A Unique Lifestyle: 4 Decades Of Isolation

The true story of a man who has been living separated from the rest of the world convinced me once again that everyone should have the right to live the way they want.
A Unique Lifestyle: 4 Decades of Isolation
Source - https://pixabay.com/en/sunset-peace-solitude-calm-nature-1207326/

I suppose we all need moments to be alone with our own conscience and thoughts from time to time, or even crave for some sort of escape from the outer world and the crazy society we live in, but if we are lucky enough to live in such a remote place for a few days and recharge our batteries, we then return to our ordinary life and we are anxious to communicate with people again and have a busy social life. However, there are people, very few undoubtedly who represent exceptions from this rule because they crave for loneliness all

the time.

I saw such a case in a very interesting documentary which featured a man called Faustino Barrientos, who was 81 years old in 2011 when the documentary was made. This extraordinary man had settled in a remote area in Chilean Patagonia, near Lake O’Higgins, in 1965 and has been living ever since in almost complete solitude. He had a very simple life, growing cattle and farming and he owned a vast piece of land which allowed him to move freely and feel in his elements in the harsh conditions of Patagonia; he only went to town once in a while to buy provisions and then returned to his solitary lifestyle.

Of course, there are other people who live in remote places and in tough climates in other parts of the world as well, but they usually aren’t alone, they have families to take care of. That wasn’t the case of Faustino who deliberately chose to be completely alone. As expected, his choice made the inhabitants of the area around Lake O’Higgins consider him an outcast, a sort of lunatic and an uncommunicative person, but to my great surprise I discovered a completely different man than I had expected in the documentary.

Not only that Faustino welcomed the TV crew in his modest house, but he also spoke quite frankly about his life and the solitude he loved, and hopefully still

enjoys, so much; he even showed that he was aware of the things happening in the world during all his period of isolation because he had a radio and also a significant number of newspapers he had bought on the rare occasions in which he went to town.

However, he revealed that there had been periods of almost a year in which he hadn’t seen a single soul, which might have been enough for many people to lose their minds, but not for Faustino; that man simply loved being alone with his domestic animals, his lectures and his wine as companions, he simply didn’t feel the need to communicate with other people,not even his own relatives.

Eventually things began to change and Faustino was no longer alone in his old age. There was another young man to whom Faustino had given permission to bring his animals on his land and the two men were living and working, and sometimes they received visits from tourists who were curious to meet the person who had the audacity to live alone for more than 4 decades in one of the most remote places on Earth, a place the old man had never left since 1965 and where he wanted to live until the end.

The amazing real story of this man showed me that, no matter how strange their choice would appear to others, there are people who feel happy by living in almost complete isolation from the rest of society. It is their choice and if that’s what makes them happy, I think we should respect their decisions and not consider them weird persons or freaks simply because they like living in isolation. If that’s what makes them feel good, let them live as they want!

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