February 22, 2013 in Simple Stories
Let me introduce you to Cheryl and Roland. They are super cool people I would love to visit some day! Read on and see why
Simplicity often enters your life in the moment you least expect it. It may silently appear after the death of a loved one when you are faced with the responsibility of inheriting belongings, collections, pictures and memories that can only bring half-meanings to you. More commonly though, the act of living simply comes about the time of a big move, when the realization hits that maybe you own too much stuff.
For us it was a change of environment, a paradigm shift and the relocation from a one bedroom apartment in Seattle to the sunny plains of central Europe. Life gave us an opportunity to move abroad and escape the consumer culture of the “west”, so we took it for all it was worth.
Selling an inherited house in Romania allowed us to purchase a 13 acre organic homestead in southeastern Hungary. With the little bit of money left over from the home purchase we invested in four bicycles (for ourselves and volunteers), a spinning wheel and a loom. Before we knew it we were on our own and trying to live off of the land.
Many people have a hard time imagining what our days look like since we don’t hold down traditional jobs, nor do we care to do so. Roland and I both have university degrees, yet we have given up the notion that a higher education takes one further in life. Almost seven years now we have been living on our homestead, all of which have been and will continue to be, without running water. Of course there are times when we miss that modern aspect of life, however we are patiently waiting for the right time and conditions to install a greywater treatment pond on our property.
With simplicity comes a certain slowness that we can either choose to deny or nurture. (tweet this)
Self education has been one of the keys to survival on the farm. For everything from raising mangalica pigs, to milking goats, to shepherding ducks, we have had to dive in and get our hands and feet dirty. We have learned to preserve jams, make cheese and spin wool, in part because we had to, mostly because we desired to. In essence we have become part of the ever growing tribe of radical homemakers.
Compared to most we don’t own a lot of stuff, but we are not “minimalists” by any means. Simply put, we have experienced what it means to have much and what it means to have enough. Living without credit cards we only buy what we can afford, save when there is something we want or need and trade if and when the opportunity allows.
Our home is not cluttered, we own no television. We have our hands for crafting, the enthusiasm and skill for cooking wonderful meals in the home, fresh air for breathing and plenty of quality time to be together as a family. It may sound unconventional, but to us it feels right.
Once you fully embrace simplicity, you can never look back.
Bio: Cheryl and Roland blog about their simple life and sustainable travels at Handcrafted Travellers and show off their photography inspired by nature on Facebook. Live lightly and ground yourself walking on bare feet.
Thanks so much for sharing with us today! Love your story! – Lorilee