‘I live off-grid near Amish for $140 a month – but there’s one thing missing’

‘I live off-grid near Amish for $140 a month – but there’s one thing missing’

Technically, Titus Morris doesn't even exist – at least, not as far as the US government is concerned.

Living deep in the woods of rural Appalachia, he has no official ID, driver's licence or social security number and doesn't even have a birth certificate any more after it washed away in a flood. He is officially off-grid.

And now, he's described what it's like to be truly off-grid.

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In the eyes of his country's government, he says he "doesn't exist", but that's just the way he likes it, with the farmer enjoying a "peaceful life" on his own land.

He has a vegan lifestyle, eating the fruits of his own labour and gets by without electricity, running water, a mobile phone or a car.

But while he loves his disconnected lifestyle, he admits there's one thing missing — a woman to share it with.

Titus has been living on his 50-acre farm in a remote area of Kentucky surrounded by Amish and Mennonite communities for eight years now and welcomed filmmaker Peter Santenello to show him what his life is like.

While Titus isn't Amish himself, he revealed he lives a very similar lifestyle to his neighbours without modern conveniences, but he hasn't always lived this way.

He said: "We did grow up cutting out our own firewood, we never had electric heat or anything but my parents have computers, electricity, that kind of things and I just felt like God was calling me to live a more simple life with more peace or more nature. So I don't have electricity or running water."

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"I do have running water if I put it in a bucket and run with it," he joked.

Instead, Titus gets his drinking water from a bucket collecting rainwater and uses a nearby creek to bathe and wash up his pots and pans.

Showing Peter around his home, the pair entered a metal shed featuring a kitchen, bed, sofa and wood cook stove all in one room cluttered with glass containers he jars his food in.

"I'm single and I'm busy working outside so it's real disorganised," he said.

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Titus revealed that while the shed was initially set up for electricity, he's not had it connected since he moved in.

When it comes to food, Titus survives off a plant-based diet of mostly homegrown fruit and vegetables cooked on one of his wood-burning stoves.

He credits his lifestyle with keeping him healthy, explaining: "The past year I've not been sick at all, not even a cold, not even a stuffy nose, nothing.

"My thought is, eat lots of healthy food, breath deep of fresh air, trust god, get your exercise and do things that strengthen your immune system."

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Without a driver's licence, Titus relies on the old-fashioned method of getting around — a horse and cart.

His simple life comes cheaply, with the Appalachian local revealing it only costs him around $140 a month to get by.

"I guess probably my two main bills would be dog food and my phone bill, I've got a landline phone," he said.

Explaining his monthly outgoings, he added: "It's crazy I didn't want the internet but they wouldn't give me a phone without the internet so I'm paying for internet but I don't get it.

"So I have a landline phone and that's like $90 a month and then dog food I probably spend $20 a month on dog food or something. Things like salt, fruit and things like that probably spend like $30 a month on that."

He trains and shoes horses to make the money he needs to survive but the rest of his work he does is purely to survive on his own land, growing fruit and vegetables, washing his clothes and pots and pans in the stream, and chopping wood to fuel his stoves.

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His parents live just eight miles away and while Titus likes visiting them regularly, it doesn't tempt him to go back to using electricity.

"I enjoy being there I enjoy hanging out with my parents but as far as the electricity or whatever I don't really miss it," he said.

But he revealed there is just one modern convenience he does miss.

He added: "I guess probably the only thing I miss living with electricity is a refrigerator. A refrigerator is just so handy."

Luckily, Titus has been able to come up with his own solution, using nature's fridge.

"I can put stuff in the creek and it'll keep overnight. Like if I have beans or something leftover I can put them in a pot in the creek and they'll stay good overnight," he explained.

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With no mobile phone or TV, Titus, who is very spiritual, likes to read the Bible and history books in his spare time.

But he's also come up with a different creative way of having fun — swinging from the trees in his woods.

During Peter's visit, Titus could be seen quickly scaling a tall, thin tree, before jumping across to another.

"We didn't have TV growing up so this is what we did for our spare time and I still do it for fun," he said.

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"Think I'm gonna ride this one down," he added as he incredibly bent the tree towards the ground until his feet touched the floor again.

While his life might seem remote, Titus does have friends nearby.

One of them is an Amish man Ruben Troyer, who lost one of his arms in a sawmill accident and has replaced it with a wooden prosthetic with a metal hook on the end.

As Titus took Peter to visit him he revealed this hasn't stopped him from being a skilled saddlemaker.

"I've lived longer with this than I have with my hand," Ruben said.

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Titus said he lives his life the way he does because it gives him "freedom".

"It gives me a freedom to not have to be down to a grind of a nine-to-five job, I don't have all these bills associated with electricity and so I can just work a small amount, whatever I want to work and I have enough money to live," he explained.

But while he loves working at his own home, waking up to the lush green countryside and living a quiet life, there's one thing he's been longing for — a wife.

The bachelor is searching for a special someone to share his off-the-grid home with and hopes to one day raise kids there.

"I think the only thing I'm missing really is someone to share this life with me and children, they'd enjoy it," he said.

Finding a girlfriend where Titus lives can be hard work, so in a quest to find love he even gave Peter his landline number to share so potential love interests can leave him a message.

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