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“I don't eat from dumpsters any more”

April 2007

“I don't eat from dumpsters any more”:

I don't eat from dumpsters any more -- I'd like to, but I spend most of my time in cities where there aren't any good ones. Even in Seattle they've been drying up because of this "security" fad. So having to buy all my food, my yearly expenses are now more like $3000. I still dodge rent by housesitting and staying with people, and in case that dries up, I got lucky and bought a good piece of land, which you can read about on my landblog. When people email me all excited about dropping out, I often find myself talking them down: The goal is not to get out of the prison, but to get out in a way that enables you to stay out. Be patient. Think ahead. Getting free is not like walking through a magic doorway -- it's like growing a fruit tree.

— Ran Prieur, How to Drop Out

$3000 a year in living costs is pretty good—that's about a month's work every year, given a reasonable salary.