Laughter and snarky comments. That’s what I got from a few of my friends when I told then I wanted to eventually build and live in a tiny house.
While most others who are near and dear to me get it, a handful of others accused me of just jumping on the latest trend. Or just trying to save a few bucks and break free of mortgages and debt. Yes, those are benefits.
“Really? A tiny house? What’s in it for you?” one friend asked me.
For me, there are big takeaways from tiny house living. It offers me different levels of freedom I can’t have with a traditional-sized home. It also offers me the ability to live my life on my terms.
Let me explain. I was born in Honduras, and spent the majority of my childhood there. The city where I lived experienced earthquakes very often. We also had terrible floods during heavy rain seasons. Having a traditional home and seeing the stress my family went through each season — knowing we would have to eventually evacuate suddenly, and probably have to leave our belongings behind again — was tough.
I never forgot that feeling of loss looming over us, knowing that such loss could be literally be around the corner for us at any given time. And, more times than not, it was. We knew that possessions don’t make a family. But that feeling of inevitable and repetitive loss was tough to take.
Then I was lucky to move to, and grow up in, the United States. I was a product of the 1980s and 1990s. That era taught me, and other impressionable youth, that bigger is better and more is better.
Then through the 2000s, as the economy changed and companies downsized, I went through my own major change: Divorce. I quickly realized that your home, and your living situation, can completely change overnight — even in America. But I battened down the hatches for the economic and social storms that could’ve been ahead. I worked to become more versatile and I found other industries in which I could apply my human resources skills and earn a decent living.
I am like many other American women, whose priority was to focus on becoming a better version of herself. I found a lot of gratification in my work as an HR professional. But I spent a lot of time enjoying the fruits of my labor and forgot to save for my retirement. I’m 45 years young now, and I am playing catch-up on my retirement savings.
Which brings me back to my desire to build and own a tiny house …
I’ve never had a desire to put roots down, get locked into a mortgage and be tied down to the big costs of buying and maintaining a regular-sized home. Instead, I look forward to the day I can make my tiny house my reality.
It’ll be a space that is all mine, and that can be conveniently cleaned in less than an hour. And, if I want to change the landscape outside my tiny windows, all I have to do is pick up my home and move it. Plus, my tiny house would help me do my part to help the environment and reduce my eco foot print (because it doesn’t take much energy to heat or cool a tiny house). That brings me closer to my goal of being a better human.
So, although it can’t hold much, there’s a lot inside a tiny house for me. A LOT.
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