Living simply can be thought of as a virtue. Dan Price practices this virtue in a rather extreme way, living on $5,000 a year, mostly in a self-described "hobbit hole" near Joseph, Oregon. For more than 20 years, Price has been living in the small underground structure that he built from mostly found materials on the horse pasture where it lies.
Once a photojournalist with a wife and two kids, he moved from Kentucky to his native Oregon to live a simple life after reading Harlan Hubbard's book "Payne Hollow," in which the author describes moving to a meager cottage in Ohio. In addition to the hobbit hole, Price made himself a bathhouse and sauna, a workshop, and a garage for his TerraTrike, a three-wheeled off-road bicycle that he uses to get around.
During the warm months of the year, Price lives on the horse pasture where his shelter is, paying the landowners $100 a month. In the colder months, he surfs in Hawaii. In addition to odd jobs around town, Price sells a zine called "Moonlight Chronicles."
And the reason for his disconnection? He told NBC News, "I don't believe in houses or mortgages. Who in their right mind would spend their lifetime paying for a building they never get to spend time in because they are always working?"
Web commenters were understanding of Price's lifestyle, but a bit circumspect. One person wrote, "A lot of people around the world live in worse conditions, not by choice, and they somehow get by. A lot of the things we take for granted aren't really necessary. I doubt I could do what these people are doing, but a part of me understands it."