Charlie: “The Real Beauty of Simbi”

Charlie, a Simbi member based in Austin, TX, writes about finding the real beauty of Simbi. Charlie is self-described “obsessive perfectionist” who’s willing to try almost anything once. Skilled in creative writing and problem solving, Charlie’s always looking to help other members out on Simbi.


My first in-person Simbi experience was everything I hoped this site would be. I started getting a lot of responses almost immediately after posting my first project, and I was seeing a bunch of cool requests and offers from other users as well, but after talking with Adrian (and seeing some of the ideas he had,) I knew this place was for me.

After some coordinating over the internet, we finally decided that the best exchange would be an hour of yard work in exchange for a nice, home-cooked vegetarian meal. I pitched in a few extra simbi to get a lesson on making my own sauerkraut as well, and it was definitely worth it.

Like most people who work inside (and in my case, sitting down,) I don’t get out as often as I would like. I spend most of my free time thinking about new experiences, things I want to do, or planning trips for “one of these days,” but when I actually have a day off, more often then not I’ll go to a restaurant and end up sitting on someone’s couch before too long, and all of those plans go up in smoke.

Meeting Adrian and his lovely wife was an amazing experience, and their home was beautiful, and I was thankful to be welcomed into it, but more than anything that anyone did, the knowledge that I had actually gone out and done something and been a participant in the world was what really sold me on this idea of symbiotic living. I asked my friend to join me, and she had a great time as well. For the first time in I don’t know how long, I worked out to actually accomplish something, rather than just mindlessly exerting myself. I made new friends, and I did something that I could look at and say “I did this. This was done because of me.” And I know how to make sauerkraut, which is pretty excellent. For zero dollars spent, I had an amazing date and a wonderful feeling of real satisfaction. In retrospect, I honestly would have paid for the experience!

I’ve already gotten several friends to check out this site, but I hope to bring many more. Simbi offers something that you can’t get anywhere else. When you trade services and effort and time instead of money, you aren’t just indulging in some unrealistic hippie flower child dream of a cashless economy. Some people I’ve talked to have this idea that money is inherently bad, and that’s fine for them. But the real beauty of Simbi isn’t rejecting money, but rather the acknowledgement that you don’t NEED money–and not only do you not need it, but looking at your fellow humans as more than just potential dollars and cents is in and of itself rewarding, in an almost spiritual sense as well as a practical one.

Whatever the reason you decided to try Simbi, I hope you stick around and really give it a chance. If you do, you won’t regret it.

Charlie G.


Simbiotic Stories are real anecdotes told by you and other Simbi community members. Tell us about your Simbi deals and experiences with other members. If your story is published, we’ll credit your account with 150 simbi. Submit your entries by starting a conversation with us via this link.

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