The world economic situation is making a lot of people edgy. I’m not immune to that, especially when carefully saved funds take a beating in some “safe” investment or another. On the other hand, I’m fortunate. My partner and I aren’t big consumers. Our lifestyle doesn’t depend on large cash inflows. We spend our days in pursuits that give us deep satisfaction.
A lot of people experiment with ways of creating a life that works for them on their own terms. Here are three I’ve come across recently. The first couple has retreated to a rural setting. The second is on the road. The third has found a way to create a sustainable urban farm.
Margy and Wayne Lutz live in a floating cabin on Powell Lake, British Columbia. They discovered the lake on one of their vacations from suburban Los Angeles. She has written about their transition in “Powell Riverites By Choice”. Margy has a consulting business, helping non-profits write grants. She is also an avid gardener so had a floating garden built. In it she grows lettuce, spinach, carrots, onions, radishes, strawberries and asparagus. The potato patch is up four flights of steep steps attached to the side of the cliff above their home.
Wayne is a writer with a growing list of books to his name. His writing retreat is a boat tethered to the float the cabin sits on. His computer is powered by a solar panel. They live most of the year on the lake, sharing the serene setting with bears, Canada geese, and other wildlife. You can learn more about their life on their blog.
Meisha and Josh, the Vagabloggers, customized a van and chose a rolling life free of major encumbrances. I’d go starkers in a space that small, but they are young and unencumbered and adventurous. They have slipped the corporate bonds and the trap of possessions and are living on the road, gathering experiences instead of things.
After eight months in the Dodge van, they sold it and headed off to Costa Rica (video below). Whether they travel this way for a year or decide never to settle into a middle-class lifestyle, they will have a lifetime of stories to tell. You can follow their blog and find them on Facebook , Twitter, and YouTube.
Choosing an alternative lifestyle does not have to mean moving out of the city or taking to the road. The Urban Homestead started when Jordanne and Anais Dervais bought a run-down house in Pasadena and decided “to create a new revolution in sustainable urban living". Instead of going "back to the land", they explored the possibilities of farming around their urban home
In 2010 they harvested 7,000 pounds of produce and produced enough excess to sell vegetables, herbs, fruits and edible flowers through their Front Porch Farmstand. Their Dervaes Gardens operation sells to upscale restaurants and caterers. They host “Front Porch Performances” and offer workshops. You can catch the flavour of their successful urban farm through their video brochure and the promotional video below. They make good use of social media: blog, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.