Minimalist, self-described "hobo artist" Dan Price is no stranger to long-time TreeHugger readers. The award-winning creator of the artful Moonlight Chronicles and author of Radical Simplicity is well-known for his hobbit-style home in Oregon, that he built himself over a period of several years out of reclaimed materials.
We've seen pictures, but a video tour is worth a thousand images. Now Price gives filmmaker Kirsten Dirksen of Fair Companies an insight into his simple but profoundly self-determined life, based on a philosophy of freedom, while staying interconnected with nature and living as light as possible.
Price, who has worked as a photojournalist, has travelled and camped all over the world. Calling himself a "neo-hobo" of sorts, his fascination with self-made buildings began when he was a youngster. Interestingly, he mentions the Lord of the Rings movies as the inspiration for his own hobbit home, as well as the stories of hermits who lived in spiritual contemplation. His current way of living is inspired by years of backpacking, camping and being on the road.
Price has built a variety of structures since acquiring his two acres of land 25 years ago. Price describes the slow, gradual process of how he simplified his lifestyle, starting with a tent, then a teepee, then a willow hut, then a shingled shed, then finally starting to dig out a series of underground structures, consisting of a living space and a connected sleeping nook, and then a studio, and even a shower and riverside sauna. He notes that the land was once indigenous Nez Perce land, and also mentions that he tends to the adjacent meadow like it's a "church" of nature.
Price's studio is lovely. He explains that it's inspired by kiva structures, and thus is lit by a central skylight. He shows us a few pages of the Moonlight Chronicles, which seem to be a real hand-drawn delight of his world travels.
In some ways, Price has lived quite a worldly life. But he says that his choices to simplify his life are motivated by the magic and innocence of childhood, because "security is a myth. You could be hit by a car tomorrow. To me, having way less, makes life much more of an adventure."
Everyone has their own idea of what their version of the minimalist lifestyle looks like. And while it's not for everyone, we're fortunate to get a glimpse into Dan Price's thought-provoking version of living a lighter life -- a life, by his own account, that is well-lived. More over at Fair Companies, Dan Price's YouTube channel, Instagram, and Moonlight Chronicles.