When the current global health crisis and social restrictions first began, most of us focused on places we could not go and things we could not do. No gym, no school, no salon, no cinema and certainly no pubs or restaurants. But eventually, we became focused on where we must be … at home.
Some of us rediscovered how much we enjoy being home. Safe from the turmoil outside in our little oasis of sanity, we reconnected with our families, using the whole experience to create a stronger and more intimate connection with those we love.
Not everyone enjoyed such stay-at-home rapture.
Many have been forced to realize the glaring shortcomings of their current habitats. The walls have closed in on these unfortunate families and individuals. Pent up, bored and agitated, they suffer endless miserable hours “where they are” and obsess over “where they are not”.
Perhaps they should reset their sights on “where they should be”. A place with fresh air, a big garden, and a sparkling swimming pool. A place of modern design where the can enjoy family time as well as solitude and privacy. A safe place that is close enough to big-city facilities without the hassle and risk it may represent.
In the future, “where you are” will be much more important than “where you are not”.
During the past decade, urban centers like Bangkok have become buzzing concrete beehives with humans stacked on top of each other up to the sky. Families and individuals have opted to live in smaller and smaller spaces outsourcing their recreation to places like gyms and spas. People eat most meals at crowded cafés and restaurants rather than cooking at home. Families hop on a plane or ship and take trips to spend some time together. “Living small” and “minimalism” had been popular lifestyle trends up until now.
But the global health crisis of 2020 has severely altered the way we will live in the future. Widespread and prolonged lockdowns have shown a light on how miserable “home” can be when it is a 35 square meter box you cannot leave. The freedom of mobility has been replaced with the restrictions of panic-stricken governments desperately fighting to keep citizens safe.
However, families with nice houses on big lots in the suburbs hardly noticed a change in lifestyle. They stocked their big fridges with provisions, swam in their sparkling clean pools and spent time with their loved ones outside in the fresh air. Dogs were walked and gardens attended to. Suddenly, being a “homebody” was not such a bad thing. They had a built-in solution to the pandemic problem.
Living small is over. The “New Normal” is here. Witness the Return of the House.