I started writing this a few months ago but never got around to finishing it because I thought we hadn't lived in the bus long enough to give a valid opinion. Yesterday was our six month anniversary of living on the bus and I think that it's been long enough to give a fair comparison to living in a house. I'm dividing this into two parts, here is the first one:
Everyday now I realize something new that I really appreciate or am grateful for that I didn't pay attention to or even notice while I lived in a house. It made me think about the comparisons or trade offs I've made to get where I am today. A few years ago when I got back from thruhiking the Appalachian Trail I went through a rough transition going from living outside on a trail to living back in a house, going to work and living in a typical Canadian small town. I clearly remember thinking that so many of the choices we make living in society were totally wasteful and needless an at the same time missing or yearning for the natural beauty and peacefulness and freedom that I thought came from trail life. I wanted to figure out a way to make those two totally different worlds come together because let's face it I probable couldn't live the rest of my life on a trail. Fast forward three years and here I am doing exactly that! I'm finding a way to make the two worlds collide! Here is a list of trade offs I've made and how I think it's worked out: Traded a 1000 plus square foot house for an 80 square foot bus. This trade alone has given me so much more free time than I had imagined. It takes minutes to clean or tidy up the bus compared to the hours it takes to clean a whole house. It takes way less work! Half a months wages to pay for a house compared to half a weeks wages to live in a bus for a month! Imagine only having to work for half a week a month to pay for you bills! Traded mostly indoor living for mostly outdoor living. Even while inside now I have a 360 degree view! This trade off on its own is enough to change someone! I have noticed every sunrise and sunset since living on the bus! I have sat in bed as deer walked right past my bed on the other side of the window panes! I notice the clouds and their shapes, the colour of the sky, the direction and feel of the wind! I hear the howl of the coyotes, the sounds of the birds and the scampering of the squirrels on a daily basis. I have a love for creation, an appreciation of the beauty of nature and a gratitude that I am able to enjoy it and a joy that wells up in me for life everyday! This is the difference for me between living inside versus outside. I am so much happier now! Traded my modern day appliances and conveniences for a slower way of life. This doesn't sound like an advantage but it truly has been. We take our time prepping and cooking our meals together now. Our food and coffee tastes better (well not as good as in Spain but you know what I mean). We seem to get more enjoyment out of everything! We can pick and choose our surroundings for each meal. Do we want to eat at the park, by the waterfront, or at a secluded spot? Our life isn't so stationary anymore! We spend more time together now compared to both of us being at home but in different rooms of the house doing separate things. Living in a bus has also made us so aware of everything we use and how wasteful we were before. We carry limited water on the bus and use it sparingly. We use solar power and are very aware of how much power we use if we ever plug something extra in. We don't have space for garbage and recycling on the bus and find ourselves leaving the packaging behind at whatever store we happen to be at when we purchase something and we only purchase what we need as we need it. We notice how needlessly wasteful our society has become. We are still getting shedding possessions that we realize we don't need and learning just how little we actually need to have a healthy, happy life!