We're Building a Tiny House
Have you seen the TV shows where they feature people building and living in those houses that seem way too tiny? They're always looking for ways to save space and you wonder how they are able to fit a family of 4 comfortably in that small of a house, if that's what they want to call it? Yea, we're building one of those!
We were first introduced to the Tiny House idea after reading about a family who closed down their restaurant during the downturn of the economy. They decided to sell their house and opt to build a smaller house on a trailer. They moved to a farm in Virginia and I believe they started homesteading. They were able to live off of the land with very low living costs. Even though they experienced financial difficulties with the failure of the restaurant, they figured out a way to make it work for them. I thought, what a novel idea, but didn't really consider doing something like that myself until we decided to do music full time!
When I started getting opportunities to travel more, I asked Rob what he thought about quitting his job and going on the road with me. I was afraid he would laugh me up and down, but he actually considered it. However, the issue of money and how we would pay our bills quickly came up...Naturally. We had a four bedroom, two-story, 3 car garage, house with a semi wrap around porch. Needless to say, that house was not about to let us quit a job and become full-time musicians. So we decided to get rid of it. We put it on the market and it sold within a month. So now we were homeless and full time musicians. I know this sounds like a sob story and a bit reckless, but we had a plan.
We got involved in a great opportunity to host events in an apartment community in Nashville in exchange for pretty cheap rent. It was a sweet deal and the best part about it was that we were in Nashville, Music City capital of the US! We took full advantage of that, playing in Nashville venues and meeting excellent musicians along the way. During this time, we found ourselves thinking more about that couple in Virginia and their Tiny House. If we did what they did, we could reduce our living costs even more and enjoy a life without being responsible for an 8-5 or a mortgage. We could live wherever we wanted, travel wherever we wanted, work wherever we wanted with less financial strain. That idea was extremely attractive for us. So we started our own Tiny House journey and have not once looked back.
We started our build in Memphis, TN. We lived in a camper in our friend's backyard for four months while we worked on the build. It was a lot of fun and we learned a heck of a lot about construction, electricity, plumbing, and working together.
We got it to a point where we could take it on the road and we set the house on a path to Houston. We moved to Houston to be close to Rob's family. He hasn't been home since he first went away to college. It's been a long long time. With our new lifestyle, it seemed like the perfect time to move. Our Tiny's first road trip was successful. It traveled for 24 hours at a very slow pace and eventually made it to it's semi-permanent destination.
We are still working on the interior of the house. We still need to complete the kitchen, flooring, trim, and stairs. But the house is livable. We have lofts, running water, electricity, and a fully functioning bathroom. It's been quite the journey!
All in all, I'd say the hardest part has been the mental and emotional side of things. Some of my close family members have had a really hard time accepting our lifestyle changes to the point where we are no longer welcome in their house. I find it completely absurd, but some people get defensive and very angry about what we are doing. This one person in particular thinks that we are backtracking and undoing what those before us have worked so hard to do. We both have college degrees and the potential to have sustainable lucrative careers, but we've opted to reject the concept of corporate America and live a more humble lifestyle. They have decided that they don't want to be in a relationship with us and it's been extremely hurtful. These relationships are still in disrepair at this time, but my hope is that they will eventually come around.
When we first embarked on this journey, I didn't consider that I would have to defend why I've made these choices for my own self and that some would have such a hostile reaction to it. Take Steve Harvey for example. He thinks that folks living in tiny houses have lost their faith and don't want to dream for a better future. I'm not going to link to his rant here, but you should be able to find it with a quick internet search. I am disgusted by people who fail to realize that one person's dream is another person's nightmare. Everyone has different goals and ambitions in life. If a person wants to live their life one way, who are we to judge and say they shouldn't? We have run into many people who take this approach including family members. And my fear is that some of them might never understand.
All I can do is just live my life, do me, and let the chips fall where they may. I'm happy with our decisions and I am not looking back. Our motto on this journey has been to make life good. This means you can either have freedom, joy, and peace or despair, misery, and chaos by the choices you make. At the end of the day you have to live with yourself inspite of what others say or think about you. So why not make yourself happy?