Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Small is Better. Less is More.

A colleague and friend sent a link to a recent New York Times article called “Living With Less. A Lot Less” because she said it made her think of me.  I was as interested in the reasons why it made her think of me although admittedly, there is much there which is food for thought.  The author describes how his space is small but his life is big. I think that is how I would describe our lives these past three months.
We have been living in about 270 square feet of indoor space and about 240 square feet of adjacent outdoor space.  We have everything we need, and probably more than we need but it all seems adequate, more than adequate as we have hot and cold water, heat and AC if we need it, a shower and toilet, three sinks, a washer/dryer combo, a queen size bed, a stove, convection oven and microwave, all the necessary clothes, plenty of storage, computers and internet connections, plus iPhones and pads.  In fact, our outdoor space expands with a beach or mountains or village or city, wherever we would like to be.
We are in our home on wheels, otherwise known as a motor home or in some circles, an RV, recreational vehicle.  We have met numerous people who do this full time and we have actually considered it, maybe with a small home base somewhere convenient and inexpensive.  Here are just a few things I have discovered with this kind of living arrangement.  Nothing earth shaking but these experiences confirm small and less being rewarding.
We seem to have more time, time to read, write, walk, be with friends and family and still work part time.  I think full time work is over rated anyway.  There is less to care for, less stuff, fewer things.  It’s a lot like living on a boat.  Everything is compact and yet it is very comfortable, and we’re mobile, at least in North America all the way to Central America. Most of these three months have been in Mexico and that’s another story for another time.  Suffice to say here that is just terrific all around.  Maybe it’s time to reevaluate the mega mansions and visit the small house movement.  That’s symbolic as well as real.
There is an entire sub-culture, especially in the U.S. and Canada, composed of active RVers as we’re called, and we drive every imaginable conveyance you can think of from big converted buses to small campers and trailers and a lot in between.  I don’t know how many of us there are but I think we have discovered the value of less is more and smaller is better.

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