...we were packing up the van for our great adventure; deciding on what to take with us and what to leave behind. (ProTip: Much more should have gone in the 'leave behind' pile.)
We were all full of excitement at the possibilities that stretched out before us. And, yes, we certainly did have some adventures. (Many of which we *still* need to post about! Don't worry, more to come in the near future.)
But what has become of the Curious Souls since then, you ask? What is so 'alternative' about our living now?
Well, this trip changed our lives. The time we spent traveling, reading, reflecting while not working, helped us define what we want for our lives now and and in the future.
So what is it that we actually want?
To Work For Ourselves
I won't lie: in the beginning, we were afraid (well, Ellen was afraid). Not having a regular paycheck was a bit of an adjustment for two people conditioned to expect one. But it turns out that it was unfounded fear. Now that we're used to it, we love being self-employed. Jon is currently working on his second software contract through his company (AvieTech) and Ellen recently started working as a consultant to her old employer. For us, the impact of this control over our time on our state of mind cannot be overstated. Not only does it fit more closely with our personalities, but it fits with the plans we have for our future. Do we make less money? Yes. But do we also work less, have more time for personal activities and are we happier? Absolutely.
To Live Slower Lives
Part of why we are happier is because our lives are slower. When possible, we bike instead of drive. When our washing is done, we hang dry it. We cook more, take more walks, sleep in. We are also consuming and wasting less, buying many of our groceries and household items in bulk and composting (summer will show us how successfully). I know, it sounds totally hippie-obnoxious but it really is rewarding.
Freedom From Possessions
Part of consuming less has included learning to differentiate between what we need and what we want. The temptation to consume is strong but there is a psychic toll to owning stuff. We want to stay free. Beside, there will be more travel in our future. We need to stay fleet of foot!
By all of our measures, our Experiment in Alternative Living has been, and continues to be, a success story. We are committed to continue to grow and change and look forward to sharing that with you!
(Pic: Last night's Super Mooooooon!!)