trees for the joy of a forest, and of course firewood. I’d hire some young folks to keep the deer from destroying the woods… and maybe harvest one or two deer now and then.

    My place is right on the gravel county road, but I don’t mind a bit except for the dirt that blows off it. With lots of money, I’d have it paved. I wave at most of those who pass by when I’m outside, and most of them wave back. The people on horses stop to chat sometimes, and every once in a while someone jogs or comes by on a bike. They don’t bother me at all. And, since my log cabin is built on a hill, nobody can actually see into my windows much anyway.

    Maybe the best part is being able to look off my deck and see about 75 miles of grasslands and hills to the west… without having to maintain anything out there, or pay taxes on it!! 🙂 And I suspect we’d all agree that elimination of all the pointless and destructive “regulations” and taxes would be the best thing of all.

  3. MJR
    MJR March 18, 2016 12:25 pm

    I already live where I want. I’m living in the country in a log home that I built. I know all the neighbors and they are close enough to be friendly but far enough not to crowd a guy. As an added bonus the neighbors tend to keep their mouths shut about the goings on in our little gulch. On a busy day 4 or 5 cars pass by on my street which is a cul-de-sac. In the summer I go boating whenever I want with the nearest free boat launch being 3/4 mile away. I have close access to hundreds of miles of hiking trails for snow shoeing in the winter and hiking in the summer. The crime rate is so low that it is all but nonexistent and violent crime… well there has been one murder in the last 6 years. As I have said to friends who have asked if I will ever move again, the next pine box after this is when I take my dirt nap.

  4. RustyGunner
    RustyGunner March 18, 2016 12:38 pm

    If I had the money to support the lifestyle, a boat. 60-70′, catamaran or trimaran, cat or cat ketch rig for simplicity’s sake. The view off your porch is any part of the coastal world you please, or just 360 degrees of nothing but you if you prefer.

  5. Joel
    Joel March 18, 2016 12:41 pm

    I also live where I want to be. With funds enough for improvements I’d build a bigger house inside an extinct volcano (lots of those around) and evacuate the entire area in a 100-mile radius except for invited friends and minions and remove all roads in that area except for one winding driveway patrolled by A-10s with rabies. But I wouldn’t move.

  6. Bear
    Bear March 18, 2016 1:34 pm

    Ah… Yes. I’d builld a large dome house in the boonies. It would have a porch completely encircling the dome. The whole thing would be roofed with tin.*

    Just to screw with the UFOlogists and conspiracy types whole live to scower Google Earth for evidence of aliens.

    (*That was Cal’s childhood home in Net Assets.)

  7. jed
    jed March 18, 2016 4:26 pm

    Well, that’s difficult to say. Something like the hermitage atop Katskhi Pillar often seems desireable, if I could get it with a view of the Pacific Ocean, and no city light for miles. Well, that structure is probably a bit cramped for me.

    But I wouldn’t want to give up internet access. I could do without always-on broadband, but I’d still want at least an on-demand connection of decent speed.

    That difficult to attain combination of privacy, remoteness, and convenience would suit me well. Plenty of land, so I can have my own shooting range, and space for a garage and a workshop. A forested lot, of course, with a view of the Pacific (but not down in California). (And not in Alaska either.) But if I decide I want to just hit a restaurant for a meal, I want to be able to do that without it being a major undertaking.

    I doubt I could live on a boat.

  8. Kent McManigal
    Kent McManigal March 18, 2016 6:18 pm

    In the Rockies, in the middle of thousands of acres, with a sprawling underground home (with a giant gun room and underground indoor shooting range) powered by a fusion reactor. An elevator would go to the surface where my second home would be: a small log cabin or half dugout. And I’d invite my friends to come visit often.

  9. Daylan Darby
    Daylan Darby March 18, 2016 8:05 pm

    I’ve always wanted to live next to something I could use for 25/7 hydro-power, but by nobody else.

  10. Matt
    Matt March 18, 2016 8:37 pm

    4 room log cabin with a wrap around porch. Tin roof of course. Location would be any out of the way corner of AZ, or an old ranch in the Texas Hill Country.

