The simple life

By March 13, 2009 Insights

Ever since I spent my junior year of college in France, I’ve wanted to live abroad. I’ve dreamed of a simple little stone house in Provence or a sunny cabana in South America or maybe a nice little cottage on the coast of Portugal, and adventures in far away places.

But I could never completely uproot myself from California. As carefree as I dream of being, the reality of the tumbleweed lifestyle – rolling with the wind – isn’t that easy. I need a home base, if only to park my cherished family heirlooms and my tax records.

So my goal lately has been to figure out how to ultra-simplify my life, to be more mobile but still maintain a solid connection to my SF life. I’ve found some awesome solutions as I get ready for 4 more months away…

Earthclass Mail is helping me manage my snail mail super cost effectively – and in an earth-friendly way as well. They’ll scan the outside of everything that comes in and I can chose to recycle, shred, scan the contents, archive or forward. So far, it’s been working great.

PayPal is helping me manage rent payments from my tenant – I realize bank transfers are also possible, but I like the ease of this solution. It’s my first run though, so we’ll see how it works.

Google just announced Google Voice. I’m a big fan of Skype (which I couldn’t live without) but Google Voice seems to have raised the bar incredibly high (no surprise). I can’t tell yet how this might be a benefit in Mexico, but I’m excited to see how it rolls out.

I know you have to develop a huge level of trust with these online solutions, but as David Pogue said on Marketplace yesterday, “Dude, get over it. We’re already being watched all the time.” (I’m paraphrasing a bit, but it was something like that.)

Lastly, what better way to simplify your responsibilities than to just ignore them. I thought I had a problem with online Scrabble, but I just downloaded Drop7 and I now know the meaning of tech crack (thanks Christopher for the dark circles under my eyes this morning).