Today I spent some of my down time reading old posts on some of the blogs I have subscribed to over the past few months. One that I had glanced over before, but never really delved into, caught my attention today and led me to discover several great websites I'd never seen before. (and made me think a bit too!)
The first site was delighted by was rowdykittens. There are lots of great useful posts that I found really helpful. Tips for buying a bike. A neat trick on 'renting' a bike for free anywhere. Fun photos and great links and discussions.
Second, and this ranks in there with the 2 mile challenge, is walkscore.com Find out how walkable your area is! It generates lists of useful businesses and services close to your home. Check it out. You may be surprised by how much is located in your close vicinity!
This last one made me think the most and has me itching to sit down in the middle of my room and go through all of my things, making piles around me. Dave Bruno, author of guynameddave, created what he calls 'The 100 Thing Challenge' Read about his year with only 100 things here! And here's how this relates to me:
In April I packed my things and moved to Portland. I didn't have a car, and still don't, so it took some time figuring out how to get me and my things up to Oregon. I don't consider myself to be very materialistic, but trying to move all of my possessions 800 miles in what looked like would be a carpool, was difficult. A friend of mine from Seattle offered to take anything I could fit in her Vanagan up to Seattle and then we could work something out later from there. (she was doing some family road tripping and not going through Portland) In the meantime, I found a fellow student who wasn't apposed to me strapping 2 bikes to the back of his car and chipping in for gas. Knowing that there would be 5 of us in the car going up, and not knowing exactly how long I would be without the rest of my things, I had to reduce what I brought with me to what I could essentially carry in a messenger bag. Some clothes, sketchbook, pencils, bike helmet, lights, lock, wrench, pump and a few other essentials was all I could carry. Over the next 2 weeks I was delighted to find myself hardly missing anything and living quite well with what I could carry. (thanks in great part to generous friends, especially Sam) I did finally get my books and other things from Seattle, and I was grateful to have them again, but many (months later) are still in boxes, unused. The 100 Thing Challenge is really tempting, especially with some international travel in the near future for me, and a desire to reduce my possessions, but regardless of whether I actually decide to attempt reducing down to 100 (or any arbitrary number) I will definitely be looking to donate the things I use the least this week.
Thanks for reading this uncharacteristically wordy post!