Today my Facebook newsfeed has been inundated with people, news articles and related media for the launch of the new Apple iPhone 6 which has inspired me to write this post. As I live on an island without an Apple store nearby we haven’t really been exposed to the hype and marketing that goes into such an event, and for the most part life has gone on just fine. Really, I mean we haven’t all perished because no one on the island hasn’t got their hands on one just yet.
Over the past year living here I’ve been asked multiple times ‘what are you doing here?!’, mostly by fellow Australians or Americans who are fascinated with the adjustments I’ve had to make to live a happy life here.
What I don’t have –
- An Apple Store
- McDonald’s, KFC, Pizza Hut
- A huge department store
- A car
- A washing machine in my house
- A 9-5 job
- A TV
- A monthly phone contract with unlimited access to 4G
You get the idea. I’ve had to make some adjustments to my attitude of how easy and accessible life used to be in Sydney . I mean before you have a shower here you need to switch on the hot water, and make sure you switch it off before you shower as you may be electrocuted (makes showering a thrilling experience!), we can’t flush toilet paper and my wifi at home sometimes doesn’t connect. And you know what – I’ve survived! I’m ok and realized there is more to life than the latest iPhone, being constantly connected to the internet everywhere I go and going shopping every weekend.
Everything I need to really LIVE is right here. Here’s what I do have –
- Air (that’s always important)
- Amazing views of Santorini on my doorstep
- Connection with people (doesn’t require a device or the internet)
- Meaningful relationships with friends
- Fresh coffee (very important!)
- Freedom to wake up and choose what I want to do
- Time to reflect and have space for myself
- A few supermarkets and shops that provide me with fresh, local and imported food
Actually everything I have here is accessible to most people in the western world right now (except the Santorini view!) I think we get too caught up in the circus of marketing and the latest ‘must have’ item when all you really need is right there. In no way am I hating on the evolution of the world and the amazing advancements of technology and life, I own an iPhone 5S because its a great device – but I’m not going to go get the latest one right now because there is more important stuff going on in my life right now. Sometimes we forget what’s real and what’s important. We don’t really need much to ‘survive’ and to be happy.
Seeing the crowds in Sydney lining up and the ‘jubilation’ experienced when the first customer purchased the new device made me kind of sad when juxtaposed to the poverty and famine going on in other countries. Imagine if we all got so passionate when we helped one another?
If this post has inspired you please consider donating to Help African Smiles. Its an organization set up by my old work colleagues at Virgin Australia to help the orphans and kids at Mpumelelo Day Care Centre just outside of Johannesburg in South Africa. Visit their Facebook here https://www.facebook.com/helpafricansmiles
So all in all living with ‘less’ on this island has actually given me more and taught me to value different things in life and that’s why I love this island so much.