Tiny Living 04: Chris
One of my favorite things about getting to know people and their story is seeing how different
folks figure out how to take advantage of their situation to better the lifestyle they want for themselves.
Living small helps a lot of people to do this. Chris shares his story with us here in our fourth Tiny Living feature,
and I love his honesty and perspectives into the lifestyle. Once again, I'll let him introduce himself.
"This is my fourth year fulltime living between my 1969 Sprite trailer and my 1986 Dodge pop-top
van. And yes I do fulltime all year here in central Ontario Canada. Off grid 24/7. I work fulltime and travel on
weekends all summer, but stay home-based over the winter. My trailer, Red, is stationary on land that I rent, but
my van, Big Brown, is a mobile machine. I live and travel with my cat, Roami. Feel good and live well."
Were do I start....It’s March 2018 and I’m just coming out of my fourth winter in Ontario, Canada living either in a van or my trailer. By choice, and I’ll say also by destined design. My current stable of luxury accommodations is a 1969 Sprite Major, lovingly restored and recreated with my own hands in 2010. Back then I had no idea that the “glamping” trailer I brought back to life for my (then) wife and I to enjoy, would evolve into my entire state of being. The Sprite, though still mobile and functional, stays stationary on a plot of land that I rent. My travel home is a 1986 Dodge pop-top camper van that I use to explore Ontario on weekends and holidays as I do have a 9-5 job (actually 5-5 but that’s a tale for another time).
This whole thing came to fruition through a work transfer a little over four years ago. My wife and I decided to stay in the trailer at a campground for the summer while we looked around our new area and got a feel for the surroundings, with intentions of buying a house in the fall. Weeks turned to months and I was loving this new minimal life. Summer turned to Fall and we had not purchased a home, and the campground was closing; it was clear to us both what we had to do. I loved this life and she loved the other life, and neither of us loved the other enough to change. So we didn’t, and here I am.
I have two daughters that live with their Mother (a different ex, and for the record I have three ex wives, but curiously no ex trailers...). They are older; one is away at college and the other is starting next year. They accept, even if they don’t completely understand, my way of living. My job is a means to an end. I have retirement safely in my sights (eight years). I’m 47 now, but will gladly start earlier if the opportunity arises. I’m an inspector and client contact person for a large insulation company. I’m home every night, but travel throughout the Province each day which allows me to do some “pre” exploring of areas and regions I may want to visit later.
I am completely off grid, save a cellular account, with no electricity or plumbing. I use a solar shower in the summer and a gym in the winter, a composting toilet, and I get my water from a local spring.
My cat Roami and I do travel each weekend (mostly) all over Ontario. As my Instagram shows, I am a bit eclectic and not the biggest fan of clothes...lol. I’m a fairly solitary person, shy in the real world, but I’ll talk your ear off if you come to me first. As for my Instagram...Oneagainst1 is the foundation of my belief system. I really feel that most of the battles we face in our daily lives stem from ourselves, our preconceptions and our prejudices, all of which we have unknowingly been breeding within ourselves with every breath we take in this world. My peace, and I live with a great deal of peace, comes from accepting the world as it is each moment; believing in the ebb and flow of karmic energy and never needing acceptance of who I am, by anyone other than me. My acceptance of all of this has greatly reduced the battles within myself. It’s not always perfect, I’m not always happy, but I am always the me that I need to be today. I am sober, eleven years, after 20 solid years of substance, alcohol and physical abuse. I’m a pacifist, always willing to walk away. I gave up defending an ego several years ago. I love easily, and forgive just as easily.
I’m a photographer and a musician. You can see my photography work on my other Instagram @1tankwanders. I like to highlight the small things in life, the things that take an extra second to see, that take a conscious effort to slow our pace for us to notice.
I get a great sense of community from the people on Instagram that take time to read and post with intent. There is a lot of surface with little depth here, so those that have peeled away their surface to show their vulnerable inner core mean a lot to me.
I see no end to my life in this fashion, though I tend not to look to hard at the future. Today is a great day to be here; I’d rather not waste any of it wanting for another.
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