Off grid living is a choice that has given my wife and I an infinite world of joy. Five years ago, she and I were engaged and living in the city, surrounded by debt and anxiety. We were constantly fighting to pay our bills and make ends meet, all while drowning in student loans and car payments. It was exhausting. While we made each other happier, we both knew we were not happy with the state of our lives. But what else could we do? The answer is a lot, if you’re willing to take the risk. It took us two years of working really long hours and saving like crazy, but we were finally able to afford the plot of land we had been coveting in the mountains of Vermont. After that, another three years of saving and paying for building materials to slowly put our dream cabin together. Our build is simple, but with lots of technology that makes our lives easier. HVAC equipment has come a long way, and our heat pump–powered by solar panels–really makes our lives easier. Instead of chopping up wood to heat the house every day, we only really need to use the wood stove when it drops below 17 degrees, which is not that often. And don’t let the heat pump’s name fool you, this ductless mini split HVAC system provides both heating and cooling. In the summer, it works to move the hot air outside so the two of us can be comfortable year round.