- 33km walk from Victoria to Swartz Bay ferry, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada
- Breakfast: oats, Mexican vanilla flavoured corn-flour, bit of bran, a few flax seeds, half a pear and boiling water
- Lunch: ¾ cold potato and BOILED EGG (wow… saved up for an egg – sooo good)
- Dinner: rice with 15c of beef broth and small handful of diced kale
Not sure if I have ever walked 30km and only eaten a cold potato for the whole trip – but I have now! The boiled egg on the ferry was a taste and energy explosion however. Then my lovely host in Vancouver, Jozi, had cooked me dinner within my 70c budget!
‘Am I crazy or is the world?’ was the theme of my walk – a lovely 33km walk from downtown Victoria to the Vancouver ferry at Swartz Bay (no swimming today).
It is Sunday, a beautiful sunny spring day on Vancouver Island, British Colombia, Canada and perfect walking temperature. I needed to get from Victoria to the ferry departure point at Swartz Bay before about 5pm. Now to me I couldn’t think of anything better than walking that distance through urban landscape, forests, coast and everything in between. Some people will think doing that is crazy but for me I think it is crazy that our society might consider that that’s crazy.
The walk is purposeful, enjoyable, observational, contemplative, healthy, interactive with nature and others out on the trail and has many other positive benefits – why would I want to miss all that trapped in a machine to save me time do less purposeful things (usually no matter how important I think they are).
This is where I appreciate Live Below the Line because it slows everything down (except maybe me). Walking, cooking, talking, travelling and more. It does not waste time – the time spent doing these things is meaningful. Saving time is a great concept if you only have time to gather food for survival as you can then start to choose things like education, recreation and more, but I feel our developed world has taken it to a point that is so un-human and meaningless. Saving time becomes more important than time itself.
One of the essences of this concept of time and Live Below the Line for me is voluntary simplicity, basically ‘less is more’ and enjoying it. I love the idea of expecting and having less and being happy with that. The concept goes much further than this as it also represents a great connection to family, community, nature and the rest of the world. It is not easy for most but I absolutely love it and therefore appreciate the extra insights and skills Live Below the Line gives me.
I try not to tell people what to do and live life for myself but I can almost absolutely guarantee most people and the developed world would be happier, healthier and more humble with more voluntary simplicity in our lives. This is not about glorifying poverty just an acknowledgement of it when we are not forced into it.
I believe in not making simplicity hard, unwanted or a chore – I enjoy it and feel better for it in so many ways. This is not saying we can’t have anything or we need to live in yurts (cool), just a little contemplation on time and simplicity might be a good thing in our self-controlled but busy and complicated lives…?
For me walking is one of those great tools and I came up with this little quote on my walk:
‘The best TV shows are socks and shoes on your feet
and the stories on your street. Go for a walk and enjoy the beat!’
My Keens shoes have been walking me around for many years and are, a replaceable, but treasured possession as I know the joy and learning they give me.
Below are a couple of resources and very cool people and organisations to check out if you think you might be keen to know about this concept of voluntary simplicity… I also have ‘Simply Happy – a lifestyle model and education project’ in proposal stage if people are keen for me to send it to them.
Samuel Alexander and Voluntary Simplicity and Simplicity Collective – http://simplicitycollective.com/
- I have followed Samuel for a few years now as he did his PhD in this field and always has great blogs and e-newsletter
Donnie Maclurcan and a big team from the Post Growth Institute – http://postgrowth.org/
- they do some great research come up with cool concepts and actions like the Free Money Day, The (en)Rich List and many more
Michael Franti from Spearhead – http://michaelfranti.com
- has been a great role model of mine for many years through his music and lyrics. I don’t follow his website much but you will be ‘richer’ from listening to him!
Other like – Buy Nothing Day, The Story of Stuff, Adbusters, The Moneyless Man, Ted Trainer, Grist and heaps more propaganda out there!
And to top it all off you must watch this clip of Bangladeshi girls from the streets in a refuge centre and I think this will make your heart sing showing that the best things in life are not things. http://vimeo.com/m/40064516
Big hugs from a tired, simple but very fulfilled man in this evening…