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Seeking a simple life

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http://www.theage.co...0708-21p6f.html

Seeking a simple life

July 9, 2012

Michael Short

Journalist

Stepping off the career treadmill and embracing a life less harried need not be as hard as some fear.

[WHO] Greg Foyster, former advertising dynamo, exploring the burgeoning Simple Living movement

[WHAT] Documenting in a blog and book people's decisions to change lifestyle

[HOW] Riding 4000 kilometres through Australia with partner Sophie Chishkovsky

SO many people experience a nagging, gnawing apprehension that they are not living the life they ought. Philosophy, it can be argued, is rooted in asking the question of how should one best live; as an individual, as part of the broader community and, indeed, as part of the world.

In a lamentably large number of cases, angst about the progress of one's life is not the result of poor decisions; it's primarily a function of mongrel circumstances. Lack of opportunity, economic hardship, homelessness, addiction, mental and physical illness and bastardry by others trap people in misery. In still other cases, of course, people do find themselves suffering the consequences of bad choices.

But for those who despair, they might be wasting their lives, flailing around and failing to grasp the potential of our mysterious existence, there are clearly ways to grab control and at least have a go at finding a meaningful and peaceful, and even contented, path. The legions that have opted for so-called tree change and sea change are doing precisely that.

There is a growing movement - which is starting to blip on the mainstream radar - of people who are exploring these questions well beyond moving away from cities, changing jobs and working fewer hours.

Based in part on the ideas of 19th century writer and philosopher David Henry Thoreau, who said ''men have become the tools of their tools'', the Simple Living movement is the subject of some extraordinarily dedicated research by today's guest in The Zone, former advertising dynamo Greg Foyster, and his partner, musician Sophie Chishkovsky (pictured above).

They are spending several months cycling up the east coast of Australia interviewing people who have embraced Simple Living, which is also known as ''voluntary simplicity''. They are writing a blog as they go, and plan to finish the project by documenting their experience in a book.

In our interview (the full transcript of which, as well as a short video, are at theage.com.au/opinion/the-zone), Foyster explains the lifestyle they have embraced. ''The Simple Living movement is basically the idea that by doing away with any unnecessary stuff and learning to live with less, you can actually get a whole lot more out of life. It takes into account trends like local food, organic gardening, downshifting, DIY building and sustainability.

"The overall idea is that you should step out of the consumer economy that we're all plugged into and start doing things for yourself because that is how you'll find happiness. The best way to think of it is as an exchange. In our society people trade their time for money, and then they spend that money on consumer items … It's really about stepping back and deciding what's important to you in your life. And we're exploring this movement by bicycle because we think that an exploration of a simple and sustainable life should be done in a simple and sustainable way."

...

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Man I've been working like stink for 12 months writing an application. Deployed to production and it is slow as sh*t. Completely unusable. I don't think it's my code as it's passed every other environment with flying colours. All eyes are on the clown to sort it. 12 hour days (more if you count thinking time) and I'm stumped. Plenty of theories of course. :)

At this very point a simple and sustainable life sounds perfect. Unfortunately, the treechange costs money. The setup costs of going off the grid are enormous. Unless you want to live a medieval lifestyle. And then you've got to live. I love the idea but for my expectations all but rule it out. I'm trained only for on the grid living.

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I'm not talking about it anymore I'm doing it.

Step 1. Move to Tassie.

I rest my case. (in that you are cashed up) :) And can get regular work in your chosen destination. I congratulate you sir whilst burdening you with immense envy.

I am investigating cold smoking techniques though and will have more to say in the future.

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I rest my case. (in that you are cashed up) :) And can get regular work in your chosen destination. I congratulate you sir whilst burdening you with immense envy.

I am investigating cold smoking techniques though and will have more to say in the future.

I don't think you need to retire (I sure can't), you just need to move in your field (surely you can be an IT geek from Tassie or country NSW or Vic) or do something different like this numb nut...

http://www.sbs.com.au/shows/gourmetfarmer/episodes/page/season/1

I have a buddy who has gone left field and doing similar near Euroa.

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I don't think you need to retire (I sure can't), you just need to move in your field (surely you can be an IT geek from Tassie or country NSW or Vic) or do something different like this numb nut...

http://www.sbs.com.au/shows/gourmetfarmer/episodes/page/season/1

I have a buddy who has gone left field and doing similar near Euroa.

I know a couple of guys that develop mobile apps and lives in Toowoomba. It could work more easily if could work alone. If you have to collaborate (and in my little niche you do) then you really need good network speeds. I would need the ability to video conference and remote into networks effectively. I'm hopefully going to get some opportunity for cross skilling once we're live. I'm going to get some skills configuring a bunch of IBM COTS products. These guys charge a fortune. And it could be done remotely. :)

Might see you in tassie. ;)

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I know a couple of guys that develop mobile apps and lives in Toowoomba. It could work more easily if could work alone. If you have to collaborate (and in my little niche you do) then you really need good network speeds. I would need the ability to video conference and remote into networks effectively. I'm hopefully going to get some opportunity for cross skilling once we're live. I'm going to get some skills configuring a bunch of IBM COTS products. These guys charge a fortune. And it could be done remotely. :)

Might see you in tassie. ;)

Why don't you start a gourmet restaurant, SC? Perhaps you have missed your true calling in life?

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Why don't you start a gourmet restaurant, SC? Perhaps you have missed your true calling in life?

Gourmet restaurants are going bust everywhere at the moment.

I cook to relax. Usually whilst enjoying a bevy. I'm far too abrupt to be front of house and far too slow to be a chef. :D

I don't mind what I do at the moment on most days.

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Gourmet restaurants are going bust everywhere at the moment.

I cook to relax. Usually whilst enjoying a bevy. I'm far too abrupt to be front of house and far too slow to be a chef. :D

I don't mind what I do at the moment on most days.

It makes sense that the high-end restaurants are struggling when people are careful with spending. But it seems mid-priced quality restaurants are doing well.

But you have a point about the need for speedy service. You probably have a 93-step process over 4 hours just to boil water.

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It makes sense that the high-end restaurants are struggling when people are careful with spending. But it seems mid-priced quality restaurants are doing well.

But you have a point about the need for speedy service. You probably have a 93-step process over 4 hours just to boil water.

It's actually too cold in Canberra at the moment for water to boil. We have to make do with Sous-vide cooking in winter. :flex:

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It's actually too cold in Canberra at the moment for water to boil. We have to make do with Sous-vide cooking in winter. :flex:

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It makes sense that the high-end restaurants are struggling when people are careful with spending. But it seems mid-priced quality restaurants are doing well.

A lot of mid-section people were eating at high-end establishments. We had a restaurant bubble and nobody noticed.

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