Do you remember My Side of the Mountain? It’s the story of a young boy who tells his parents that he’s going to go live in the mountains, by himself, and he’s like 12 years old. They let him go because they think it will wear off soon.
But his adventure carries on as he learns to live off the land, live in a tree, catch fish, trap rabbits, forage for berries and wild plants. Eventually, his parents, realizing that he’s not coming back, pack up and move to join him.
I always loved that book. I even took up romantic notions of going off to live in the wilds myself. By high school, I was collecting backpacking materials, reading survival books, and dreaming of wilderness adventures. I looked into missions trips that would get me to remote parts of the world. Frankly, I had no idea what I was doing and no one to guide me.
One day, I told my mom that I was going to Colorado for two weeks to backpack as part of a wilderness adventure camp. I had to take a bus for 12 hours to get there. And I loved it.
Such was my pursuit of the simple live—the idea that I could live with a few things that mattered, a few people that mattered. In the years since then, well, I’ve found my life a bit more crowded: college degree, law degree, house, cars, wife, children, college educations, and the list goes on.
But in my heart I still think about that day, that idea of living simply. I find myself now an urban traveler looking for ways to simplify my life. How do you simplify your life?