Our friends Wes and Elizabeth have been talking about coming to visit for quite some time. Finally our free time aligned and flights were booked. They were a bit hesitant at first to stay in our tiny floating home but once they arrived it didn’t take long for them to see why we’re so happy living this life less ordinary.
We gave them the run-down on how all the systems work and showed them what to expect for the next week living on a boat. We showed them everything from how to use the toilet to how to conserve water. We sailed to some of our favorite anchorages in the US Virgin Islands and took them paddleboarding, snorkeling, fishing and diving for lobster.
While enjoying gourmet lobster dinners followed by homemade ice cream, the four of us began talking about how our life on a sailboat is so very different from their lives back on land. They shared how the most surprising part of their visit was learning how easy it is to live simply.
Out on the ocean everything is simple. Elizabeth noticed how obvious it became to her that we can always do with less. We can use less water, create less trash and have fewer possessions and still be just as happy, if not more! While packing up her giant duffle bag stuffed full of clothes, shoes and beauty products for the flight home she realized she didn’t use any of it. She wore a swimsuit and a cover-up the entire week and didn’t even need shoes. She didn’t dry her hair or even need to use a towel. When she returns home she knows she’ll think twice about leaving the water running, leaving a light on or even just grabbing a huge wad of paper towels.
Wes particularly noticed how our biggest goal living out here is just sustaining our lifestyle. We only need enough money to get by, to make repairs and supplement the food we catch from the sea. He saw how Peter and I are focused more on experiences not things.
While in Maho Bay, our neighbor Ray came to say hello and introduce himself. He had seen the guys bringing home a nice lobster catch one evening and shared with us that during the last eight years he’s been out cruising on his sailboat, it’s been his dream to catch just one lobster! He had even heard about the last lobster catch we had in that area after talking with our friends Scott and Brittany from Windtraveler and when he met us that evening he exclaimed, “you’re famous!” Peter is definitely a pro when it comes to snaring lobster. What makes his gift even more exciting is being able to share the experience with others. Next time we share an anchorage with Ray we promised to take him out and make his dream come true.
Back on land, it’s less about the experiences that bring you joy and more about making money and achieving success. Society tells you to be the best at whatever it is that you do. Be the top Realtor in your region, be the best football player, create revolutionary businesses like Google, become the next Zuckerberg, or find a cure for cancer. Society places value on fame and fortune.
Competition casts an ugly shadow on every street corner and the rat race leaves an overwhelming feeling of restlessness. There are so many people in the world yet only so many jobs available and there are only so many resources at hand. For the Average Joe, it’s never enough.
Since living in our tiny floating home, Peter and I have adjusted to simplicity and have adapted to a different frame of mind than we once had. Our days are now comprised of making our own water, making our own power and watching the weather. We go on adventures and make new memories, experiencing the world in ways most never will. We spend more time enjoying our everyday life, family and friends, working only enough to keep ourselves afloat and sustain our chosen lifestyle. So… we won’t be the ones finding a cure for a disease that could save millions of lives, and we won’t be inventing the newest technological advancement. But are we doing our part to reduce our carbon footprint while teaching others how to live responsibly and sustainably? Absolutely. Are we being as resourceful and self-sufficient as we can? You betcha. Are we inspiring others to step outside the box and follow their dreams? I sure hope so!
What are your thoughts on living a life less ordinary? Is it selfish and self-centered or inspiring? Leave a comment!
By Jody Pountain for the [Tiny House Blog]
13 thoughts on “A Life Less Ordinary”
My thoughts on living a life less ordinary. Is it selfish and self-centered or inspiring?
It is not selfish or self centered and it is inspiring. Your life is what you make of it. Our lives are short and it is a big world with many cultures, occupations and lifestyles. There is no manual or rule book that says we must live a certain way or occupy our time in specific pursuits.
There are already enough people living much of their live stuck in traffic to get to and from work so they can support oversized houses that shelter their un-needed stuff. Essentially wage slaves to support consumer culture and bloated taxation to wasteful and unappreciated governments.
