The Art of Living Large by Living Small

Dear Asher,

After such an adventure, we decided to keep it low key today. We walked down to the 6:30am ferry to say goodbye to Karen and Edian, our good friends from Israel. They were so happy to have met you and want to visit you in Canada. You are enjoying your tactile naked breakfasts on the dock, investigating the texture and temperature of all your food. After your morning nap, you and your mom played with Tatiana’s five year old son Damien while I made us a hearty burrito filler for lunch and dinner. Temperatures reached 32C today so we spent the day floating under the dock, sitting under the shade and chatting with our friends from the hostel.

Backpackers come from all walks of life but one thing they all have in common is that they worked hard and saved hard so they could take a sabbatical from everyday life. Asher, you were born at home in a tiny apartment where your mom and I lived for three years. We drive a small car, shop at thrift stores, eat vegetarian, do not have cell phones or a television, and in the dead of a Canadian winter, with electric heat, our most expensive hydro bill is under $100. It appears like we may be sacrificing a lot but in reality, it is not a sacrifice merely to not have what is typical. It is a sacrifice to forgo that which one needs or desires. For us, our needs and desires are few: quality time together, preferably outdoors; time to read, exercise and learn; time to eat well; and time to be with family and friends. Most of what we need and desire requires time, and money saved, buys an abundance of time. Whereas money owed, costs one an abundance of time.


James and Anastasia, the two Americans who were aboard our sail to Water Cay, know how to live small. For the last few years, they have been living in a retrofitted mini pastel blue school bus. James and some friends helped install solar panels, a bed, sofa and kitchenette while Anastasia sewed custom curtains and cushions. They explained that they did not want the worry of always having to pay down a mortgage and to keep up with all of the bills that go along with owning a home. James said, “the best part is that I can sleep in while my wife drives herself to work, but I have to remember to put clothes on so her colleagues don’t get an unexpected show. Then I get up and drive myself to work. You know, we lived in a van until we moved into the bus, so technically I have bought my wife two homes already.” They have been traveling all through Central America and will return home for Christmas and an extended six week ski trip around the US on their bus before they must return to work. Asher, after seeing you, James was convinced that they could live with a baby on their bus, but admitted that they would upgrade to a full size bus when their child was older.

All of the backpackers at the hostel enjoyed spending the day with you, swimming off the dock and listening to our ukulele jam sessions. Tim from Ireland took over on the uke while we enjoyed yet another tranquil sunset into the calm sea, backdropped by the shadow of distant mainland mountains: the large reward for living small.

2 thoughts on “The Art of Living Large by Living Small

  1. Oh! Asher you are held to the evening sunset by Mom and Dad. How does that feel!
    I am sure you are loving all the new textures and juicy fruits you are enjoying on your trip. You are really growing up and the pictures are showing this so much.
    Did you like the blue bus? This makes me think of all my bus trips but to travel and make each new place your home! Amazing!
    I like the name boards you made. How did you do that?
    I agree that what we need is more time with family and friends, personal reflection and developing creative outlets. Yes our choices do tend to lead us instead of us leading the direction.
    Hugs to everyone.


  2. There are bits of fossilized coral laying around and we made letters with that. Damien was proud to show us how he knew is letters and found creative ways to make the letters he could not find.


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