May 25th, 2009
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the joys of a nomadic existence

so little time to write these days. we are outside so much more. exploring. everything in the world is new. T experienced sand for the first time yesterday and it was life changing. he just sat and stared and ran it through his hands for twenty minutes with no signs of stopping. I think he would still be there if we hadn’t picked him up to take him home.
I have become totally obsessed with small living spaces. this is not new for me, just revisited every so often. In part as we have been paring down our worldly possessions for a while now. I aim to live as minimally as possible. there is a weight associated with owning and storing things, and I feel much lighter to let go of attachment. much lighter.
My husband and I have a dream of traveling around in a tiny camper for a year (this came from reading Emily Carr’s journals about her little grey elephant, a camper she used for writing and painting on location). this is yet to be a reality because in order to tow anything you need a car with a bigger engine (read: not fuel efficient), which kind of defeats the purpose for us. The environment is a factor in living as a nomad for a time. So we wait until something a bit greener emerges. Here is my dream pad, a Tonke camper from Holland (sadly it is too pricey and requires a big truck bed):




we have looked at every possible configuration and not found any environmentally friendly/affordable option. either there are construction problems, (offgassing, made with cheap materials), or they are too heavy to tow with a lighter vehicle.
so it is still a dream. but it’s a nice dream to have.
I’ve also been reading some interesting stuff about Berber houses in Morocco and Algeria. I love that each part of their small houses have symbolic meaning, and ritualistic purpose. But most importantly every part has an important daily function. No part goes unused, or has more than is needed. If only all houses were this well thought out.
an aside:
We met a friendly Berber man while traveling in Morocco, in the town that is almost entirely blue, Chefchaouen. he taught me how to tie a proper Berber turban. it was a magical moment in a magical town where the air smelled of cedar woodsmoke, and tasted like overly sweet mint tea. One day I would love to go up into the hills there and meet more of the Berber people. You could see them coming down the mountain with their donkeys and bright clothing to sell their wares (woven carpets).

p.s. One of my readers brought up the point that “the Tonke, looks great, and would probably be a joy to travel around in, but aside from the towing engines not being fuel efficient, as you mentioned, it is also made out of rainforest woods: teak and mahogany. Rainforest destruction accounts for roughly 20-25% of global greenhouse gas emissions, not to mention irreparable damage to delicate ecosystems and biodiversity.” an important point. (thanks for that Olga!)

 
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