July 18, 2012

Love Your Locality

We love our locality on Vancouver Island, near Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
One of the main considerations when Linda and I were downsizing in earnest ten years ago, was where to live. In the sustainable future we envisioned, travel would be less frequent, so we needed to find a locality we loved so much we would not want to leave.

The city we were living in at the time was ok, and we had good friends there, but we constantly had the urge to leave and head to the wilderness. Unfortunately, the nearest public land was at least a hundred kilometers away, and our favourite spots were even farther afield. Hardly sustainable.

We asked ourselves, "Where do we want to be when we run out of affordable energy, and can't travel any more?"

As usual when we ask ourselves such things, we encourage big thinking and going for our ideal dream situation. We both agreed that "within sight of the Pacific Ocean, in Canada" was the place. Ideally it would be waterfront, and an affordable rental, since we had no desire to engage in the real estate racket.

As usually happens once you envision a goal, the universe ends up getting behind it and lending a hand. Call it the law of attraction, or the secret, good planning, or whatever you want, but we found exactly what we saw in our dreams. An affordable, sunny, waterfront rental 10 metres (30 ft) from the Pacific Ocean.

Before we moved here we drove, like most car-loving N. Americans, about 32,000 km (20,000 miles) per year on average. Most people have been driving less since 2008, due to high gas prices. Our distance traveled fell due to those same gas prices, plus a desire to enjoy our locality, and lower our carbon footprint.

In the last year we drove a total of 3000 km (1900 miles). We live on an island, and have been off it only once in the past seven years.

We like where we live so much that often when we do go somewhere, we miss home. Vacations have become unnecessary. Our lives have become slow, simple, and gloriously local.

If you love where you live, why leave? Staying home and enjoying your locality is sustainable.

Think about it. Think big. Where do you want to be when the cheap oil runs out?

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