• May

    Traveling Off the Grid


    Today I’m going to write about traveling off the grid, something I’ve been thinking about for a long time, and especially in light of my current situation. It’s also because I like to travel between Canada and Mexico. One really annoying aspect of living in Victoria is dealing with the high cost of rent, so I’m sure you can see why living off the grid is appealing.

    Only one problem: I couldn’t think of how to make it work, given my situation. Then, last night, I received an email from someone I very much respect, privacy expert J.J. Luna. I’ve followed his works over the years and at one point, I bought his book: “How to Be Invisible.” This book is a must if you want to protect your privacy, especially in these days of increasing governmental encroachment and interference.

    Last night I downloaded a copy of his book: “OFF THE GRID: Live In a Van, Truck or Motorhome.” It gave me a ton of ideas and some really great resources, which I’m going to explore in upcoming articles. It’s going to be an adventure, I promise you that.

    One of the main things that J.J. Luna speaks of is the importance of obtaining a “ghost address” to protect your privacy. This is an address which you use for mail delivery only; you don’t live there.

    In “How to Be Invisible” Luna discusses the various ways of obtaining one and I’ll share a couple of things I’ve learned over the years. First off, you don’t want to get a P.O. box, like the ones from Canada Post, partly because it’s obvious that it’s a postal box. Secondly, many businesses such as Fedex, UPS, etc. won’t deliver to a P.O. box.

    What you want to get is something that looks like an ordinary street address, such as: 1234 – 56 Ave. Victoria, B.C. In this case, the 1234 part is the room or “suite” number and if you’ve ever seen a letter with the word “suite” in the address it might not be an actual office, but just a box on a wall. This is great for privacy.

    At that point you can pick up the mail in person, or make use of mail forwarding, which would either send the mail to another address which is another “ghost address” or your actual address; that’s up to you.

    Another important step: change the address on your Driver’s license to match the “ghost address,” the same with your ICBC insurance. Contrary to what you might think, ICBC isn’t concerned so much with your address; it’s more concerned that you have insurance. I learned this from an agent.

    Now if you’re wondering why you would do that, here’s one good reason. If someone breaks into your car and obtains your registration, they won’t know where you actually live and they won’t be able to case your residence and burglarize it when no one is around. If they go to the “ghost address,” all they’ll find is a box on the wall. Dead end.

    There are many other things you can do to protect your privacy, but that’s for another post.

    © Nathan Segal

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