The main reason we started our Minimal List blog a few years ago was to help us think through what really mattered to us and at the time there was a lot of energy around “location independence” (there still is). Much of this came from young, single people (with the odd young family) and seemed such a simple approach; more than achievable.
For us, with two children, a house and a job, many of the ideas were more fantasy than reality, but we have, for some time, been thinking about what mobility means for us, as a family. We’ve explored complete mobility (selling everything and buying a camper), partial mobility (short periods away, renting property) and even niche mobility (becoming chicken-sitters.), but it’s a real challenge.
What we have done over the past couple of years is make invisible steps. I call them invisible because to most people you’re not really mobile until you’re actually moving around. But these invisible steps are huge in reality.
Firstly, and nothing new, we’re running a business. As flexible as any company would like to be there’s nothing quite as flexible as your own company. And even then the business is not just me. So, whatever we do is a negotiation and another dimension to consider in the strategy.
Secondly, we took our children out of school. We didn’t do it just to untie ourselves but it was always a factor. And its reasoning fits with the reasoning for mobility.
Finally we’ve continued to work hard on disposing of everything we don’t need, digitising what can be digitised and moving to rental rather than ownership wherever possible.
Those three things are invisible steps to most people but they represent a lot of hard work for us. And they’re a huge design project, a design project which reminds us of how little design we ever see, compared to what goes on behind the scenes.
When you start to explore the possibilities of living in a certain way, of planning ahead for the kind of life you want, you start to realise how much of a difference there is between taking life as it comes and the complete opposite.
And this contrast throws up some incredible questions; almost every question. We’ve worked through many of them on this blog but they also occupy our heads, more than perhaps they should.
The big questions are inevitable: what is the purpose of it all? But it’s the details that we keep coming back to; where would our children get the best learning experience, how many solar panels would we need to fit to a camper to keep everything charged?
So we’re interested in people’s approaches to mobility with a family in particular, or designing life in general. Especially those invisible steps that need to be taken. Leave us a comment and let us know what you’ve done.