Or why self sustainability, minimalism and back-to-the-roots bring me satisfaction
Yesterday I helped a friend moving his office from one place to another, the move itself was finished quickly as he didn’t have any furniture that needed to be hauled. He is an architect and whenever we look at his or others’ projects I start a little bit of day dreaming. Big houses don’t intrigue me, whereas the idea of limiting the size of your house and still having all the essential components is fascinating to me. It was this article about a couple that decided to built a 704square feet home and use the spare time they got from having a tiny house on things they love doing that made me realize that I don’t want any more than that.
Not only are we both interested in architecture, but he loves Africa as much as I do (or almost 🙂 ). We often share stories from adventures we’ve experienced in Africa or elsewhere and no matter what the story is about or where it occurred, it always comes down to the fact that the greatest feelings, the best experiences, the ultimate memories were made when life was simplest.
Let it be the most basic shower at a remote campsite in Africa that consists of a metal bucket with holes in the bottom – you fill it with water that was heated on the campfire, pull up the bucket and now your 60second shower has started. Or the fish that you caught off the coast and that’s now being prepared for dinner over the open fire, served with nothing but a plain loaf of bread. Those are basic events that don’t seem to be a big deal, but to me they bring an incredible amount of joy – more than any typical daily occurrence like shopping or watching TV would do.
Minimalism is a trend that became more popular within the last decade or so. Top manager quit their jobs and decide to live a simple life without the responsibility they had before. Middle-aged couples give up their normal life and break free from consumerism. Again, the idea of “having less” fascinates me. Being able to list all the items you own must create a feeling of freedom like nothing else.
This TEDtalk perfectly sums up how we are caught in this circle of consumerism and debt; we buy stuff with money we don’t own and we work at a job we don’t like, just to be able to buy more stuff. Where is this supposed to end?
Well, right now I’m in a rather conservative profession that doesn’t allow me to take off and see whether I’ll be coming back in a year or not – and I don’t want that at the moment, I’m happy with my job, but I also know that I won’t be living this life forever. One thing however that I experience in my every day life that brings me joy on a similar level is the self sustainability of my parents. It is such a great feeling to be going to the veggie garden and decide what you want for dinner – not one day, but every single day of the week for the warm months. As a vegan you don’t really rely on too many other things and knowing that you can get all the veggies you want from roughly 1000square feet is amazing.
Or simply living out of your Defender, driving through Africa however and wherever you want to – could anything top this ultimate form or freedom?