  11. Jim B.
    Jim B. March 18, 2016 8:41 pm

    If we’re entertaining fantasies like this. Then I’d want an O’Neill Cylindrical Colony all to myself with wooded interior and plenty of game, and a small cabin with a pool.

  12. Chris
    Chris March 18, 2016 9:54 pm

    If I could live anywhere I wanted it would be in a body about 40 years younger than the one I have now.

  13. just waiting
    just waiting March 18, 2016 11:00 pm

    We wanted all that too when we were looking last year, but didn’t know it was really available anywhere except as a fantasy until you got us started looking in your neck of the ‘Wets Claire. Been here 5 months now, and we still can’t ever thank you enough for everything.

    As we’re learning more and more every day and with every new person we meet, we’re definitely in the State of Jefferson. This ain’t like Jersey at all Toto. Not every car that gets pulled over gets a ticket. Catch and release not only applies to fishing but also to law enforcement. If your crime doesn’t involve blood or abject stupidity, jail isn’t usually an overnighter. We actually witnessed elected officials vote down adding new rules and regulations. Vote down new rules! Last week, an official actually called to repeal some of the current rules on the books. Repeal regs! Being from the land that has no pigs farms but has representatives that introduced legislation banning gestation crates for pigs, it was amazing and wondrous events for us to witness.

    We’re not top of the mountain, about 2/3 of the way up, but thanks to your sage advice, above the tsunami inundation zone. We have 9 acres, not 50,000, but the properties next to and behind us abut a pretty darn big national forest, so that counts for something. We’re close enough to the coast that when we stand outside we hear the ocean in one ear and our stream in the other. Our windows look out over the farms and hills across the river, some judicious pruning of a few trees will give us a bridge and ocean view.

    And best of all, ATF isn’t just a guv agency, it’s 3 of the aisles in our local grocery store! (like a kid for the first time in a candy store Claire 😉

  14. Eric Oppen
    Eric Oppen March 18, 2016 11:08 pm

    Somewhere in Clark County, NV, preferably with easy access to Las Vegas but out in the desert. Roomy enough for me and my books, with top-of-the-line internet connectivity, a swimming pool and jacuzzi, and a reasonable amount of seclusion.

    I’ve fought Midwestern winters for over fifty years, and I want to live somewhere where there Is. No. Snow! Being a few hours’ drive away from my brother’s place in SoCal without having to deal with SoCal taxes and prices would also be helpful. Hence, Clark County, NV.

  15. A.G.
    A.G. March 18, 2016 11:26 pm

    I’d really like a hobby farm in the Ozarks. The Dove really likes bustling cities.

    I’m kinda screwed, because she’s perfect in every other way.

  16. Bill St. Clair
    Bill St. Clair March 19, 2016 4:15 am

    I live primarily in cyberspace. It rocks.

    The little Vermont town in which I currently have an apartment is nice. I really like being able to walk to the shops that sell most of what I need, bicycle to a couple of larger places for less frequent needs, and get Amazon to deliver in two days nearly everything else.

    My apartment is at the end of a dead-end road. Close to the village, yet secluded.

  17. R.L. Wurdack
    R.L. Wurdack March 19, 2016 6:34 am


  18. JL
    JL March 19, 2016 8:54 am

    And I thought I was an extreme introvert, preferring to be alone, but when I read the responses on this thread I realize there are many far beyond anything I’ve ever dreamed.

    As long as I always have the ability to climb on my horse and spend the day looking over the next rise.

    Because I believe strongly that an apocalyptic event is inevitable — take your choice which will come first: total financial collapse, EMP, pandemic, or whatever — I am strongly glued to an area no one ever mentions. The population is so sparse and the area so remote that fleeing populations could not walk there and far enough from pavement that even govt traffic would likely never come through. Both wildlife and livestock are 100 times more plentiful than humans and the land is fertile and water plentiful; the downside being that winters are long and brutal–but it keeps the riff-raff out, and we’ve learned well to live with it.

    Still our family, brother and sister and all our children and grandchildren make a nice, versatile and gifted community in a region with quality, like-minded neighbors. We have no through traffic but we have a great community.

