Living With Less

by Sylvia Fox

For the past 10 years - more if you include summers - Michael and I have chosen to live what my parents would have called a 'bohemian life' that meant living with limited utilities, limited comfort.

In 2000, we impulsively sold our home in Sacramento, California and bought a 48’ cruising sailboat with plans to unplug, untie and live a less traditional lifestyle. The impetus, in hindsight, was having our youngest child move out to go to college. 

As I wiped a tear away while I said goodbye, my other thought was ‘My turn!’

And off we went --- sailing out under the Golden Gate Bridge, turning left and heading south until the butter started to melt.

But over the last decade, whether we were cruising California and Pacific Mexico aboard our 48' Maple Leaf sailboat, Sabbatical, or living in a home we later built in a rural surf village on a Pacific beach in Mexico or spending summers in our 100-year-old lake cottage in rural upstate New York, we found we had to constantly monitored our usage of what most Americans take for granted: water, sewage, gas, and electric. And garbage.

We had to know what we had, what we used, what we stored because of the lifestyle we had accidentally chosen when we stumbled into our grand adventure.

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