I remember the first time I watched a tiny home documentary. It was a Friday night after a long week of teaching. My then-boyfriend and I curled up on the couch in our cluttered apartment with some comfort food and tuned into Netflix.
We were instantly enamored with the lifestyle. Over the next few weeks, we watched every documentary we could find about tiny homes. It became an obsession. This was what we had to do.
We weren't happy living paycheck to paycheck. We hated that we had to squeeze in chores, errands, a social life, and family time into the two days of the weekends. We never had the money to travel as much as we wanted. And when we could travel, it was always on peak times because we were teachers.
After the tiny home documentary binge-watching, I became completely overwhelmed by the amount of stuff we owned. We had a 700 square foot apartment and enough furniture for a small home. The house was constantly a mess, and it took so long to clean. We were tired at the end of every day and just wanted to collapse.
I went on the first of many downsizing attempts. But soon I'd fall back into the trap of getting more stuff. Buy more organizational stuff! This will make life easier! It never did. Life happened, and we pressed pause on the tiny dream.
The next documentary obsession became van life. That seemed so much more attainable to us. We repeated the process of binge-watching, downsizing, researching. And then we fell back into the buying. Once we got our second dog, we realized a van was just unrealistic.
Somehow we decided our best option was to rent a three bedroom house. We were two adults and two dogs. But it had a yard for the dogs! We could have our own space! It would be easier, right?
We put living tiny and location independence into a "five year plan." But we didn't do much to achieve it. I began a work-from-home career as the first step. My now-husband started teaching at a new school. It was miserable for him.
An opportunity for him to work from home arose, and he quit teaching in the classroom. Our relationship had never been better. We are one of those couples that are actually happier the more time we spend together! And our dreams kept being the same: travel, live deliberately, have less stuff.
Our new careers came with a pay cut. We were officially living well above our means. My health took a dive. In December, a few months into this new life, we said, "Let's just quit talking about it and do it."
We cashed out our teacher retirement the next month. By March, we had found a motorhome. We have no rent, no house payment, and way less stuff. And we are so much happier. It hasn't been easy, but it's been worth it. There have been lots of curve-balls, but we are living intentionally. After we get tired of the nomad life, a stationary tiny home on a big plot of land is our dream.
Our dreams kept going back to the same ideas. If this is true for you, I urge you to just finally jump in and go tiny. You'll never look back.