Cutting boards that conveniently slide out from their hiding places in the cabinets so they never take up counter space.
Hot tea sipped between friends over conversation after a meal.
The spa. Wandering naked between a hot sauna, a hot steam room, a cold tub of water, a hot tub, and a clay room. Feeling the moment when the air exhaled is cooler than the air in the room.
Multiple choices for tea, in a well stocked cabinet full of tea.
Intentionally living close enough to campgrounds and epic mountains so that every weekend is an adventure.
Walls painted colors that remind you to be AWAKE and PRESENT.
Fruit and vegetables so fresh and cheap that they are affordable and taste worth it.
Reading books leisurely.
Writing letters and crafting cards to friends who moved away years ago. Creating whether or not there is reciprocity.
Home cooked meals with fresh vegetables. Salads with fruit. Avocado.
There are many things that are best enjoyed when stationary and in a house or apartment. There are comforts. There are subtle pleasures. There is the very idea of having options (like more than one tea to choose from). There is spending money on self-care. There is rest. Each of these seems like a rich luxury when traveling, but when incorporated into a stationary life, can elevate the way one exists.
We are finding that our hosts around the country have many ways of elevating their daily lives. A lot of these are such small pieces of their lives that they’ve gotten used to and take for granted. It seems novel to me, now, though, to be able to buy more than I need and have space to store it. It feels luxurious to be able to stay at home. To have a home, and a couch to stay on. To wake up in the morning and wonder what you’ll do with your day.
Bike travel answers a lot of questions about what to do with oneself. Wake up in the morning and tasks are already on the table: breakfast via camp stove, pack up, disassemble the tent, put your bags back on the bike, apply sunscreen, another snack before hitting the road. Then ride. Until you’re hungry. Then eat. Then ride again, eat again, until you do the reverse of the morning: take your bags off the bike, assemble the tent, unpack, make dinner, sleep. It’s almost more secure, more sure-fire, despite the lack of glamor or choices.
It is fun to be around these creature comforts for a little bit, and to day dream about what my life might be like when I am more stationary again. At this point, though, I have been living this version of a minimalist life for about a month. I have adapted. I have little desire to accumulate things. I have no desire to make purchases that I do not perceive as fully worthwhile. I like the luxuries while we are in the city, but it comforting to me that access to the luxuries will be short lived. It excites me to know that by going north, we will be re-entering the forest, getting close to the coast once again, and the only choice will be to bike.