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-   -   How simply do you live? (https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=163801)

Ekdog 10-23-14 03:03 PM


Originally Posted by mconlonx (Post 17243503)
I've been half living out of the van for about 5 months now -- I am care-taking my son at his place, so access to kitchen and bathroom facilities, but have only slept inside less than a half dozen nights, preferring the hammock in the van.

However, proximity to my ex-no.1-in-laws as a result of spending a bunch of time with my son spurred this project from a bunch of beams under a tarp about to go to rot after 6 years, to this:

Ostensibly a sugar shack on ex-no.1's land, it's going up and I am putting the bulk of the work into it because I have their permission to live in it. 8 x 12 + sleeping loft. Should be a fun place to spend half a ME winter... (The other half, I'm bolting to San Francisco for a month or two. It's nice, living light and being mobile...)

Nice!

InGrained 10-24-14 03:13 PM

I rent a room from a man who lives in a really well off area. I just have an air mattress, and a dresser for furniture. With some books, electric razor, a game system, some games and dvds that I've had for a long time. Along with clothes, a cell phone(for emergencies) and bike gear that's pretty much all I own. I go everywhere by bike. I don't own a car. The room comes with free wifi and I get to use the kitchen an am aloud access to Netflix and hulu if I desire. I work a small job just enough to feed myself, and pay rent. I make more than I need so I use the rest to buy maybe some books or other small luxuries.

I eat mostly rice or oats with fruits or veggies/legumes mixed in. Of course with added spices or sauces for flavor. So my eating is really cheap. People often wonder how I afford food but it's easy.

I'm actually borrowing the air mattress. My sis who works at a furniture store was going to get me a high quality mattress for close to factory price, but I think I will buy a cot. I don't like the thought of owning things that are difficult to transport. Plus I am an environmentalist and mattresses use a lot of material usually full of harsh chemicals and it will end up in a landfill. They also are difficult to clean.

Lot's of people are like "You need more stuff", but I often think I could lose a few things.

Smallwheels 10-24-14 03:56 PM

One way I'm downsizing is to sell my computers. Three weeks ago I sold my Mac Book. It was a 2008 and was really getting slow. I have wiped the drive of my 2003 Gateway desktop and will be selling it for parts. My main machine is an HP desktop that I really like. It is connected to a 23" HD monitor. As soon as I receive my new low budget laptop and install a GNU/Linux OS on it my big desktop and screen will be for sale. My plan is to live in a vehicle and such a big system just won't fit as well as a laptop.

InGrained you have a good system going for you. Right now I rent a room too. My rent was $310 then it went up to $350 per month. If I weren't moving into a vehicle I would continue to rent a room. It is the cheapest way to live. I don't think I would want to rent an apartment and then get roommates. I would prefer not to be tied to a contract with a landlord or corporation. Being able to just pick up and go at a moments notice is what I find appealing about just renting a room.

InGrained 10-24-14 04:12 PM

I use a netbook. It serves my needs and it's so tiny. My rent is $375 for everything including utilities. And that was far cheaper than any place I could find. I like the idea of being mobile. I'm not to far from it really...

Roody 10-26-14 11:10 PM

Some of you might like this article on belongings and happiness:

Happiness and wealth: No one is rich or happy because we always want more.

enigmaT120 10-27-14 03:39 PM


Originally Posted by Roody (Post 17252316)
Some of you might like this article on belongings and happiness:

Happiness and wealth: No one is rich or happy because we always want more.

What a bummer. Here's a counterpoint, of sorts:

What is Hedonic Adaptation and How Can it Turn You Into a Sucka?

Smallwheels 10-27-14 04:02 PM


Originally Posted by Roody (Post 17252316)
Some of you might like this article on belongings and happiness:

Happiness and wealth: No one is rich or happy because we always want more.

It seems to me that the people in that article who don't have enough money and are not happy have no clue about what they want. Wait. I take that back. They do know what they want. They want more. The problem is that more is an infinite thing. It never ends.

