What it took to get me to New Hampshire:
Back in 2011, when I was just about to graduate college in my native state of Connecticut, I had a dream of buying a sailboat to live on and travel the Caribbean. I was travelling to Rhode Island and back multiple times per week, skipping school and even my own graduation, to work on an old boat I had purchased in someone’s back yard. My old VW Jetta TDI was in need of repair from all the driving, and I found a local TDI mechanic to do the work in Rhode Island, a guy around my age named Jeremy. It was clear that he and I had similar values and political beliefs, and after hours of conversation while he was working on my car, he told me about the Free State Project.
Of course, the sound of living in New Hampshire at the time while living on my sailboat was not feasible, so I put it on the back burner. Regardless of my living situation, I signed the Statement of Intent and felt better about myself and the world knowing that there was a large group of people out there that I could parallel with.
I sailed my 30-foot sailboat to Florida single-handedly, and after 26 days at sea, arrived in Florida on my 21st birthday. I lived on my sailboat in Florida and traveled all over the country for work, and after two years I saved up enough money to buy a bigger boat to support my bigger dreams. I spent six months fixing up my new boat, getting it ready for the big journey to the islands. A few days before my departure date, I took the boat out in a stiff breeze to make sure everything was ready. Unfortunately, everything was NOT ready, and I found myself dead in the water, literally. After sinking all of my money into the boat, I was forced to sell it and move back home to Connecticut and live with my mother. Talk about a setback!
I lived back at home and worked a somewhat normal job doing HVAC and set my eyes on a new dream: buying a farm. After months of searching and countless showings, I found a foreclosure property two blocks away from where my grandparents owned their house when I was a kid. It was a run-down colonial house with three barns, a silo, and five acres of neglected fields and fencing. I spent the next two years fixing up the property and turning it back into a real working farm. I successfully started my own horse boarding business, had a huge organic garden, was raising many species of livestock, and had the entire property running on solar power.
In March of 2016, I ran into some trouble with Connecticut. The tax bills were increasing after fixing up my property, and the cost of doing business as a farmer was not sustainable. My girlfriend and I had a disagreement, and she went to the state. The police came to my house and seized all of my guns and ammo without ever asking me my side of the story. I spent the next eight months battling the courts and the cops, spending thousands of dollars on attorney’s fees and going to court more than a dozen times.
I took this as a sign to get out of Connecticut, and within three months I put my farm on the market. I closed my business, worked on relocating my HVAC job to New Hampshire, and concentrated on looking for a new home with my amazing new girlfriend, Michelle (who thankfully is not crazy). We spent all summer looking at homes with Christopher Dunn (an FSP participant who is the best realtor I could have ever imagined), and finally found the perfect place in Sutton. By December, I had my farm under contract and everything was working out.
Here it is, March 2017, and I have officially sold my farm and home in Connecticut and am two weeks away from closing on my new property in Sutton, New Hampshire. I started my new job in February and absolutely love working up here. I have been delighted with the support from everyone welcoming me to the community and am looking forward to being a part of this wonderful state. Live Free or Die.