27 September 2005

I Don't Want To Be Off The Grid

I'm a city girl. I delight in the hustle & bustle of a city.

I love the pace. (I'm also allergic to several plants and animals found in nature.)

Cities are magnets that attract people from all over to come and work together.

Artists, athletes, architects, all need to work in communities, to make teams, to exchange ideas.

Cities invite individuals to come and find their tribe.

This is the buzzing environment I want to explore.

Although I've had wonderful experiences in nature, particularly many summers of camping/canoeing in the boundary waters between Canada and Minnesota, I would prefer to camp in cities.

This summer I met Jamie, who prefers to live life with the pace of nature.

He lives 'off the grid' in his Canadian treehouse 60 meters above ground.

He rises with the sun and eats food in the season it's naturally available.

Jamie, a friend of my friend, Iris, is in the business of reconnecting people to nature.

He teaches recreational tree climbing and also treehouse building workshops.

His goal is to craft a new way of life in harmony with natural surroundings, share a sense of connection with wild nature, give respect and find renewal.

I, however, want to be smack dab in the middle of the grid.

I want to be completely connected to the urban jungle.

I think it's only a matter of time before WiFi connections are everywhere in the world and I can be truly mobile with only one device: a small, lightweight laptop with a keyboard big enough to actually type.

This will be my mobile phone, PDA, DVD player, i-Pod, radio, newspaper, mailman, library, alarm clock and egg timer.

As we discussed the differences of our preferred lifestyles, we found a few similarities.

We both encounter people who admire our approach but couldn't see themselves giving it a go.

Most noticeably, neither of us has a TV.

We talked about how if his neighbor threw out his TV, he'd probably feel a bit uncomfortable with the void.

Jamie pictured telling him, "But maybe you'd really rather go for a walk with your wife."

In the weeks after our discussion, Jamie traveled around Germany, but he managed to send me a link to Urban Adventure Rotterdam.

These Urban and Adventure artists explore the urban landscape in a way that I never will.

They've even been lurking around the tunnels of Erasmus University shortly before I started working there.

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