Blogging Carnival Summary: In Search of the Perfect Community

About a month ago Mr W wrote a post about his idea for the perfect community and started a blogging carnival to find out how the rest of you imagine your perfect community. Here’s a summary of the posts you wrote. A big thank you to all our contributors, especially to those who normally blog in German but made an exception for us and wrote their contributions in English. We feel truely honoured!

  • Mr RIP from Retire in Progress broke the world speed record for participating in a blogging carnival. Literally a couple of hours after we published our post, he posted the link to his contribution in our comments. And it wasn’t just a couple of hundred words he’d cobbled together in a hurry so he could be first. It’ obvious he spent time and effort thinking about the topic and he produced a really detailed, super post about his ideas for the perfect community. Mr RIP is Italian but lives in Switzerland and he finds the difference in warmth between the Swiss and Italians difficult. Ideally he’d like to move back to Italy once he’s FI and start an ecovillage with some like-minded, creative people in a rural, depopulated part of Italy. Basically it sounds a lot like our dream, except for the location of course. As Mr RIP says, the question of location is very personal and there can’t be a one-size-fits-all solution that will suit everyone. But maybe we could set up a pan-European network of similar communities in lots of different countries and go and visit one another from time to time? Sounds like a plan!
  • Monika from Klunkerchen is very lucky to already be living in the perfect community. She didn’t go looking for it – it found her. What I like about her living situation is that there seems to be a good balance between communal living and privacy. The garden is a communal space where everyone helps with the plants, where the kids play together and where they eat together, but everyone can also go into their own house and shut the door if they want some time alone. I think this is very important for a community to work – at least I would have a problem with the community being in my face 24/7 and having to follow all sorts of rules all the time. Personal freedom is something that shouldn’t be sacrificed too much even in a community setting.
  • Mafis wants to live somewhere small with basic facilities, but close to a bigger city with an airport. He doesn’t need the endless possibilities a big city offers – but there has to be fast internet. He’d like a tiny house in the middle of the forest and he’d see it as a challenge to use what little space he had optimally. The neighbours should all be moderate minimalists who help each other and don’t try to impress each other with fancy cars and big houses. There shouldn’t be any formal rules, but everyone should try to contribute to the community and motivate the others to become a little bit better every day. He thinks a community of entrepreneurs would fit the bill quite well since they tend to be people who try to make the best of their lives and for whom making their vision reality is more important than making a tonne of money.
  • Nico from Finanzglück introduced the idea that there won’t be one kind of perfect community that will be right for him and his family forever. The neighbourhood he lives in now is great for his kids to play in and he has a lot of friends who live nearby, but once he reaches FI he’ll have the freedom to move closer to his and his wife’s families, by which time his kids will be school age so his perfect community will need to include a good school. Once his kids grow up and move out, he and his wife will be free to change their lifestyle once again. The possibilities are endless; the key is to keep adapting.
  • Ex-Studentin quite likes where she lives now, but regrets not being able to live closer to her family and friends because they live in an area where it would be difficult for her to get a job. She grew up in small places and appreciates the anonymity of slightly larger places. She doesn’t want to know everyone in her community or live in the same street as her friends and family. There is definitely something to be said for living somewhere where you can choose to be together with other people if you want to, but you can also be anonymous or shut your door and have your privacy when you feel like it.
  • arkelian, who is from Romania like Mr W, recognised the scenario he described in the post. She likes life as part of a big extended family and communities that live close to nature, but doesn’t like it when her family tries to force her to drink too much alcohol.
  • Balkan ER brought up the idea that “you can’t go home again” and suggested that the people living in Mr W’s mother’s village in Romania would probably jump at the chance to swap their lives with ours in Germany. To be honest, I didn’t get that impression from them at all. They had lived in the same village all their lives. Their parents and all their brothers and sisters still lived there. Their kids were growing up in a big extended family with all their cousins. What I got from them was a profound sense of knowing where they came from, that this was their place. Of course their lives aren’t perfect and they could make more money living in Germany. But I doubt that would make them happy. What they have in that village is far more important than money. And they weren’t exactly starving.

So there you have it – what I like about the posts is that they’re all quite different but have some of the same core ideas in common. Who knows? Maybe we’ll build an FI community – or network of communities – some day. Any takers?

Oh, and about that bottle of Romanian wine for all participants that Nico mentioned – Hungarian wine is far better, and if you come and pick it up you’re welcome to some!