Glocal: An American Family Leaves It All Behind to Live Locally in England

Glocal from Jeff Heie on Vimeo.

This film is an inspiration for all those adventurous families out there that have ever considered dropping it all and moving abroad. A few years ago the Heie family decided that it was time to leave their comfortable life in Phoenix behind and give it all up for a locally minded existence in Manchester, England. The film gives you an inside glimpse of what it's like to leave your car, house, pool, job, and 95 percent of your "stuff" behind. Glocal is a short documentary film that recounts the experience of one American family that decided to give it all up and move to Manchester, England. But before I go any further with a synopsis, it should be made clear that you don't need to drop everything and move abroad in order to lead a local life. The movie makes a local existence in the United States seem tremendously difficult, which in fact, is far from the truth. While for some it is impossible, adjustments can be made. Working from home, buying all your food from the farmers' market down the street, and making the outdoors your gym, all make the need for a car minimal. And it doesn't take a move abroad to enjoy the benefits of living within your community.

That being said, the documentary was very much worth the watch. Interesting tidbits and country comparisons made it fun for all of us that have ever dreamed of living in another country. And the film tied in some helpful information. Jeff spoke about the benefits of giving up your car and renting one periodically when the need arose. He calculated that his car cost him about $4,500 per year and renting a car a few times a month for the weekend was about $1,000 per year. That's some serious pocket change.

A talking European Ford served as the expert of choice when it came to explaining the differences in European and American cars. The hood served as the mouth, which stated that in the US smaller Fords and the like were not available because gas was cheap, where in the UK, at $6.33 per gallon, small cars are a necessity. What's more, with so many huge cars on the road in the US, car makers think it becomes more dangerous to have smaller cars. In the end, the consumer's choice is what car makers build.

And then there was the true fossil fuel cost of our foods. In the effort to make a point, the Heie family used a map to show where all sorts of foods come from. While many of us are aware of our produce and dairy, what about sunflower seeds from Argentina, basmati rice from India, lentils from Canada, and coconut from Sri Lanka? When push comes to shove, where do ALL of your foods come from?

If you're in the mood for a quick adventure, follow the Heie family aboard to Manchester.

More on Living Locally:
Book Review: Farewell, My Subaru: An Epic Adventure in Local Living
Living On The 100 Miles Diet
Take the 10 Percent Shift Challenge to Boost Your Local Economy

Related Content on