I can honestly say that my life in my lorry is lovely. I am amazed why I don’t meet more people who have left bricks and mortar behind a to join the freedom trail. In this blog I’m going to re-examine the basics.
The first great pleasure is the simplicity of the life. Reducing the possessions to the absolutely essential is challenging but wonderfully purging. We live with so much STUFF in the West. It’s a mark of success in life. More, larger, bigger…. But personal success surely should be an internal spiritual not an external commercial quest. We’ll all be there, reviewing our lives on our deathbeds and what will give us the most meaningful memories? Our possessions or our achievements? What we earned or what we gave?
I also love the cosy, reduced environment of a tiny living space. Everything I need to live, survive and enjoy is within three paces of where I am sitting now. For the real essentials it’s one pace. Being in control of all things in and out. It is a cell and yes I do feel like a monk and occasionally a prisoner. But mostly I am hugely happy with the decision I made four years ago and I wouldn’t go back.
I am occasionally overwhelmed and even overjoyed when I step into my friends’ palatial places. Three bedrooms. A kitchen AND a living room. But then I think of the costs of lighting, heating, rent and mortgage, community charges and bills. The burdens. And of the vast collection of STUFF they have. Parkinson’s law translated into space (C. Northcote Parkinson 1955 – do read the fascinating Wikipedia article). Would I swap? Definitely not.
And I love the fact that my place has wheels. I know it’s diesel and a cause for concern (even with my expensive catalytic exhaust system) and I really need to work out some offsetting strategies (can anyone advise?) But in summer to move from Ilfracombe to Wallingford and on and on and see the changing favourite vistas from my living and driving room window is such a great pleasure. To visit favourite friends in all the places and then to move on before I become a hindrance.
It is a very solitary life. I’m never sure whether this is just because I have fashioned mine like that. I have made the occasional attempt to adapt it to relationships, but without much success and with some notable humdinger failures. I’m not going to detail those here or the reasons for failure. Some people do adapt friend and family life to travelling, but I don’t think it’s at all easy and many fail as I have. So I shall stay solitary from now on and cope with the occasional pangs of loneliness. Would I swap? Probably not.
And then there’s my roots. I really miss a garden. A garden of my own. The one at the yard never fully materialised because it rather depended on others’ input and for various reasons they didn’t share my ways of doing things. Also spiritual roots, as part of a community. I do miss those. Friends who are there all the time, day in day out. Crossing paths on the Kinecroft of life. Walking dogs, meeting and nodding acquaintances, close friends to turn to in an emergency. Swapping gossip. Would I swap? Possibly not.
After all we’re all closer now. The electronic Kinecroft is there for us to cross daily and how wonderful is that?
All the best from a road near you,