They probably don't see things like some of us. Often I see things that I like and can easily make the decision that I really don't need it and wouldn't use it very often. I don't buy them. Sure such things would be fun momentarily but not often. Maybe the people with More's Disease (you read it here first) must have everything that catches their eye. They must have it no matter what the consequences.

One person in the article had a Lexus LFA (fast sports car), a Porsche 911 and wanted a Bugatti Veyron (super fast sports car). That is avarice.

For now I just want to be in the middle class, have a home on wheels, and not need to worry about money. After that I'll take up some interests that cost a little bit of money.

Traveling and seeing many places around the country and world does cost a lot of money but to enjoy it wouldn't require staying in first class hotels and renting expensive cars instead of using public transportation or taxi's.

Being a billionaire must be a lot of work. I wouldn't want to be one unless it were given to me. It would take too much work shuffling around the money to keep it out of the hands of government. If I had three-million dollars I could never work another day in my life and have a blast. I could probably do it with two-million but three would make it less troublesome.

Maybe I could do it with just one-million dollars but it would take a bit of restraint. I could live another thirty years spending just $30,000 per year.

I've spent less than nine-thousand dollars in the last year but I remained home and didn't buy anything big. I'm the anti-millionaire. I think of how I could live on less and less whereas they think of how they could live on more and more.

Artkansas 10-27-14 04:42 PM


Originally Posted by InGrained (Post 17246906)
I don't like the thought of owning things that are difficult to transport.

That's my rule of thumb. Nothing that I can't pick up and move by myself. Of course if it can be broken into parts and each part carried by me, that qualifies too.

Slowhead 10-27-14 11:36 PM


Originally Posted by enigmaT120 (Post 17254371)
What a bummer. Here's a counterpoint, of sorts:

What is Hedonic Adaptation and How Can it Turn You Into a Sucka?

I like the website. Thanks for posting.

mconlonx 10-28-14 06:29 AM


Originally Posted by InGrained (Post 17246906)
I'm actually borrowing the air mattress.

You should consider a hammock. Less money for initial purchase, more benefits compared to an air mattress, much easier to maintain...

Smallwheels 10-31-14 04:53 PM


Originally Posted by mconlonx (Post 17255831)
You should consider a hammock. Less money for initial purchase, more benefits compared to an air mattress, much easier to maintain...

Air mattresses are great if you can keep them inflated. Even the expensive ones lose air and will eventually get a big hole in them. I have thought that the people who make inflatable rafts and boats should make mattresses. I'm talking about the white water rafting materials with Kevlar. Those materials are super tough and shouldn't ever get holes in them from just sleeping on them in a house.

I prefer a cot for a few reasons. A cot is very portable and can be made small easily for transporting. The way it holds a person in place is comfortable for me but not as tight as a hammock. Hammocks hold bodies in a pocket with the legs and head elevated and the bottom hanging in the middle. I don't like that for very long.

With a pad for cushioning on the bottom, a comforter for breathability on top of the pad, and your favorite sheets and pillows on top, a cot is supper supportive and comfortable.

When you're finished sleeping on a cot, a few bungee cords can be used to hold the pillows and sheets in place so the cot can be leaned against a wall and moved out of the way to give more space in a room.

Some cots made these days are good for people weighing up to three-hundred pounds. There are specialized models that hold even bigger people. My cot is made by Slumberjack. It is OK for something that remains assembled. There are similar brands that have quick release ends that make disassembly very easy. I would go for one of those if in the market for another cot.

Ekdog 11-07-14 08:20 AM

[h=1]Pedal Away From It All—With an Ultralight Camper Trailer Attached[/h]

gregjones 11-07-14 09:32 AM


Originally Posted by Smallwheels (Post 17254436)
It seems to me that the people in that article who don't have enough money and are not happy have no clue about what they want. Wait. I take that back. They do know what they want. They want more. The problem is that more is an infinite thing. It never ends.

