When self-sufficient living and bitcoin collide


This December I've been traveling to backpackers along the southern coast of africa. Backpackers are essentially places to stay for low cost. These can be houses in cities, or camping sites on farms. They attract travelers, volunteers and tourists this results in a unique community that has a high throughput of members, lots of culture mixing and opportunities to experiment with technology and social behaviour.

I found this WildSpirit Backpackers that apparently accepted bitcoin, so off I went to investigate.

Upon arrival I saw the promising "bitcoin accepted here" sign, but the people helping me book in had no idea how to accept bitcoin. Apparently the rapid rate at which new people work at these places and the low rate of customers who want to pay in bitcoin results in employees that don't have to learn how to accept it.

But, the fact that this sign is here must mean someone here knows bitcoin, and managed to convince not only the business owner to accept bitcoin, but also must have had a happy customer that wrote a review on it.

The place

Wild Spirit or "khoinania" is simply the most amazing place I've been so far. Located north-east of Plettenburg bay, in an area called nature's valley. We have spring water on tap, waterfalls and wildlife. During the days people turn to woodwork, constructing kitchens and treehouses. At night we gather round fires, listen to artists and enjoy homemade food.

The idea here is to have a comfortable place in nature that becomes a self-sustaining (as possible) community, in terms of goods, services and infrastructure. This is all about decentralizing. This is why bitcoin is such an intersting find in a place like this, and why finding out why it works or why it fails here is very important.

This is a documentation of the experience. It is now day 3, so far I havent paid for my stay here.

The decompression

Theres a strange thing that happens when you go from the city live to this place, best summed up as "decompression". Everything becomes less rushed, more open, reactive and days turn into a sequence of adventures, stories and people. I can see myself living here for a while still.

Going back

I ended up staying there 10 days, became friends with the people here. Paid 0.3 btc for my stay here, what a deal! Then to Grahams Town to drop off Ed Hazel, after that xmas with family and friends.

It is now the day after christmas, I've decided that I have to go back to wildspirit. There are too many ideas left undone, places unexplored and opportunities to be found.