People continue to wonder how it is that Sal and I can live remote, isolated and seemingly without all the comforts of the city. The answer is amazingly simple: we don’t feel in the least remote nor isolated and we want for no comforts whatsoever. Admittedly, we lack for a few conveniences but, with a bit of planning and a smidge extra work, we can stay comfortable enough to meet our own standards quite nicely, thank you. So can anyone.
We don’t have 500 channels of TV. The mail is not delivered every day to our door and frequent shopping is impossible. I definitely do more of my own maintenance work and we don’t get the restaurant experience much any more.
Constantly ‘encountering’ people I know is also greatly reduced. But I can live with that and I think some of the people involved are relieved anyway, so it’s win-win socially-speaking.
In exchange for those minor alterations in lifestyle I live in a virtual paradise of flora and fauna. Think: living in Stanley Park overlooking Siwash Rock – it is better than that! I am also healthier if for no other reason than the air is pure and the work is more physical. And Sal’s food is better than any restaurant. The seafood is definitely fresher!
There are no rules. There are no sirens. There is no traffic and I have no stress. We need less. We want less. And, thank God! there is less! Less bills, too. And, in this sense, truly, less is more. More satisfying, more relaxing, more healthy, more affordable and more normally livable. It really does not get much better.
So, if that is the answer (and it is not rocket science)…………….what are they really asking…?
I think their questions are more of a normal exploration of possibility. These are tiny, baby steps for people getting to the same place, perhaps, in their lives – the place where they quit and change from what they have been doing – as we went through. I think people ask the ‘usual’ questions wanting to hear the answer they already know they are going to hear: It is not hardship to leave the city. In fact, it is a better lifestyle. And they want to hear that from the horse’s mouth. You know, the horse that actually bolted from the barn?
And, when I say ‘people’, I mean ‘retirees’ or soon-to-be’s. Baby-boomers. People my age. People winding down, thinking of the cottage, thinking of checking out on their own terms instead of being escorted from the building by security. People who have, perhaps, had enough of the rat race……just thinkin’ about the right timing……..is it now………..or later?
Mind you, I could be ‘projecting’. I do tend to think that every one basically thinks like I do.
Anyway, the point is this: if you are thinking about it, you should do it. Now! I say. And here are a few reasons why: 1. You are not getting any younger and up-rooting and moving is a task in itself. If you simply moved from your cul-de-sac to your cottage with no chop-saws or hammering in between, it is still a big effort. If you are going, go sooner rather than later. Much easier. 2. The ratio of relative values is good. Rural land is cheap, urban real estate still expensive. The ratio is always in your favour but right now is a particularly good time financially. 3. Living in the city is expensive. And that expense is what sets your perspective on what you need to live. In other words, most people think they need more money than they do. So, they continue to eat into their last remaining real capital…………..which after 60, is TIME. Too many people plan on maximizing their pensions at a cost of eating into their remaining lifetime. A smidge delusional, from my point of view. 4. There is no such thing as security. Things happen. Life happens. You may as well be proactive and do something rather than be so cautious that you don’t. Something is going to happen either way.
“Geez, Dave, why you sayin’ all that? I have no intention of leaving the cul-de-sac. I love it here! You are wrong. Not everyone wants out of the modern city. It is a marvel of civility and society and I like it!”
Right! Sorry. I do tend to project. Sorry about that. Just being encouraging. You know……for those who are still weighing the pros and cons……?