Boiled down:
Those who are greedy are always needy.

Zedoo 11-24-14 11:31 PM

I checked the freecycle site years ago and soon forgot it because I didn't want to use yahoo mail. Now it appears to be open to any email, so it may be useful to give or get free stuff. Some of the wanted ads are a little bit ludicrous, such as for cars and flatscreen TVs.

wahoonc 11-27-14 05:46 AM


Originally Posted by Zedoo (Post 17337624)
I checked the freecycle site years ago and soon forgot it because I didn't want to use yahoo mail. Now it appears to be open to any email, so it may be useful to give or get free stuff. Some of the wanted ads are a little bit ludicrous, such as for cars and flatscreen TVs.

I gave up on the one around here. It was about 95% of people asking for stuff vs people wanting to give away stuff.

Aaron :)

Roody 11-27-14 05:53 AM


Originally Posted by wahoonc (Post 17343808)
I gave up on the one around here. It was about 95% of people asking for stuff vs people wanting to give away stuff.

Aaron :)

I don't know how freecycle is these days, but years ago I got a great phone. I told the lady I would be riding my bike out to her place in the suburbs to pick up the phone She insisted on bringing it to my house in a very slummy part of town. She pulled up in a brand new Jaguar and gave me the phone without getting out of her car. It was pretty funny.

Smallwheels 11-27-14 09:35 PM

Luke Skywalker
 
Have you seen the movie Star Wars? How does that relate to living simply? In some aspects I feel like Luke Skywalker when he was leaving Tatooine. He didn't have any family. He was frustrated with living in a place where there was no excitement, and this is the big one for me; he had to sell his speeder for much less than it was really worth.

In my storage unit there are numerous boxes filled with low to middle value items. Then there are the boxes with valuable things that I can't sell for retail because I want to leave my current city very soon. Last week I dumped about $1800 of jewelry for $700. I'm about to do the same thing with my storage unit. Life is about choices. My choice to move is more valuable to me than the storage unit full of things.

Sure I'm not leaving my town after my relatives have been murdered and my house has been destroyed by the Empire, but moving on does have its difficulties. I'm going to have about six big boxes of possessions when I'm done with the purge, maybe less. I will be reaching my goal to own no more things than will fit into a large bicycle trailer. By that I mean a custom made big trailer, though I'm not getting one made.

How many people in the Western world can really say they are OK living with so few things? I realize that minimalists aren't very common. Everybody on this segment of bikeforums is very different from the rest of society already. Maybe minimalists are an even smaller subset of car free people.

I wonder how Luke Skywalker felt once he left Tatooine. In none of the movies following Star Wars did we ever see him in a house or apartment of his own. Did he always live on the road with just a single duffel bag to hold all of his possessions? Maybe the members of the Jedi Order are all minimalists by nature and don't need or want to accumulate possessions. They let The Force provide for their needs.

Ekdog 11-27-14 09:40 PM

When are you going to move?

Roody 11-28-14 12:10 AM


Originally Posted by Smallwheels (Post 17345363)
Have you seen the movie Star Wars? How does that relate to living simply? In some aspects I feel like Luke Skywalker when he was leaving Tatooine. He didn't have any family. He was frustrated with living in a place where there was no excitement, and this is the big one for me; he had to sell his speeder for much less than it was really worth.

In my storage unit there are numerous boxes filled with low to middle value items. Then there are the boxes with valuable things that I can't sell for retail because I want to leave my current city very soon. Last week I dumped about $1800 of jewelry for $700. I'm about to do the same thing with my storage unit. Life is about choices. My choice to move is more valuable to me than the storage unit full of things.

Sure I'm not leaving my town after my relatives have been murdered and my house has been destroyed by the Empire, but moving on does have its difficulties. I'm going to have about six big boxes of possessions when I'm done with the purge, maybe less. I will be reaching my goal to own no more things than will fit into a large bicycle trailer. By that I mean a custom made big trailer, though I'm not getting one made.

