Spring Cleaning

October 20th

Spring is well and truly here and it’s time to clear out the cupboards of my mind to prepare for another move. This time, it’ll be a move to about two square metres of house space…

With the prospect of moving further south now that it is warming up (although I’m told it’s still frigid down there), it’s time to look at what comes with and what gets turfed. Funny how much we accumulate even when space is limited. I’ll be sticking with the caravan for now, but the end goal is to have my rig built and ready to set out on The Longest Walk in January.

This means downsizing to a ridiculous degree while still retaining all I’ll need to stay internet capable and able to provide basics for myself and the dogs. Building has begun already, with the intention of making a kind of kit-set ready to assemble when I get to Gore. From what has been rigged so far, you can get an idea of how small I’m talking.

20161018_110753
The chassis-to-be and wheels for my home for the next year (?)

It also brings logistical concerns such as storing or selling the excess. With this come several emotional/psychological challenges. Not only do we accumulate, but we attach ourselves to the stuff that collects. Taking stock in the caravan, I realised that actually, most of it really only applies in the caravan ‘system’, so luckily, it’s only really clothes and tools that need sorting. But the caravan itself presented more of an issue.

I have no issues flipping cars when their purpose is fulfilled. They’ve not been a status or ego things since the teenage years. That’s certainly the plan as soon as we’re parked up in Gore. The caravan however, also represents significant capital that could be liberated. Furthermore, it may not weather well in the cold and damp of the deep south very well. It may be best to flick that on too and leave the future to sort itself out.

That’s a fairly big psychological hurdle for me though. Not only does it represent tied up capital, it also represents a means to responsibly manage my dogs on others’ property. In short, it represents an important back-up where there is no certain plan for the future. That’s a big call. In a more conventional sense, I’m attached to the time investment I made in renovating it and the fact that it is set up especially to meet our needs.

So, whether I decide to keep or sell it, I’ve begun the process of detaching from the caravan. And I gotta tell ya, it feel good. Lighter somehow. As one of the other tenants here flippantly said of my proposed adventure “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose”. This line from the famous song of the same name has been lingering in my thoughts. It’s really quite profound the difference that release of attachment has made and it’s another step toward discovering just how little I need to live in relative comfort.

This process has also brought to mind how long this process has been. It occurred to me that tit has not been just this year. Not really. While my childhood was in family homes of three, four and five bedrooms, my adulthood has been in several small spaces. First came a tent (for over six months) while working at an outdoor camp. After a short period living back home while studying, it was off to a series of three tiny bedrooms in various share houses. A bigger room and eventually a flat shared with just my partner came next. Even that time was interspersed with army expeditions into the bush, carrying my house on my back.  A month-long trip living in a car and tent was next. Followed by another month-long trip in a camper (van). Four years in tiny, shoebox-sized apartments in Korea before returning to relatively ‘normal’ accommodation in Australia. That brings us up to now… a pop-top caravan moving on to a micro-camper based on a bike trailer.

WTF?! How did that even happen? And why? I haven’t really worked that through fully in my head just yet, but I found it intriguing that it has happened without planning it. And I guess it is this history of upheaval and minimalist living that makes now relatively comfortable. Funny how life puts a pathway to opportunities before us.

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