572 sq ft

Posted by Lentus Ambulandus

MedellinDue to circumstances beyond my control, I am currently living in Medellin, Colombia. My wife and I have rented a small apartment which, at 572 square feet, is roughly half the size of the apartment that we just vacated in Canada. Which in turn was half the size of the house we used to own. If this trend continues, we’ll be living in a small yurt by the year 2020.

That wouldn’t be a bad thing. I’ve stayed in a yurt before. It was fun and relaxing.

Back to the apartment. There’s one bedroom, 1.5 bathrooms (i.e. 0.5 bathrooms too many), a decent sized living area, a small walk-in closet, and a small laundry room / pantry. There’s no clothes dryer, so right now I’m sitting with wet laundry draped across all the chairs. Gives the place a nice fresh scent.

Since we’ll be here temporarily (end-Oct), we’re renting a furnished place. Bedding, towels, cleaning supplies: all included. We brought our own coffee paraphernalia (as one does) but otherwise the kitchen has all the essentials. There’s even a sandwich press, of which I’ve become a huge fan.

We’re very happy here. With each successive move, as our square footage has decreased, our peace of mind has increased. Maybe we’re like dogs, who instinctively seek refuge in small places, rather than be exposed to the dangers of large open areas. I suspect many of you will feel the same way about the comforts of small living spaces.

Because we’ll go mobile at the end of our stay in Medellin, we must remain unencumbered. There is simply no incentive or impulse to buy anything. This creates a real sense of freedom, because a whole thought process is removed from the equation. Contrast that with more permanent scenarios, where we tend to nickel and dime ourselves with small purchases of “must-haves”, unwittingly spending our hard-earned money just to create a maddening world of clutter.

Our stay in Medellin, and our forthcoming life of hostels and tents, will serve as boot camp for when we eventually return to Canada. Our spartan existence on the road will allow us to recalibrate our stuff-o-meters. We’ll return to the land of plenty as hardened minimalists, inured to making do with enough. We’ll be armed with the knowledge that we’re happier with less. And we’ll know that 572 square feet is overkill.

Yes. I think we’ll go back and live in a yurt…

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Lentus Ambulandus is New Escapologist's Chief Leisure Officer. He advocates doing the things worth doing (hiking, cycling, sipping coffee, reading books), and proudly accomplishes less in a month than most people do in a week. His creed is simple: Death Before Employment.

4 Responses to “572 sq ft”

  1. Samara says:

    The sandwich press is almost Rob’s mascot object that a lot of people buy, use once and then leave in kitchen storage hell forever. It’s kind of great to me that you specifically mention loving your rented one.

  2. The sandwichera, as it is known in these parts, is fascinating. I do love it! I would never buy one – just like I’d never buy a pasta maker, a stand mixer, an ice-cream maker, or an electric can opener. But since the sandwichera serendipitously entered my life, it has opened up a whole new lunching frontier for me. I’ll probably use that damned thing every day. I feel so dirty.

    I suppose it’s sort of like the sea kayak I rented last year. I loved the experience, as I do each time I go sea kayaking…once every three years or so. That doesn’t mean I’d buy one. A lot of people would, though, and that’s why they *suddenly* can’t park their car in their garage anymore.

    Sadly, the days of the sandwichera will one day end for me, and I’ll have to go back to spatulas and frying pans.

  3. Spoonman says:

    The one thing we will always travel with is our Moka pot (http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moka_pot), I just can’t trust anything else.

    We’re going through a similar living exercise right now. We moved into a 300 sqft studio in Montreal, which makes our 630 sqft apartment in the Pacific Northwest look like a friggin -mansion-. Before that, we had a 715 sqft apartment, and before that a 1050 sqft condo (not counting the garage)…yes, the pinacle of comfort.

    I don’t know when we’ll cry uncle, but I suspect the next place we rent will be even smaller and really challenge our minimalist skills.

  4. 300 sqft…Shazam! You’ve set the bar rather high. I’m not sure where you go from there…a car? the street?

    Re: moka pot…excellent choice, Sir. I’ve seen those things deftly employed in the craziest of circumstances. Myself, I’m somewhat of a maximalist when it comes to coffee: hand grinder, gram scale, filter cone, goose-neck kettle. It goes with me everywhere, usually as my carry-on.

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