Where to begin? Building an unconventional community from scratch

Hi everyone,

After what felt like a very rough patch in my life, I have come to see that living an alternative lifestyle is the best way forward for me - alternative even from the viewpoint of many intentional communities. I want to come together with people who share a similar vision. I am just at a loss and don’t know where to start given who and where I am.

I’m in my early thirties. I don’t have relationship ties, children, a career, or a home that I own. So I am both free and vulnerable. It seems like it’s time to build from scratch. I will likely have money coming in from inheritance so I am hoping that investing in a piece of land will become a reality for me in the future.

I have been volunteering and living a nomadic lifestyle for the past couple of years and realised it may be time to build a solid and reliable structure I could call home. I want to channel any resources I have now to building a future in the wild, with others surrounding me. It scares me because I need lots of solitude and independent endeavours for well-being. I wonder how I can combine working with other people on a large project like this as an autonomous, creative hard-core introvert with mild autistic traits…

I have stayed in a few eco-villages and found that they are in many ways similar to the conventional way of life that I find in “normal society” i.e. people have jobs, prefer to do grocery shopping, watch TV, drink socially, have their children attend local schools etc. And whilst I respect people choosing such practices, I want to build a more unique way of life.

To keep this post to the point, here are my core questions and challenges I want to transcend:

  • Are there other international platforms where I can reach out to more people – platforms that are more visited than this wonderful but fairly new IC Forum?
  • Is there information about unconventional communities, for example that embrace a more primitive lifestyle closer to the wilder part of nature, and embrace diversity of personalities, barely participate in monetary aspects of everyday life through investing in self-sufficiency etc.
  • Are there resources that are applicable internationally when starting a project like this?
  • What are important beginner questions I haven’t yet asked?
  • What are some of the best ways to begin for those with experience?

I want to get the conversation going here or/and elsewhere. I recognise within myself the uncertainty and uncomfortable emotions involved with this, but also excitement, inspiration, and a new life to look forward to creating and living.

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Hello there badassfairy,

Ok, now I fill answer your core question, starting from the top:

pertaining to your first core question, there are other platforms that you could try. Permies.com would be one. It it more broadscoped, but I assume it is bigger (as of now) than this forum. And if you want to look at different eco-initiative, Gen (Global ecovillage Network - ecovillage.org) is worth a shot.

I believe I have come across some on the community listing here on IC.org. Maybe make an advanced search, and type in keywords like money, simple, diverse or things like that? My best suggestion as of yet.

That is an interesting question. Except from doing a kickstarter or something, not that I am aware of. If you are talking about resources more generally, I guess many want to share if asked. There are a lot of information, and maybe also on communities and how they use introversion as a boon in their social and communal life.

The questions below are my best suggestion, but they are more self-reflections than ‘questions’ per say. They could be useful in getting more clarity for both yourself and the ones you want to live with.

Did you mean ‘begin searching for’? In any case, the alternative you mentioned includes: different from “normal society”, in the wild, with a stable structure (home) where you have solitude and work together with others.
Maybe you could elaborate on those things. What is it you want that is alternative, more concretely? How is it different from ‘normal’ society?
How wild, which wilderness, is it important? How far away from cities and the like?
What kind of stable structure, what do you need, how do you want to live?
Solitude, how much, when and do you want a romantic partner for example?
And how do you see yourself working together? What do you want to contribute with, what is it that you want to do, believe would be useful to the group to contribute to the fullfilment of this lifestyle?

Kindly,
Leif-Conrad

There are several intentional community groups on Facebook that are fairly active, and I think here in the US there are communities that may be similar to what you’re looking for.

Edit:

Noticed now you have answered more elaborately on another post, with relations to the reflections.

Thank you taking the time to respond. I appreciate the questions.
I wonder if there are different types of kickstarter and maybe you were referring to a particular kind. Based on my recent research they appear to be focused on smaller projects with a concrete “end” that can be then shared. With building a community there may be no end, not one visibly soon, and so it seems like kickstarter isn’t something I can use to build a community?

But I like the idea of funding, maybe there are funding bodies giving financial assistance. It seems too overwhelming right now because my idea of location is very broad (Central and South America) and coupled with a language barrier and no local person yet can be a hard place to begin from.

It does look like it may be time to sit down and overview the vision, and share it in as many places as possible to gather some kind of back and forth, feedback system, and get the wheel moving. Right now it feels like I am floating in space without gravity or anything to grab on.