The Slowvelder’s moment of fame – newspaper article from Belgium

We are famous!  Anyone read French?

For those of you who can’t read or speak French – here is an abbreviated version:

As soon as I have a translation I will post it for all to read.  A big thank-you to Pilar Rojas for writing the article about making a choice to live a slower, simpler life.  As you can see Rhonda’s blog Down–to–earth was also mentioned in the article.  You can link to her blog here.


Here is a rough translation of the article into English kindly provided by my friend Marian in Brussels.

The lack of time for yourself and your loved ones, the incapacity to give priority to essential things, the concern to preserve the resources of our planet for the next generations, the incapacity to fight against poverty … a range of reasons that motivate some consumers to live a more simple life.
Known in English as “voluntary simplicity” this life philosophy shows how to live better with less. This basic principle is individually interpreted in many different ways.

In the expression of this way of living, we find objectives affecting individuals lives, such as a search for a better combination of private and professional life, but also objectives affecting the environment, such as the will to get closer to nature and to protect it (recycling, composting, growing a part of own food, preferring local and seasonal food). All these actions follow from the principle of voluntary simplicity.
Every day, new initiatives are taken. They inspire us to learn how to consume differently, for example by purchasing fewer consumer goods, by recycling used goods or by sharing goods instead of buying them (shared use of cars, rental bicycles). If everybody applied these principles and extended it to the exchange of goods and services between consumers, we would engineer an informal economy, and this is the priority of some consumers.
Living more simply, as a source of personal and collective wellbeing, is an idea that can be found back even in the oldest regions, such a Buddhism, Yet, it took till 1936 before the American philosopher, Richard Gregg, defined the idea of voluntary simplicity as way of living with the objective to improve our  collective habits based on free-will.
Today, a lot of researchers in human sciences are interested in the phenomena they see in this initiative – an information source that allows reconsideration of the limits of current economic systems.
Although the phenomena has increasing success, it can be that the translation into the individual application by using similar projects seems to be insurmountable in some circles where simplicity seems to be a privilege only for a minority. Applying personal transformation in an isolated manner can be seen as marginalization and isolation. Nevertheless, the marginalization becomes more relative thanks to the social networks that are flourishing on the internet. In the virtual context, geographical distances have no importance and simplicity volunteers find each other in the diversity of witnesses hosted in the blogosphere.
A witness of Australia, Rhonda Hetzel has a lot of recognition internationally. At the age of 62 years, Rhonda has decided to share via her blog (http://down—to— her personal experience of transformation toward a more simple life. Each week between 25.000 and 30.000 readers follow Rhonda’s generous advice. She has also 3.190 members of her forum who have daily discussions (60% of them live outside Australia). Rhonda facilitates the development of an interactive network where ideas and advice to apply simplicity in day-to-day life are exchanged.
Rhonda is not the only blogger defending simple life. For example Jackie, who decided to leave a long and successful career in marketing behind, although she was an expat living in Europe. Worn-out by the stress of a busy life, she decided to go back to South Africa, her native land, where she adopted a more peaceful rhythm and lives closer to nature. Her blog, slowvelder ( initiated during the month of January, already has an international following. Rhonda and Jackie, as well as other bloggers who are living a simple life and the virtual communities of which they are part, are protagonists of a new age, where individuals can validate online their way of living more easily.


5 thoughts on “The Slowvelder’s moment of fame – newspaper article from Belgium

  1. Okay, my French is rusty, but a rough translation (I think) of the short version is:

    Jackie for example decided to abandon the long road to success with the marketing firm and became a European expat when offered the possibility. Jackie decided to return to Africa and adopt the rhythm of nature. Her blog, Slowvelder, is an international success. She tells the virtual community about her simpler life/life with nature, and her problems/difficulties that she encounters in her new life.


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