The plan is there is no plan, at least not yet anyway.
Plan B. That’s what I’ve working on for months. And truth be known, I’ve still got months to go before I can definitively say where my Plan B is going to take me. The problem of where/how/when some days is almost overwhelming. But thankfully there is always Happy Hour. A couple of drinks, a cigar and some meal planning tends to help reel my future planning back into the realm of conscious sensibility.
Plan A is still kinda sort of Mexico. But given the current political landscape – Donald Trump vs. Mexico, emerging immigration policies and all that – tends to make me certain the Mexican government has several contingency plans of their own: up to and including retaliatory measures towards Americans citizens and their right of entry into Mexico.
Hence my need for a Plan B.
But the problem is there really is no where in the US I am really interested in living. Part of me wants to build another house, but this time it would be a small house, as in very small. I like the tiny house movement – it fits in with my own minimalist ideology – but I don’t want to build a house on wheels. Many (most?) communities/municipalities in the US have minimum home size restrictions (1000, 1500, 2000 sf) and the tiny house movement has somewhat been circumventing these size restrictions by building ‘mobile’ homes. This sounds like a potential major pain in the ass to me mainly as in I don’t want a mobile home. It is more complicated than that because building a house on wheels creates other more structural related limitations than just the whole mobile, raised up on wheels thing.
But I do want to build a small house. As in Build. Small.
I want to build – rather than buy – that way I can make the place super energy efficient and gain complete control of the floor plan as well as manage the building quality control. And I want to build with close to zero waste. A hard-earned lesson from the first house I built back in ’99/’00.
And I want small. Small (especially in a roll your own format) means minimal property taxes. Small also means lower maintenance costs, lower property insurance, and less upkeep. My last two houses had three bathrooms. Stupid. It seemed practical (like I really had many guests) at the time, but who wants to clean three bathrooms these days? Most certainly not me. I don’t even like cleaning one.
My Plan B is currently in the stage of working out the building details (aka floor plan) coterminous with filling out a where to build decision matrix that includes: Cost of living, buildability, critical access (public library, hunting/fishing, hiking, foraging, etc.), climate, state/region, county building regulations.
I have to face facts. At some point I am going to have to move back to the US. My one and only daughter just got married. What if they have children? I can’t be an absentee grandpa. And I am getting old. I probably need to take my advancing age into account. Not for healthcare issues. The reality is if I ever became sick I’d rather be treated in Mexico than the US so that’s not the issue.
The reality is that I carry an American passport. I am an American citizen. So I should probably plan on dying on American soil. But not in some fucking hospital mind you but in my own bed, in my own house, on land I own.
I am a curmudgeonly old bastard. I want to live out my last days in a quiet place, close enough to walk into town (or bicycle) for groceries, booze, and books (hence, the public library). But I want a fair distance between me and my closest neighbor.
It’s ironic that I feel both at home everywhere but never really at home anywhere. The former is true because I have been so many places in my life as well as lived in quite a few. The latter is true somewhat because of the former; I’ve somehow managed to live my entire life as a nomad. It’s a sad state of affairs when one finally figures out they are always going to be that proverbial stranger in a a strange land.
But I am not pissing in my beer just yet. I feel eternally grateful that the road ahead can be viewed as a blessing of immense possibilities, ripe with the freedom of choice.
My life has been exciting. The few times I have caught myself looking back has made me realize almost dumbfoundedly at the true richness of my existence. I have seen some remarkable things, in some amazing places and have been fortunate enough to have known a few wonderful people.
Why should the future – wherever it turns out to be – be any less different?