A BRISTOL couple have sold their home and all their possessions and bought a boat – to give themselves a better chance of withstanding the collapse of Western civilization.
The couple hope to pick up survivalist skills along the way, which they believe will help them to survive in a post-banking collapse world.
"A couple of years ago, when we first started planning this journey, people couldn't get their heads around why we would want to visit Spain, Italy and Greece to find out more about living without money,"
"We were very conscious that the skills we had picked up in our careers were all very good for filming documentaries or running websites but when it came to being self-sufficient and living in a post-industrial world, we were hopelessly naïve."
Miss Smyth said: "It is far more than a gap year. It is also an exercise in seeing how far we can strip down our lives – how few material possessions we actually need in order to have a happy life. Parting with all our possessions was traumatic at first, but once we started giving things away it became addictive and very liberating.
"The money we have from selling the house, we are hoping to put to one side, and when we return from our journey we will buy some land and set ourselves up with a more self-sufficient life in the countryside.
"This whole thing began because Sam and I were starting to think about settling down properly and having children. But we were both genuinely concerned about bringing children into a world where we didn't have the right skills to look after them if the financial system that we all rely so much on was to totally collapse.
"The fact is, it is already happening in Greece. So perhaps we can learn from the Greek people a bit more about what may be facing us in this country a few years down the line – and what basic skills we will need to live more self-sufficiently.
"I personally would like to pick up skills like blacksmithing, foraging, food cultivation, and above all food preservation – something that every woman in England knew how to do 100 years ago, but which few people care much about in today's throw-away society."
Miss Smyth will make a series of short documentary films along the way, and upload them to the couple's website. You can follow their journey at: www.howtosurvivethefuture.org
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