For those of you that don’t know me, my name is Amber Roy and I’m a Modern Hippie.
I can’t really tell you exactly when I began this journey (because I honestly don’t remember), but what I can tell you is that it is ever-changing, evolving and improving as time goes on. The truth is I’ve always been a little frugal, and I think my frugality made the idea of adopting (and adapting to) a sustainable lifestyle that much easier. Well, that and, I love the earth and the animals that live on it.
I’m going to rewind to last year when I backpacked Central America; it was such a transformational period in my life. I had just sold the pet hotel and pet service company that I spent 6 years building, to pursue travel. Sounds crazy right? It gets crazier! Before embarking on my adventure, I made the decision to donate or sell about 75% of my personal possessions (which included my car) – and that was when I really began thinking… “Why the heck do I keep buying stuff I don’t need?”
I know it might sound a little cliche, but this trip truly opened my heart and my eyes to new perspectives, new routines and a newfound community of people that live and practice a sustainable lifestyle.
When I returned I was hyper-conscious of my impact on the environment and wanted to do my best to protect and heal it. (Not just throw cans and cardboard into a blue bin every week.) I wanted to use food to heal my body, rather than just enjoy the flavours. It felt like for the first time in a long time – maybe for the first time in my life – I really found happiness in the simple things. Walking in the rain. A good home cooked meal. Because when life moves a little slower, you can take it all in and enjoy it.
Fast forward to November of 2019. I’m living abroad in Italy, and I finally decided to give up meat. For me, the environmental sacrifice was not worth the personal satisfaction of eating meat. Surprisingly, it was a much easier transition than I thought! As a full-time vegetarian and part-time vegan, I have seen and felt the personal benefits from pursuing a plant based lifestyle; weight loss, financial savings and of course, reduced eco-anxiety and guilt (yes, that’s a thing).
Each day that I work towards a more sustainable lifestyle, continues to lead me towards a better life and my best self. Even better; it has also (in a small way) led to communal excellence! My incredibly supportive community of friends and family, have also reduced their personal impact simply by respecting and accommodating my decisions. They too, have learned to cook plant based meals, traded plastic for glass or ceramic, and taken a closer look at their consumer choices.
And so I began thinking… If I could inspire them, maybe I could inspire others? And so The Modern Hippie Project was born.
I’m not claiming to be a sustainability expert (yet). But life is short, and I don’t think waiting for “expert status” will make me any more qualified to write this blog. I hope that my desire to follow this path will inspire you to just get started, no matter your situation and that you join me on my journey to leading a more sustainable life.
Change doesn’t happen overnight. It starts with desire, and then one small step in the right direction.PAULA DEEN
Amber Roy is the founder of The CTRL Lab, a Digital Delegation agency that empowers small business owners and helps them grow a successful business, while promoting a sustainable work/life balance.
She currently lives abroad in southern Italy with her partner, Stefano, where together they continue to build a sustainable life that is rich in Italian culture.