I’ve been at the farm for nine days. Very precise, why not just say a week? Well, because 9 days means I’ve only got to spend 79 more to qualify for my second year visa. There’s been plenty of oranges to pick, the four us have been able to put some money in our pockets that we will no doubt spend on some luxury items here and there.
That brings me rather nicely along to the point of this post; the basics. Having spent so much of my time in Australia living in furnished apartments with hot water, air conditioning I think I may have begun to take some things for granted. Out here, the hot water comes only from the kettle and the closest thing we have to air conditioning is an occasional cool breeze coming up from the south.
The convenience of the city was lost on me. I could walk for five minutes and be at a supermarket where I could buy everything I could possibly ask for and if that wasn’t enough, another five minutes walk and I was at Purvis Beer where I could spend hours choosing a selection of craft beers to enjoy over the weekend. I haven’t been to a shop in over a week, the closest one to us is about 6km away. With the exception of a couple of Little Creatures Pale Ale, the only beer I’ve had is XXXX Gold. Life’s tough!
I think having made attempts to live as minimally and as frugally as possible in the city has made it easier for me to make the transition to “roughing it”. Another reduction in my belongings and comforts has given me the opportunity to reflect on that which is actually important. I’ve found myself staring into the fire or up at the night sky thinking “this is really great.”
I’ve already commented on how thankful I am for the company I’m currently keeping. This is important. Life is better when shared with others, particularly those with similar outlooks. There’s no pressure here, no deadlines, no expectations, no norms to conform to. I’ve had one shower this week, I don’t know if my legs are brown from the sun or from dirt and I don’t care. I’m experiencing a sense of calm out here that I either haven’t experienced in a very long time if at all.
Taking a step away from society, living with even less than I had before, and even working outside has already been rewarding. I’m appreciating the basics; a power source, a roof over my head, clean drinking water, great company, and beautiful sunsets. I hope that this is something I can hold on to when I eventually return to full civilization.