Saturday, April 12, 2014

Two Types of Minimalists: The Free Bird and the Farmer

Within the broader community of minimalism, two types emerge.  What connects them to minimalism is the desire to gain freedom through simple living.

The Farmer 

The farmer uses minimalism to live a simple life in the country.  Often this type of minimalist desires to be more tied down and established in one location.   The goal of the farmer is to be self-sustaining.  To live simply and work with his or her hands.  Living simply allows the farmer to be uninhibited by political or economic woes, and allows the farmer time to pursue his or her passions, like writing, photography, boat building, or other activities of interest.  

The Free Bird 

The free bird uses minimalism to lead a transient lifestyle.   Few possessions and attachments allow the free bird to flock around the world, starting online businesses, writing, meeting people from other cultures, doing work in the field of anthropology, volunteering abroad, and having the opportunity to move as the wind blows.  The free bird tends to embrace technology and harness its power, in an attempt to connect with others and provide a means of sustenance.  

Torn Between the Two 

My heart longs to be a free bird, to explore every nook and cranny of this planet, to live in exotic locales, and to meet interesting people.  I also have an intense desire to try living simply in the mountains.  I want to experience the literal fruits of my own hands.  The problem is that when you start raising chickens and growing fruit trees, you are now tied down to that area.  It become increasingly difficult to just pack up and move or travel on a dime.  

On the flip side, a lifestyle of transience makes you never feel like you have roots anywhere.  It's hard to build lasting relationships and tend to a family when you're living out of a backpack in airports.  Is there any compromise?   

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