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Sunday Reading: Changing Gears

Sunday November 17, 2013 Written by Jonty

We've all dreamt of leading a simpler life at one point or another. But for most of us, the desire for a quiet life in the countryside versus the rush of city living stays just that: a desire.

So hats off then, to author Greg Foyster who bravely left a successful career in advertising to set off in search of life outside the rat race, an experience that's distilled into Changing Gears

Foyster and his partner Sophie travelled 6,500 kilometres up the east coast of the country (plus a bit of Tassie, too) by pushbike, meeting with simple living advocates. Foyster's interview subjects are an interesting lot: from academics, to DIY architects, to other ex city-slickers who wanted to lead more modest lives.

Just as interesting are their living conditions, from modern day communes to modest mudbrick dwellings to eco-retreats that barely register a blip on the carbon radar.

The most interesting story of all, however, is Foyster's. He's not exactly Bear Grylls, which is what makes his tale so fascinating and funny. Importantly, if he can do it, maybe we can, too.

Are you in Sydney? Join Greg Foyster in conversation with Craig Reucassel and a book signing at Gleebooks at 6pm on Tuesday November 19.

Foyster's journey was featured in Smith volume four (we caught up with him in Canberra). Order a copy or subscribe so you don't miss an issue.