Simplicity Is Expensive

Pretty sweet video, right? If you watched it please keep reading, if you didn' the video.


This video illustrates one of those aspirational lifestyles. Many people don't want to live this lifestyle but like seeing it documented, some people would like to visit, and a few would actually like to drop everything and move into the forest.

For me, I fall into the second camp. I would love to visit a place like this, but would not absolutely love living there. There is too much separation from society as a whole, and I like society. I think we can be pretty nifty folks. But what this video really inspires in me is an idea to live more simply—full of free time and passions. A life wholly and completely unconcerned by material goods. The problem becomes, how do I get there without being homeless on the streets?

In one of the great paradoxes of modern life, some of the simplest things are beginning to cost more money. Just over a year ago I was looking for camping in Colorado. I was with friends and we all wanted a pleasant night under some mountain stars and waking up to the forest around us. The problem was that all of the campsites were closed or cost money. Finally, after a few hours of searching we found our free campsite, but not before passing site after site of $15 and up campgrounds.

It has become illegal to live off of the land in many places because of permits, trespassing, and a bunch of other rules that are breakable if you only have enough money. The message becomes that the richer you are, the more simplicity you can afford. And once you have enough money to afford simplicity, you may have a difficult time getting away from what made you rich in the first place.

I don't want to live like an ascetic in the wilderness, but I would like to live near wilderness and friends and laugh and follow my passions and enjoy my free time just like every other person in the world. The whole process just seems a teeny weeny bit broken. Fortunately, I have a little bit of time I can afford now, so I am going to go and enjoy the outdoors for a while.

See ya on the flip side.