March 20, 2015

Simple Living Soul Mate

Canoeing and kissing at Matheson Lake near Victoria, BC.

After researching simple living for years I have come to realize that one of the biggest challenges a simple living individual has is meeting someone who is compatible with such a lifestyle. Time after time on websites and blogs I have seen people lamenting the lack of potential mates willing to embark on a life of voluntary simplicity.

I am happy (and relieved) to say that I do not have such a problem.

I first met Linda 28 years ago in a chance encounter at a breakfast with mutual friends. I knew that she was special when on one of our first dates she agreed to go camping with me. Shortly after that we were backpacking through grizzly territory in the Rockies, then through the ancient trees in cougar territory on the west coast.

Anyone that goes camping (and likes it) has already planted the seeds of living simply. Linda was an awesome camper from the start. I quickly learned that she is tough, handling the harshest weather, muddiest trails, and most punishing kayak paddles with determination and good cheer.

At the time I didn't know any other women that enjoyed the kind of extreme camping that we were doing together. I felt very fortunate to have found a simple living soul mate.

We went on to enjoy 2 decades of camping, hiking and paddling together in joyous experiences of an unforgiving simplicity immersed in nature.

Like me, Linda enjoys stripping life to the barest of essentials and living as close as possible to how nature intended, whether in the wilderness or at home.

Today I celebrate not only the first official day of Spring, but also the anniversary of marrying a life partner who willingly chose the challenges of voluntary simplicity with me. What a rare and unique treasure - someone who only wishes to live a beautiful, simple life unencumbered by all the conspicuous consumption and posturing.

With Linda what I saw that first day was what I got. And what I got was a total honesty about living as good a life as one can, without doing harm. Thank you for 28 years of simplicity. I look forward to 28 more.


  1. Having two marriages behind me and absolutely no intention of ever having a third, I am envious of your 28 years with your soul mate. Congratulations to you both!

    1. Thank you. It has been a wonderful adventure together.

  2. Hi Gregg,

    congratulations to you both, and wishing you many more years of happiness together.

    I 'married' someone (not legally, because women still cannot marry in Australia) who whilst wonderful in many respects, found my simple, frugal lifestyle a threat and a nuisance. For my part I felt suffocated by the constant barrage of gifts and 'stuff' making their way into my home. It would sound crazy to many, but I would lie awake at night feeling upset by the new toaster/gadget/clothing that had made into into my home, in spite of my protests that I didn't 'need' another thing, just her presence. I also didn't want to travel and eat out, and to many those things are important.

    I learned that unless values are truly shared no amount of compromise can make things work.


    1. Our system teaches us to be aggressively materialistic because we are what buy. It is how we keep score. Our life long brainwashing leads us to derive our identity from our stuff, and our ability to buy more. It is hard to break free from the cult of consumerism.

      Hopefully examples of people like you living simply successfully will help deprogram a few and make them consider the many advantages of such a lifestyle. I am sorry it didn't take with your ex-partner.

  3. Happy anniversary, and many more! If all marriages were like Linda's and yours, and mine and my DH's (35 years and counting), we'd put the "fancy wedding" industry out of business!

    1. No fancy wedding here. We were married outside on a windswept foothill overlooking the eastern slope of the Rockies. The crocuses were just coming up. No fancy anniversary celebration either. I made pizza and we sat by the fire and ate it up.

      Way to go on the 35 years.

  4. Anonymous3/21/2015

    One of the things that struck me from the start as I began reading your blog, was the wonderful relationship that the two of you share. It's a rare and beautiful thing to behold! Congratulations on 28 years of shared life and love!

    1. Miss Marla,

      I am happy that our relationship comes through in our blog. Thank you for noting it, and letting us know. Linda and I have been a team from the start which has really helped see us through some difficult life challenges.

      Thanks again.

  5. Anonymous4/18/2015

    Happy Belated Anniversary! I totally agree with Miss Marla.

    Repeating you hear because you said it so well..." of the biggest challenges a simple living individual has is meeting someone who is compatible with such a lifestyle. Time after time on websites and blogs I have seen people lamenting the lack of potential mates willing to embark on a life of voluntary simplicity."

    It is the greatest lack in my life and has been so most of my adult life. In the area where I live, even friends who aspire to live more simply, less materially are almost impossible to find. I've searched high and low, tired many things to find like-minded folks for years. I seem to have very little power to change it. At least for now.

    I'm hopeful that some big changes I am transitioning to will place me in situations to meet kindred spirits. The internet and especially your blog has helped tremendously. Yet face-to-face contact with people who have similar values to mine is elusive here. Thank you for mentioning this.

    It sounds like you guys had a wonderful anniversary true to the loving simple life you've carved and nurtured for so many years! I smiled when I read this post last month.


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