When we immigrated to the US in 1986 I remembered questioning why. I observed that essentially our life had not changed. There were roads, homes, stores, cars. Our apartment was our home and our family was together. I just observed my parents being stressed out much of their time, until the time when we settled into a new rhythm in a new home in a new town in a new school, in new jobs.
I see my daughter questioning. Why did we move? Why did we change our entire life? Essentially things are the same. Our family is together much of the time. We shop at a store, live in our apartment, attend school. It is the little things, the small shifts within our daily life that make all the difference. We are shifting with these changes, becoming. The dust is finally settling in a new home, new town, new school, and new job.
We spend our days in a simpler manner. Without a car, there are not so many places to go, not so much to do. We walk a lot. We crisscross this country on our two/six feet (along with the help of trains, buses and trams.) There is no place we can’t walk to. It makes all the difference. There is no need for this concept of exercise as it is just a part of our reality. (Will enhances it by running up our 8 flights of stairs, 72 in all, an extra couple of times.) In this way we also experience all types of weather. Dressing is not necessarily for fashion but more so for necessity (although Czech women seem to do both.) Then there is the continuous interaction with others. People are on the street, at the bus stop, in the shops, and there is a practice of looking at one another. What in the States would be considered starring, here is curious observation. ( http://whatmores.blogspot.com/2011/12/just-looking.html )
Other nuances are; the taste of bread, cheese, cold-cuts, fruits and vegetables (which is enhanced by the hunger we feel after walking and climbing stairs,) landscape (which we are fortunate to have spread out underneath our windows,) and the ever-changing sky (also the gift of our 3 skylight windows.)
We only have what we use, 3 bowls, 3 plates, 3 small plates, 3 pairs of silverware, 3 glasses and what we could carry in our 3 suitcases, 3 backpacks and a duffle from the States. The crazy thing is that this is enough. (Ali wants more toys.) But other than that it means that the house takes one hour to clean including the dishes and vacuuming. It leaves more time for impromptu dancing, a board game, cooking, carving soap, etc.
It is interesting how seemingly outside circumstances orchestrate the way one lives. (Of course it is all a choice.) It is a pressing question, I think ecologically, psychologically, and concretely; are we living in the manner we truly want? Does our space support the way in which we want to live? (Is this the quality of life we so often discuss?)
Our one trade off- friendships suffer when one uproots. I thank the gods of facebook and skype that we have substantially more correspondence with our loved ones than my parents had with theirs thirty years ago.