Not me – well, kind of not me (more on that later, I suppose) but Mike Elgan over at ComputerWorld has a great post about shedding the stuff, going mobile, and enjoying the things the world has to offer other than, well, things.
Not only am I envious of his lifestyle (though we do emulate major parts of it, having spent significant time in 3 cities and 6 weeks in the car over the last 18 months) – but I think that Mr. Elgan has the right mentality about the whole thing and some interesting thoughts.
The American dream, as it has been conceived of since the end of World War II is that you graduate from school, marry somebody and buy a house. Once a year, you go on a two-week vacation. You own a house, but the house also “owns” you. It needs a new roof. It needs the lawn to be mowed. It needs to be painted, updated, fixed and cared for. At some point, you retire and, if you’re lucky and adventurous, you can travel from time to time.
I have often felt that my “stuff” owns me much more than I own my stuff, and applaud the effort to both reduce consumption for personal mental clarity reasons, but also for ecological conservation and lessening one’s impact on the planet.
It’s especially exciting at the possibility that, as a knowledge worker, as long as you can at some regular interval connect to the digital world, you have free reign to roam the physical world. I think you’ll see more and more of this in the future, but have already seen a push in this direction from Tim Ferris:
It’s an enticing idea, but it seems like the money doesn’t just come that easily. I think that once we see the blending of “real jobs” and the ability to take them mobile, we may find ourselves in an entirely new reality of life – especially for those without children or other more permanent commitments.