People will say it is to support their family, but would the kids not have a better childhood seeing the world from a sailboat, traveling to different countries, learning that there is other means of schooling and how to be self sufficient and self supporting? Ask your spouse if they are really happy with the daily living grind and if there would be more fulfilling ways to live.
When we are old it is the memories of what we did that counts not the money we made or the size of our estate that the relatives can squabble over when we die.
It isn’t just the governments. The governments are just the rubber stamp for the real global owners. The governments are the green velvet curtain that we must look behind to understand what is happening to us. It may be fun to live on a boat, but unless we become aware of who controls today’s economics and do something about it, we are only rubber stamping the “Slave Economy” that will eventually get us, or most assuredly our children. Enjoy life, but be a responsible adult and participate now before you don’t get a voice in anything concerning you and yours.
Living a “less ordinary life” is a choice and in much of the world people do not have the opportunity to make that choice . . . that alone makes this lifestyle a beautiful adventure!
It’s common to hear “life is short”, I’ve said it myself. But now in my 60th year I can tell you that life passes by far too quickly. I wanted to live a less conventional life but chose a common path. I’m grateful for my life. I freely chose my path and the partners I walked this life with but I wish something different for my son. A life less ordinary. At 19 he’s started into a life not so different from mine and I’m encouraging him to step out of his comfort zone.
I’ve enjoyed reading your blog. Your images evoke a lifestyle that looks heavenly and I know is not for everyone. You two are blessed to be aligned in your choice and to travel this path together.
Bon voyage . . .
Great post! We can’t wait to get out there and break away from society’s teachings. I may not be in a history book or change the world, but I’ll be living my life my way.
Catching lobster, going shoeless and wearing a bathing suit is my kinda simplicity!
Nice, You are not selfish at all Live Your Best Life!! You are truly an inspiration to us. I live in a self made tiny house off grid and try to leave as little a footprint as possible. The World Gets Bigger When You’re Living Small. Thanks for sharing.
I have read your blog a number of times and as people who will be following in your footsteps shortly on our own “Escape Claws” it is inspiring to see and hear the adaptions you have made and how easily you have made them. I will also be catching up with you on the best way to catch Lobster! 😉 Our Best to you, Kevin & Barb….soon to be on Escape Claws in the BVI.
It may not be the life for me but I don’t think it’s selfish. Everybody is self centred to some extent but that’s just a matter of practicalities. If it works for you and doesn’t mess up anybody else’s life then why not? I thoroughly enjoy seeing how you live and find it very inspirational even though it’s not my dream. And those lobsters, wow!
I often admire the gypsy lifestyle – for that is what it is. Most don’t have jobs at all, some have online businesses. The thing that I wonder about the most is how many are or can be, without permanent address, registered to vote and can participate in the political process to ensure this lifestyle doesn’t become forbidden by the righteous objectors.
I’m doing the same thing you two are! Not in a tropical setting, unfortunately, but I’m still living off-grid, catching wild food, and keeping a small carbon footprint in the Salish Sea. Keep up the good work, and I’ll do the same!
I admire your decision to go against the grain and live a life that so many dream of, yet are too scared to go after for themselves. After learning about the tiny house/boat movement, I’ve worked toward purging the excess in my life and am finding myself so much happier. While, there is plenty of room for improvement, I am enjoying the subtle shifts.
Thank you for sharing you journey with us!
Have a blast at what you do… hats off. Fair winds and calm seas. Randy and Rosalie.
I love tiny homes! I’m working on downsizing myself. I’m even working on my own tiny house floor plan. Thank you. I’m all the great advice. I can’t get enough!
Loved the story, and pictures were beautiful. Not selfish at all, and nothing less than inspiring. Society, and it’s govt run school system, does a good job of creating good employees and good consumers. All is geared to keeping the big capitalism ball rolling. which is neither sustainable, nor fulfilling to the individual. Whereas there is no heaven on earth, some have been able to find glimpses of it. Live your own convictions; he who is well satisfied with the simple is truly rich. Have some lobster for me!