How many people in the Western world can really say they are OK living with so few things? I realize that minimalists aren't very common. Everybody on this segment of bikeforums is very different from the rest of society already. Maybe minimalists are an even smaller subset of car free people.

I wonder how Luke Skywalker felt once he left Tatooine. In none of the movies following Star Wars did we ever see him in a house or apartment of his own. Did he always live on the road with just a single duffel bag to hold all of his possessions? Maybe the members of the Jedi Order are all minimalists by nature and don't need or want to accumulate possessions. They let The Force provide for their needs.

I've been following your story with much interest. I'm glad you keep us posted.

Smallwheels 11-28-14 11:07 PM

The Forever Move
 
1 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by Ekdog (Post 17345382)
When are you going to move?

For two years I've been hinting and at times declaring I would be moving in the summer. Oops I've missed it twice. Plans are made. Jobs are gotten and lost. Hopes are built upon faith that things will happen as planned. Plans are dashed. Hope is lost and then rekindled. Perhaps it takes a series of losses to finally make it sink in that it is time to leave no matter how much will be lost during the transition.

Long ago I had a realization that in a way relates to my current situation. This might apply to others but it definitely applies to me. I own numerous things. Some of them I would never want to sell. Some of them I could sell and not feel bad about it. Some things I could give away and not feel any loss.

A big part of my reluctance to part with certain things comes from fear. There is a feeling of loss when possessions are stolen, damaged, destroyed, or given away. The underlying fear is that such an item can't be replaced. Is it so unique that it couldn't possibly be replaced? Nobody wants to feel loss. Losing something means never being able to enjoy that thing again.

This feeling of fear stems from the feeling of lack. There is another way to look at this. Abundance. Think of something you own that you would hate to lose or have destroyed. Would you feel the same way about damaging it or losing it if you had an unlimited supply of the same thing?

What about this idea. Maybe you could lose something or part with something but instead of feeling loss you could feel eager to find something just as good and perhaps it would be even better. This is the point of view I try to keep in mind. It is the one I'm focused on related to the overall situation of moving. I'll be dropping a lot of old things and perhaps gaining some new ones that might be better than the old ones.

For years I've been selling off possessions. At first the feelings of loss were strong, even when selling furniture that belonged to my parents. It wasn't in use and frankly wasn't something I would have bought for myself. Yet the feeling of loss was there. Now I can part with things much easier because I know that afterwards I will feel OK and maybe even better. Each thing sold lightens the load on my move and my mind.

The move was supposed to happen on Sunday. Delays of one sort or another keep popping up. Almost all of the things I intend to keep have been found and put aside. Just a little more work and coordination with an estate agent should nearly wrap it up. It might be another week before I go.

I lowered the price of my desktop computer and the 23" HD monitor to just $99 and still nobody in this small town wants to buy it at that price. It would include speakers, an external microphone, the keyboard, and mouse. In a big city it would have sold at a higher price. Thus my lamenting about the Luke Skywalker situation.

What I'm going through is nothing compared to people who have had to flee their homes because of war. A few months ago I came across a photo in a news story about Ukraine. It showed a boy wearing a backpack and pulling a small suitcase. Whether the photo was a genuine news story image or one the reporter just felt fit the situation (we know there's lots of propaganda going around), it still symbolized to me that there are people in the world who survive with few possessions. I look at this photo for inspiration and use it as a reminder that I've got it really good.

http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=420228

Machka 11-29-14 12:09 AM


Originally Posted by Smallwheels (Post 17347597)
For two years I've been hinting and at times declaring I would be moving in the summer. Oops I've missed it twice. Plans are made. Jobs are gotten and lost. Hopes are built upon faith that things will happen as planned. Plans are dashed. Hope is lost and then rekindled. Perhaps it takes a series of losses to finally make it sink in that it is time to leave no matter how much will be lost during the transition.

