Gail and Jon are forced into a life of simplicity

April 14, 2011

Enforced Simplicity

Gail and I have embarked on an eight week journey without a schedule or an agenda. We will be living out of a 15 foot camperized vehicle with no fixed address. We each have a small bin for clothes and a bag of shoes. Our food fits in a refrigerator smaller than a breadbox and other household products are in a tiny cupboard. The fold out bed doubles as the couch and lawn chairs fold up when not needed. We have a simple set of cooking equipment and four sets of dishes. Everything has a place and everything is in its place.

However simple the surroundings, the environment is expansive. From the front seats of the van we have an ever-changing view. We experienced a snow storm as we left Calgary and snow/rain as we travelled through the Crowsnest Pass. A clear evening in Burnaby followed by three ferry voyages under sunny skies got us to Comox. The views have been of the Aspen Parkland, the foothills, soaring mountains, agricultural valleys and inland waterways. We’ve watched passenger trains and skytrains from a fifth floor condo, seagulls from a beachfront resort and the Canadian Snowbirds from a seaside home. We’ve eaten in a hippy breakfast nook and an award winning chefs dining room and bought bread from a bakery that sources all its products locally.

We are only seven days into the trip so far but already we are dropping the habits of our urban, harried life and slipping into a routine of rest, relaxation and renewal. While we recognize that one must have the resources to live this lifestyle (even temporarily) we also see that it can be a lot less expensive than the consumer oriented path most of us now follow.

In the following weeks we intend to camp at rustic campsites that charge only a few bucks a night but supply scenic views, showers and minimal power. As we travel we’ll snack on locally sourced foods and pick up ingredients for a simple meal from local shop keepers and producers. Our travel time is limited by design to just four hours a day so we have our bicycles along to provide both local transport and exercise.

As we decompress, we expect to begin reading, walking and talking as ways to fill our days. They say that repeating an activity for 30 days makes it a habit. We hope that when we return home we can continue to apply these slowness, simplicity and stressless habits into our lifestyle.

That’s what’s on my mind today.

Jon Hall

Learn more about the book and fund.

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram