Recently my partner and I have been considering joining a land co-op or intentional community. While we have been making choices in our lives to live simple and make sound ecological choices, we both feel as though we are lacking something- a greater sense of community. Neither of us have family in the area and we live so far out of town we rarely have visitors.
Intentional communities are able to offer the ability to live more of a communal lifestyle by sharing tools, studio and workshop space, and even a garden area. I have many things I feel that I would like to share with others (chainsaw, rototiller, wheelbarrow, car, music, recipes, cookery, and on and on). We would also choose one that had other children so that our child-on-the-way would have more social interaction. Generally, the communities are formed to share similar values as well, everything from spirituality to green living to self-sufficiency. Members are able to teach one another trades like permaculture, herbalism, alternative building, yoga, etc. While I wish that I could find more of a community feeling where I am, truth is I'm not going to become friends to the neighbor with the GOP candidates and Anti civil union/gay marriage signs on his front lawn. I feel that sharing a dream with others searching for similar goals is where I would like to see myself in the next couple of years.
This website has a list of intentional communities all over the world. Some are trying to form and others have been operating for years. Some of them have separate housing and even private acres with large shared common land and others all is shared. We are leaning more towards our own dwelling, but with shared common land-more of a cooperative. This way we could still have our "space", but still feel part of a community. This community really is attractive to us both.
So if anyone has had any experience with or have heard about other's experiences with intentional communities I would love to hear from you.