During my recent visit to Amsterdam, The Netherlands, I stayed with my good friend Sarah who is currently working on her master's thesis in new media. She lives in student housing lovingly referred to as the containers. They are old shipping containers that have been converted into efficiency apartments and are the perfect size for a single student. Each has a small kitchen and bathroom, while some even share a common area with other housemates. Upon first hearing about the containers, it was difficult to imagine what they were exactly—a bunch of shipping containers stacked on top of each other that students live in? Well, they are actually pretty awesome. Located just five minutes on a bike from central Amsterdam, these students are pretty lucky. The containers have been studied by architecture students because of their unique contemporary, economical, and green status. Find more pictures and information about container housing here.
Spending twelve days in a small shipping container made me think about how much space we think need vs. how much space we really need. Living in Texas, we are used to having an abundance of space, but does that mean we should build bigger containers for ourselves? I think all we end up doing is filling our big containers with more stuff because, why not? However, I've found living only with life's essentials is much easier than constantly worrying about what else I want, because ultimately those wants are never satisfied.
Buy less, live smaller, ride a bike, take time to meditate, welcome change, forgive, let go, and be happy.