In this day and age, living without money sounds almost impossible, but that’s exactly what this Australian couple has been doing for almost a year. It’s been anything but easy, but they’ve somehow made it work.
Rachel Newby, 24, and Liam Culbertson, 26, have come up with innovative ways of making it through the year without any cash. They built themselves a new home on a friend’s plot in West Gippsland, a rural region in Victoria. The house is made entirely out of scrap timber and recycled materials. They grow their own food, and at times, don’t hesitate to dive into dumpsters for leftovers. They also help out local farmers in exchange for fresh produce and yarn.
蕾切爾 紐比現年24歲，她的丈夫利亞姆 卡伯特森26歲。夫婦倆為瞭可以不花一分錢過上一年想出瞭種種奇招。他們給自己在維多利亞州鄉下的西吉普斯蘭地區蓋瞭一個新傢，新傢建在朋友的一塊地皮上。房子完全由木材廢料和可循環材料建成。他們自耕自給，偶爾也到垃圾桶裡找些殘羹冷炙。他們還為當地農民打下手，好換得一些新鮮食物和紗線。
“We enjoy the feeling of being able to choose what we do regardless of money,” said Rachel. “We don’t have to worry about rent or plane tickets or food or fancy clothes. Effectively, all of our time is free time because we get to decide how we spend it.”
Rachel and Liam moved into the house in January, but this isn’t the first time they’re experiencing living off the land. While Rachel spent two years previously on an organic farm in Canada, Liam has traveled to the Arctic. They’ve both always tried to use local produce and be as eco-friendly as possible.
But in spite of all their experience, they claim that this last year has been quite difficult. The soil on their patch of land is rather infertile, so they’ve been struggling to grow crops. The climate is pretty harsh as well, so their makeshift residence isn’t holding out too well. The thrifty home – a 2.5 square meter structure – is really only good for privacy. They shower under cold rainwater collected on the roof, and share toilets with the rest of the community. And because they have no appliances, they wash their clothes in the sink.
Even though they don’t have jobs, Rachel and Liam don’t have a lot of leisure time to waste. They spend most of the day working for local farmers – planting vegetables and picking berries, just so they can earn their next meal. They have five ducks that provide them with fresh eggs, but when supplies go low, they have to go sift through dumpsters for discarded vegetables, fruit, and bread.
Despite the couple’s best efforts, their experiment hasn’t remained totally cash free – Liam needed dental work earlier this year, which cost the couple $300, and Rachel also had to spring for a new bike so she could ride into town. But those were pretty much their biggest expenses for the year.
With only a few months left of their cashless year, the couple hasn’t decided if they’re going to return to civilization or not. It’s not easy, but they might just continue to live off the grid. They seem quite happy with their lifestyle despite the hardships, and they get along really well with their neighbors too. “Older folks seem to love the idea of us doing what they used to do as kids, or in some cases, as young hippies,” Rachel told That’s Life! Magazine, adding that she and Liam might just burn out from all the work, but they’re enjoying themselves for now.
living off the land: 靠山吃山，靠水吃水
spring for: 為……付賬
live off the grid: 隱居
burn out: 精疲力盡
▼如何將解題單字運用在多益聽力，並獲得大幅進步? ｜Yiling Chang