On Saturday, the New York Times ran an article, Chasing Utopia, Family Imagines No Possessions, that warmed the cockles of my heart.
It covered several families who are downshifting to a life less harried and one focusing more on self-sufficiency rather than consumerism. In essence, the families, whether they intentionally are or not, are following the basic tenets of the Voluntary Simplicity movement.
One family you may already know about. It is Matt and Sara Janssen - she writes the eco blog, Walk Slowly, Live Wildly, which I read from time to time. They have completely sold most of their worldly possessions and are travelling the country in a used veggie oil fueled motor home, teaching others how to convert their diesel vehicles into a spent fast-food grease machine. The Live Lightly Tour is quite an exciting adventure and one which I've been following closely.
Another family has sold all their possessions as well and is planning on moving from Austin, Texas to a rural area of Vermont. They are currently looking into purchasing a log cabin and hope to set up a homestead, grow their own food and homeschool their kids. In other words, the classic "back to the land" scenario.
Finally, an Annapolis, MD family moved out of their apartment with an "everything must go" party and, along with their 3-year-old son, set sail on a 44-by-24-foot catamaran. Are you listening Burbanmom? (And in case you argue that you have more than one child, I know a family who lives on a sailboat that has one kindergartner and twin 4-year-olds.)
For those of you who participated in my post last week about living out your wildest dream, you may be interested in reading this article.
Of course, this is just begging for a poll. I'm throwing in one other example, the Dervaes family in Pasadena who practice the ultimate in urban homesteading, making phenomenal use of their suburban lot to grow a tremendous amount of fruits and vegetables (6,000 pounds annually), raise bees, goats, chickens and whatnot. If you've been living under a rock and haven't heard of them yet, I urge you to check out their website.
Photo courtesy of the New York Times