    (And miraculously in the situation I understand most rural areas suffer, we have fiber optic Internet, superior to the best I ever had in a major city.)

  19. capn
    capn March 19, 2016 9:03 am

    I am happy with the environment I am in but would like to have my own acreage and a large woodlot to give me firewood and seclusion.
    A rifle range with a 600m known distance segment would be gravy.

    The removal and permanent destruction of all “National” or “Federal” government. (See The Infinity Broach)
    All governance to be local and anyone who actually wants the job is automatically rejected for the position.

    Matt Says:
    March 18th, 2016

    4 room log cabin with a wrap around porch. Tin roof of course. Location would be any out of the way corner of AZ, or an old ranch in the Texas Hill Country.

    Good description Matt I would just add octagonal to the log cabin description and change the AZ to West Central TX. (South of I-20 and west of I-35) That old ranch in the Tx Hill Country will eat you alive with the taxes BUT there are very few places prettier in the south west. Still this is an “IF you could” question so Yep leave that one in there for me too.

    And … If it is an option I’d like to exchange some of my years of work and life experience for an equal amount of years of youthful exuberance.

  20. Thomas L. Knapp
    Thomas L. Knapp March 20, 2016 12:38 am

    I can’t say why, but ever since I first saw Golden Valley, Arizona I’ve had the itch to retire there. It’s maybe halfway between Kingman and the Nevada line, about 11 miles from lip to lip of the valley, and the habitations seem to mostly be mobile homes and RVs and shacks.

    I like the desert. My REAL first choice, if it was doable, would be some kind of self-supporting homestead smack in the middle of Saudi Arabia’s “Empty Quarter.”

  21. Laird
    Laird March 20, 2016 9:23 am

    I’d take the next hill over from Claire. But I definitely want the brook/waterfall. And high-speed internet.

    “as rich as Creosote” Love it! I need to read more Pratchett.

  22. ILTim
    ILTim March 21, 2016 7:52 am

    I thought about it for several years, planning to escape my first home and home-state of IL. Where I ended up, it turns out, is a darn good fit.

    I thought about the isolated cabins far from anything. I thought about high-rise downtown condo’s. I considered small older suburban homes with grown isolating forests lining the streets and back yards. The realities of living in distant rural locations have some draw backs, though I understand some people may see them as features. But having to drive an hour and a half every few months to make a big shopping trip, or go to the big hospital, is a down side. The miles on your car are a downside. Availability of work. Not having a variety of nearby restaurants, or museums, or other occasionally nice benefits of cities. I’ve spent time in these rural areas and do love the low human density, but then, living there is far more personal too. The rumor mill of a small town is a strange thing, anonymity (which I prefer) comes much easier in a higher density place.

    So I ended up with a small slice of perfection. Just a 5-10 minute walk to a small downtown center with a couple coffee houses and restaurants, water in the backyard for kayaking and canoeing, enough distance and woodland to be isolated from neighbors. My house is practically invisible from the road, and the road only serves a small several-block dead-end development. From my back yard, especially mid summer, its hard to distinguish it from the isolated rural retreats. But I can walk to those restaurants. I have a big city less than a half-hour drive away, and the first part of that journey passes through as many cow-pastures as parking lots.

    I found my balance. A medium-big city not too far away, a small-town very close, in a fairly rural county, a lot with some neighborly buffer, and just enough population to hide in the crowd.

    My only two down sides are that its far to urban to get away with target practice in the yard, other than air guns, and the mosquitoes. I could be carried away by the mosquitoes.

  23. Tahn
    Tahn March 21, 2016 11:36 am

    I have a beautiful tree busting 10 acre homestead in W.C. Missouri which I love. I would like to build a 6-8 sided Navajo Hogan but with a pond liner over the top. Add 3 ft.of earth over the whole thing and a double pane greenhouse on the southern side and I would be quite hobbit er happy.

  24. "lee n. field"
    "lee n. field" March 22, 2016 6:28 am

    My dream house would be a low maintenance bunker/greenhouse. Somewhere in L. Neil Smith’s libertopian NAC.

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