I spent the last 24 hours or so coming back to the US. Traveling home always reminds me that the world is small enough that we can travel from any point on the globe to any other in a matter of hours (depending on the airline and weather). Traveling also reminds me how huge the Earth really is, after all I was traveling at over 400 miles an hour and it still took a full day to get home.
I’m also struck by the material distance that can exist in such close proximity, how luxury and poverty can be within few feet of each other. To travel back to the US, I took a train from Nanjing to Shanghai, along the way you pass through the rich cities of Suzhou and Wuxi, these four are some of the richest places in China, between these cities are farmers still toiling in the field by hand.
So last night, as I fought with jet lag, I tried to think of some ways you could experience a bit of what life is like for those in the countryside. If you actually give these a try, please let me know what you thought of these trials.
- Wash all of your dishes and clothes by hand using cold water.
- Eat all of your meals for the day in your car with the heat off (use common sense, don’t freeze to death).
- Reduce your meal portions by 30% for a week.
- Change your diet to 80% starch, 15% vegetables, 5% meat for a week.
- Walk 2-3 miles a day.
I hope you’ll give one or two of these a try this winter and leave your reflections below in the comment section.
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