Live With Less. To Live More!

Remember, life as a teenager?  The nearly carefree lifestyle with a body that was so self regenerating that neither food nor injuries had a permanent nor a negative affect on the way you lived.  Responsibilities and obligations weren't so obligatory, and because of the simplicity of youth, life whether good or bad seemed to be constantly changing and flourishing around you.

I miss the days of being 15 when my parents would drop me off and pick me up from the bus station to the mountain. I would snowboard all day in any conditions, some of the best days being in the pouring rain because that was the only time the toe-side wall of the half-pipe would get soft. Unfortunately Smith hadn't yet invented the interchangeable lenses for snow goggles.  Regardless of the technological progression of gear those were still some of the best days because, Life was Simple. Over the recent years I decided that I wanted to take a step back and direct my life towards that simplicity.

 When I was 15, I went snowboarding every day I was not in school. I kept track of it on a calendar in my room. I had marked an "X" across the days I was at the mountain, and from the looks of that calendar, I managed to miss a lot of school. It was all I cared about! I never went to prom or any other events I just wanted to snowboard.

I got a couple sponsors and everything happened so quickly. While still in high school, I was traveling around the world to snowboard. It was great! But at the same time I started snowboarding less and less. I was traveling, doing photo shoots, which turned out to be a lot of weird pseudo modeling. I had some injuries and as life goes, I was busier as I got older.

In a roundabout way and without my knowing I bought a Firetruck on Ebay somewhere in the mid-west in 2011. It then sat in my parents front yard for 5 years, unfinished and deteriorating. And when my mom caught wind that I was in the process of buying another, slightly more practical Firetruck she said the one at her house should be sold, finished or moved before another one ended up in its company. I was reluctant to admit it, but she seemed right, and in an effort to use what I have rather than buying more and more things I agreed to finish building it.

I moved into the Firetruck on December 31st 2016 at 11 pm in time to celebrate the New Year in the parking lot of Mt. Bachelor. My plan was simple. It was to stay there for six weeks and snowboard everyday in any condition. During that time I learned I still don’t care about doing laundry or taking showers. I improved my cooking skills on top of a miniature wood stove. 

I used only the electricity produced by the sun. I learned to sleep to the sound of snowplows endlessly buzzing my front door. And I most importantly I went snowboarding everyday. Some of the most memorable days were in the rain, not the best anymore, but still memorable.

The whole “tiny house” movement is a bit absurd. It's portrayed as a new and revolutionary way of living. All the tiny house dwellers rave of their coming to god moment, ridding themselves of material possessions and finding inner peace. As much as I was annoyed by them I quickly became one of them. The Firetruck is the happiest house I’ve lived in. It's easy to clean. There's no excess besides snowboards, and I do believe everyone should give it a go. Try it out for a few weeks or a month to see if you like it. Oddly enough you may find that when you Live with less, you tend to live more. 

The Firetruck and I will be living in various mountain parking lots this winter, feel free to stop by to borrow some Smith goggles if you forgot yours.

-Austin Smith