Upon my return from fifty-eight days of the trekking across North America, the calm that had pervaded my existence began to become less permanent as it had for the two months prior. In all fairness, moving into a new home, setting up a classroom, and beginning a brand new school year are not the most serene of experiences. What that quick shock to my system allowed me to see was that situations can be sculpted to allow for the space to feel more at peace. My road trip confirmed that feeling that I would prefer to pursue.
Tiny houses had been on my radar before my trip. In fact, when I was planning and booking, I had hoped to stay in the relatively new tiny house hotel in Portland, Oregon. Unfortunately, the weekend that I had routed myself to pass through Portland was the only one not available on the hotel’s website. My tent therefore served as my own less permanent tiny house that I stayed in on the trip. Especially towards the end of the adventure, my tent became everything I needed. It kept me dry during rainy nights, had a placed for my cot and sleeping bag, and gave me a place to change clothes as needed. (Without the ability to stand up, this became a creative maneuver.) There was no need to worry about how little the tent had to it, as it met everything that I needed from a shelter. Ultimately, I didn’t think that living permanently in a tent was a solid solution. That was when my mind really began thinking about the practicality of designing, building, and occupying a tiny house.
The moments in my life that I have been most content have been the ones where there are few worries. Something tells me that is true for nearly every other person. (What an epiphany, right?) Having never lived in a tiny house before, I am sure that worries and concerns will still emerge when that time comes. A tiny house is not a forcefield for life’s unpleasant parts. However, logic tells me that the worries connected with the upkeep and finances of a traditional home have the potential to be more extreme. If I can knowingly pursue an option that can help minimize these stresses, then that is certainly the pursuit worth exploring.
Should I live to a ripe old age, I hope that I will be able to reflect back on my life and determine that I had more serene days than worrisome days. In some ways, that may be out of my control. I truly believe that we are not able to control our lives, but we can control the circumstances that may ultimately steer our lives towards the path that we desire. I am a better person when I am calm. I am a better son, brother, friend, and teacher when I am calm and at peace. My hope is that going tiny will help foster that existence that makes me a better person.
I too have been fascinated with the tiny house movement years before it became popular. With each of my moves over the past ten years, I’ve downsized. I currently live in a 400 sq ft.(large by “tiny” standards) beach cottage in San Diego which I chose specifically to force myself outdoors more. I also was able to purge a lot of items I no longer needed. On vacation I stayed in a tiny home and really enjoyed it. I have been seriously researching tiny houses for my retirement, which is in about 10 years. I warn my daughters that I may build one in their backyard! I too am looking for a less stressful life, especially now.
Well done Greg!