Thoreau and the Bus

Not long after moving into our bus, I read Walden for the first time. Thoreau’s words on shelters helped me transition from life in a normal house to life in a tiny, unorthodox home.

“Many a man is harassed to death to pay the rent of a larger and more luxurious box who would not have frozen to death in such a box as this…In the savage state every family owns a shelter as good as the best, and sufficient for its coarser and simpler wants; but I think that I speak within bounds when I say that, though the birds of the air have their nests, and the foxes their holes, and the savages their wigwams, in modern civilized society not more than one half the families own a shelter…If it is asserted that civilization is a real advance in the condition of man—and I think that it is, though only the wise improve their advantages—it must be shown that it has produced better dwellings without making them more costly; and the cost of a thing is the amount of what I will call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.”

-from Walden by Henry David Thoreau

This isn’t to say that I wouldn’t like a bit more space some day, especially if we start a family, but after a year in the bus I have come to love cozy evenings, quick house cleaning, and forced minimalism.

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