So ... where are you moving?


And regarding getting rid of stuff, Rowan and I have each done that twice.

Mine were both voluntary. I got rid of about half my stuff and put the other half into storage so I could tour Australia for 3 months and then finish my most recent degree. Then a number of years later, I got rid of more ... down to 300 cubic feet ... so I could move to Australia. I moved with a suitcase and bicycle box, and then about 18 months later the rest of my stuff (the 300 cubic feet) arrived.

Rowan downsized so he could follow the harvest trail ... and then he lost a lot in the bushfire that came through the area where we used to live. And we lived in a shack in the middle of nowhere, well off the grid, with next to nothing for a year.

So ... the loss factor is not unfamiliar to us.

But since then, both of us have wanted to reacquire stuff. We had enough of living with next to nothing.

Smallwheels 11-29-14 04:40 AM


Originally Posted by Machka (Post 17347647)
So ... where are you moving.

Salt Lake City Utah. It gets cold there but it doesn't last as long as in Helena Montana. We're having another cold blast right now. Tomorrows high temperature will be 19. In Salt Lake City it will be 59, which looks like an above average temperature. Overall it seems to be ten degrees or more warmer there than here in the winter. I doubt they have as many days that are fifteen degrees or more below zero.

Basically I want to live in a place where I can go outside and pedal or walk to a grocery store and not fear that I could die if I got stuck outside for longer than I expected. I also don't want to be stuck inside for two or three weeks at a time a couple of times each year. If I owned a car those weather situations wouldn't matter so much. All I would need is good tires and a way to keep it plugged into a block heater to keep the oil liquified when parked.

Machka 11-29-14 04:48 AM


Originally Posted by Smallwheels (Post 17347771)
Salt Lake City Utah. It gets cold there but it doesn't last as long as in Helena Montana. We're having another cold blast right now. Tomorrows high temperature will be 19. In Salt Lake City it will be 59, which looks like an above average temperature. Overall it seems to be ten degrees or more warmer there than here in the winter. I doubt they have as many days that are fifteen degrees or more below zero.

Basically I want to live in a place where I can go outside and pedal or walk to a grocery store and not fear that I could die if I got stuck outside for longer than I expected. I also don't want to be stuck inside for two or three weeks at a time a couple of times each year. If I owned a car those weather situations wouldn't matter so much. All I would need is good tires and a way to keep it plugged into a block heater to keep the oil liquified when parked.

I can understand the desire to live in a warmer place. :) After 40+ years living on the Canadian prairies, the warmth of Australia was one of the reasons I decided to move here. :D

Roody 12-09-14 12:52 AM

"Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify. Simplify....

"If the day and the night are such that you greet them with joy and life emits a fragrance like flowers and sweet-scented herbs, is more leastic, more starry, more immortal, that is your success. All nature is your congratulation, and you have momentarily to bless yourself."

Walden, Henry David Thoreau
[HR][/HR]

I ran across this quotation from my favorite writer while reading a story about "Alexander Supertramp" (Chris McCandless).

Smallwheels 12-09-14 11:54 PM

My Favorite TEDx Talk
 

Originally Posted by Roody (Post 17374199)
"Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify. Simplify....

"If the day and the night are such that you greet them with joy and life emits a fragrance like flowers and sweet-scented herbs, is more leastic, more starry, more immortal, that is your success. All nature is your congratulation, and you have momentarily to bless yourself."

Walden, Henry David Thoreau


I ran across this quotation from my favorite writer while reading a story about "Alexander Supertramp" (Chris McCandless).

I've seen this here and elsewhere. It fits this thread so here it is again. This is the one about the guy from Thailand who tried the ways of the Western World and found it wasn't right for him. It probably isn't right for many of us. Henry David Thoreau would love this guy.

The speaker at this TEDx is Jon Jandai. "Life is easy. Why do we make it so hard?"




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