We’ve been home from Mexico for 11 days, and the transition back to real life, living in the States has not been easy. We had grown so accustomed to the simple life we found in Baja and recreating that life here is not as easy as we had hoped it would be. I suppose doing my taxes for the first three days back was not a great way to start the transition, but it had to be done!
After spending several nights at a friend’s house, we began our search for a place to live. We had grand plans of finding the perfect house: no more than 900SF (which would of course feel huge to us after living in a tent trailer for four months), rent under $1000 (that’s a good deal for Ashland, Oregon which has an expensive housing market), and walking distance to downtown. Another option was to have the same style house, only slightly larger to accommodate our home office, outside of town so we could have some land to grow our food and spread our wings. Our vision of what we wanted seemed perfect.
It was then that reality started to set in. The first reality of the US housing market was that our town doesn’t really have any houses under 1200 SF that are habitable. People just don’t really build houses that “small” where we live. Sure, there are a few here or there, but they seemed to disappear as quickly as they hit the market. The college students and single folks in town seemed to snatch them up before we could raise our hands as interested! In the end, we got a house bigger than we wanted, but we have plans on how to use and not use that space. We will NOT be filling it up with “stuff.” Instead, we plan to bring our things into the house little by little, introducing things only as we actually need them. After all, we know we don’t need 5 wooden spoons in the kitchen when just one can do the job. That, of course, is a metaphor for the bigger picture as well.
The rental house is just a small part of the discomfort in our return. The draw of things like TV (which I hate) and internet are huge when fully immersed in the society. We have been staying at hotels and the “on button” of the TV seems to get bigger at each stop. It’s like a siren calling us in only to crash our boat upon the rocky shores. I admit we turned it on last night and were actually quite pleased with what we found: “Nature” on PBS with a wonderful show about whales and dolphins. Absolutely worth watching. I didn’t bother to try for anything else although I did flip through just to see what was on. The answer: garbage.
I’m sad to see how much effort it is taking me to stay in the simple life. I really thought it would be easier. I’m sad, but I’m not giving up. I know how wonderful it is to live that life and I have every intention of staying in that space. I just need to learn how to make the adjustment to living a slow paced, simple existence while in the middle of a fast paced, crazy environment. It starts with breathing and finding my center. From there, everything is possible.