I always think about how the average American has an unbelievably boring living arrangement. I am not including people who live in cool places, or those places that I think are cool– in the mountains, right on a beach, on a horse ranch, places like that. Those lucky people are the exceptions. When I think of the American living arrangement, I think of people living mostly in developments. This thought is regardless of a person’s financial situation. Whether an American is wealthy, poor, or middle class, it is likely that they live in some kind of “neighborhood.” I’m speaking from personal experience and the people I know. Most people I have known live in a house or condo or townhouse or apartment on less than one acre, sometimes not even a half acre. My point is, people live almost right on top of their neighbors or pressed up against them and there are paved roads and a supermarket one or two miles away. While American residential arrangements often offer more personal space than living arrangements in other countries, think about it– we know more of our neighbors’ business, schedules, and shopping habits more than we would care to know.
Let’s keep those ideas in mind while considering the following living arrangements. While I was on a road trip in Lesotho, a landlocked country within South Africa, I spent the entire time wishing I could really live there at some point and get to assimilate into the unique lifestyle the country offers.
Since I’m not a homeowner, I thought of my parents’ house. I did a mental compare and contrast when I took in this view of someone’s house. This is pretty much what my dream house looks like:
It was hard not to notice the view from the front yard. Yep, the view where I grew up was pleasant, but it wasn’t exactly anything like this:
I mentioned neighbors. Think of what your neighbors’ kids usually do. Washing the car, making noise too late at night, etc. Check out how cute your neighbors would be in Lesotho:
What does your current neighbor do for a living? You probably can’t always remember her confusing title or position, especially if she works at the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company. She is something like “assistant to the regional manager.” Or was it “assistant regional manager?” : ) How are you supposed to be able to keep track of those things? If you had a neighbor in a place like Lesotho, it would most likely be easier for you to remember what they do for a living.
Let’s keep spying on the neighbors while we’re at it. Here’s what else they are up to:
Instead of leaving carbon footprints on their way “into town,” people leave actual footprints:
Have I mentioned the view?
That’s why travel is so important to me. If I didn’t travel I wouldn’t have as many (or any) opportunities to imagine what my life could be like in other places.