I used to write in this blog about my experience and reflections, but that is a case that I just want to introduce with a bit of comment.
A very vivid, inspiring story about a simple life. The hero of the story is Titus Morris, who lives in the vicinity of the Appalachian Mountains in Kentucky.
The aspect that caught my attention is how Titus climbs trees and barns effortlessly, without using ladders. His natural stretching and coordination skills are something that even widely practised yoga may not be able to achieve easily. I found myself yearning to incorporate the need to climb trees and other things into my everyday life. Now, I can witness this routine.
Before the cold weather sets in, Titus goes barefoot. He sustains himself solely on a plant-based diet, without consuming dairy or eggs. Though he lives close to the Amish community, he is not a part of it.
In rural areas, direct or indirect connections to God or any other form of spirituality are common ways of life. However, in this case, it becomes a daily practice for Titus as he hears God’s voice in his head, which guides him with reasonable and wise advice. This goes beyond mere tranquillity derived from the story of Jesus or the habit of reading the Bible.
Three years ago, Titus experimented with his own YouTube channel, where you can find original content.
If you prefer to read texts instead of watching videos (as I do), here’s Reanna Smith’s article in Daily Star which is based on the first video I put here.
If you think such self-sufficiency and money spending could be achieved only in warm climates for a single man, I would point out Lasse Nordlund's story. He, his wife Maria Dorff and their kids live the same style (Emilia Karhu writes) as Titus in Finland’s Northern Karelia region. Lasse wrote a book ‘The Foundations of Our Life, Reflections about Human labour, Money and Energy from Self-sufficiency Standpoint’ about his experience. It was published in 2008.
Currently, Lasse and Maria lead a community that runs a self-sufficiency school — Omavaraopisto (I made a brief review of such initiatives in Northern Europe during my field trip in 2019 visiting Omavaraopisto in its initial phase). In 2023 a book by Antti Salminen and Touko Hujanen ‘Lantun Henki’ ‘ (Rutaba’s Spirit) was published as an external view of Lasse’s philosophy and snapshots of Omavaraopisto’s creation.
When I returned home, people asked me what countries I liked the most, and I responded with The Republic of Georgia, Serbia, and Tajikistan. I received cringed faces and a negative response like, “Why would you go there?”
I understood the negative connotations weren’t anyone’s fault. If these countries were ever shown in the media it was because something was blowing up inside of them.
I became tired of defending these places — and, more importantly, the people inside of them — so I decided to show what I was talking about through video.
My own texts based on life in the countryside:
- Ecology-focused Practitioners in Serbia
- Symbiocenic Environments
- Island-based Ecovillages (Finland, Sweden, Karelia)
- Eco-villages, Kin’s Domains and New Farmers: 25 Years of the Modern ‘Back to the Land’ Movement in Russia/CIS
- Social Slow Travel: Lowcost&Zerowaste
- Immersing in the Light of Albanian Nature and Culture