Monday, March 13, 2017

Luxury Highway Touring ... on the Water

There are canals all over the place in England and there are many locks which individuals use to raise / lower the boats for different segments of a canal, none of which are attended by any public service people.  If you want the lock raised, then you do the steps yourself.

This is another tale of kicking out of the Establishment rat race.  He was doing well and pulling the big bucks as a TV reporter but then he started asking himself what's real and the Establishment always dies behind that.  When there's Megyn Kelly glitz on one side and real life on the other, it doesn't take long to choose.

So now he lives on a boat on a canal.  Yes, this probably does mean I'll be taking a look at some more types of houseboat living as that's a dream for a whole lot of people.  The narrow boat is one way and  you know there are many others.

David Johns is personable fellow and I guess he would have to be to survive on TV but you will probably like the man.  He's forty-seven and he wanted something different.  Usually that gets dismissed as a mid-life crisis but that's only the measure of the period it takes most men to realize they have been fooling themselves and the pitch society presented wasn't real.  If you have been in the military then you learned that in your twenties.

There's one aspect about his boat I don't like at all and that's the wood-burning stove.  While greenies seem to think that's so eco-sensitive, it's one of the dirtiest ways available to produce energy.  That aspect is unacceptable.  He otherwise uses diesel to power heating and that's not tremendously better but it's not as dirty as burning wood.

Propane burns clean and he uses that for cooking but not, apparently, for anything else.  The Silas is interested in the boat but the energetics need to be revisited in a big way.  Solar isn't going to be so big in England but it's still not to be ignored, etc.

Whoops, I missed one since sometimes he uses electric for heat if he's in a pinch.

Note:  he uses solar as well so he's got four different power sources and that's not so impressive.

In general, the narrow boat uses technology which is far more primitive than we have seen in any of the types of highway solutions in the various Luxury Highway Touring articles.

- it's not clear if that's a composting toilet

- energy support is abysmal

- use of space is good but not exceptional

All in all, this looks like a low-tech way to drop out of London and that alone is a reason to do it but the Yankee preference would be higher tech.

Ed:  you will run the price of the boat way up if you get high-tech with it.

Well, it has to be done intelligently and we have seen multiple examples of conversions for vehicles to make them habitable so it's on you to decide which is intelligent and which is stupidly expensive fluff.

There needs to be some serious attention to computing technology since it seems many of these Frito Banditos who break away are counting on becoming roaming digital cowboys / cowgirls who earn their living by making videos and articles for magazines, etc.  Given that dependency and it seems ubiquitous, I've been surprised at how little attention the computing interface typically receives.

Maybe some of you want to break away and never see another computer again.  Maybe it's cool to spend some truly idyllic time in which your greatest responsibility is watching mother swan with her swanlings (cygnets??).  It's a gorgeous lifestyle even if you don't do anything more than that.

Ed:  what if it gets boring?

Boredom is self-inflicted and you know that already.  If you get bored by the boat, it ain't the boat.

In this video, we meet David Johns, a former TV journalist from the UK who quit his job, sold his house, and bought a narrowboat to cruise the canal network. His plan was to try being a live aboard for a year.  He’s been living aboard for 9 months so far and he’s still happy with his decision and loves being part of the friendly, helpful narrowboat community. 

Watch this video to take a tour of David's narrowboat, learn how he earns an income as a freelance journalist, where he “parks” his boat, and about the joys & challenges of life afloat.

David has been documenting his journey living on a boat with a regular vlog on his YouTube channel: Cruising the Cut (  With his experience as a TV journalist, the videos are extremely well filmed and edited, and they're a real pleasure to watch.

We were excited when he sent us his interview footage because we learned so much about this alternative lifestyle that he’s trying out.  We love the idea of living in a tiny house on the water and of being able to explore from the comfort of your own home (a lot like living in a van!).

Thanks for watching!

Mat & Danielle

- Exploring Alternatives (YouTube channel)

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