While I’m incredibly excited to move into the short bus my fiancee and I converted into a tiny home (my skoolie for those in the know), there’s a part of me that’s also scared shitless. There’s a reason why modern western life is set up the way it is. It’s comfortable and convenient, and moving into a bus I’m going to be leaving behind a lot of the modern-day conveniences I take for granted.
It’s so easy to move from day to day without remembering to appreciate all the little things that make your life easier and better. When you’re cooking dinner, do you step back and go, wow, I’m so happy I have an oven? After you take a shit, do you look into the bowl and go, wow the ingenuity of flush toilets is incredible? Of course not. That would be insane. But at the same time, you’re surrounded by all these little amazing inventions every day.
Most of the time, it isn’t until you’re without these modern-day conveniences that you realize how great they actually are. The year I lived in Scotland, we didn’t have enough money to turn on our heat or hot water, so we boiled water for dishes and had a little electric coil on our shower to heat up the water there. Moving back to Canada, I spent a year marveling at the heat coming out of the vents and the warm water coming out of the tap. Slowly, though, that wonder went away.
As I get ready to move onto our skoolie, I’m trying to remember to appreciate the modern conveniences I won’t have access to on the road. The more I take the time to appreciate these little things in my life, the more little things I find to appreciate. I’ve made a list of a few of the big ones I’m afraid of missing while we’re on our skoolie.
What I’m Afraid of Missing While on Our Skoolie
My Oven. While Em and I are going to be bringing a two-burner camp stove on our trip, we’re going to be without an oven. This means goodbye potato wedges, quiche, and home-baked cookies, and hello pan-fried everything. We already have a hard time remembering what the heck we eat, and I’m worried that without an oven, we’ll just end up eating salad every day.
Running Water. While we’ve got a solar shower and a pretty good bucket system set up for a toilet, I’m trying to appreciate not having to constantly worry about where to refill my water jugs.
My Friends and Family. Yes, we’ll meet people on the road, we’re coming back for Christmas, and we’ll be able to keep in touch through phone calls and Skype, but it’s not the same as spontaneously going for a beer with your neighbors or getting brunch with the people you’ve known for 15+ years.
My Fridge. The fridge is going to be a big one. We’ve got a cooler that plugs into our solar-powered battery, but the cooler is pretty small and only makes things about 15°C cooler than the outside temperature. We mostly eat vegan food, but I’m still worried about keeping produce fresh and storing leftovers.
The Library. As someone who reads three or four books a month, this is a big one for me. I’m planning on cycling through used bookstores in all the places we stop, but I’m worried about not having almost-instant access to any book I could possibly decide to read.
I’m sure as we head out on our skoolie, there will be more and more things I’ll wish I’d appreciated while at home, but these are the ones I’m clinging to now. I’m trying to be mindful when I use them and appreciate what a good thing being alive in a real-life apartment with modern appliances, running water, and reliable electricity and internet is.