Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Adventure and the Tiny House



“We should come home from adventures, and perils, and discoveries every day with new experience and character." – Henry David Thoreau


Piglet on an adventure!
For a while I have been trying to think of the way to phrase some of my thoughts about tiny houses and the people that build them. So much of the tiny house movement is made up of Do-It-Yourself first-time home builders that I have often wondered what attracted them to the idea of the tiny house in the first place.
Every time I am in the same place with one or more DIY Tiny House builders there is an ease of conversation. There are topics and ideas that we all seem to readily understand without even discussing them at length. And while there is variation in our population, just like any group, there is one thing that I have seen consistent with the people who choose to build and live in their own tiny house. 

Adventure.

I just turned 39. I have known for as long as I can remember that I needed some level of adventure for my life to feel satisfying. I had no idea what that looked like when I was 5 or 10 or 15, but I knew my life would not be "conventional." Not that there is anything wrong with a conventional life, but my body ran on adventure. And not adrenaline junkie adventure, either. I don't need to jump out of perfectly good airplanes or ride river rapids. The adventure I wanted was about traveling to new places, learning new things, and having experiences. 

Building a tiny house is just one small part of my own adventure. When I was 20 I thought I would buy a Winnebago and travel the country. Then, for a while, living on a sail boat seemed like the best idea. I wanted to be a writer since I was old enough to hold a crayon. 

Matt grew up knowing he wanted to build his own house one day. His dad, who passed away when he was very young, was a builder. He designed energy efficient homes in the 70s and left behind a number of drawings of his ideas. Matt was inspired. 

One of things that drew us together was a shared sense of adventure.

My friend Tammy and Me in South Africa.
We even try to make adventures out of fairly mundane experiences. When we got Piglet we didn't just drive to Pennsylvania to pick her up. Instead, we rented a Winnebago and made a few stops along the way. When our friends asked for help designing a shelter in South Africa we didn't just send over plans, we booked a plane ticket.

Adventure can be made up of a lot of different components. It looks different for everyone who wants to live an adventurous life. And, of course, tiny house people are small subset of the greater adventure-seeking population. 

But we all seem to have these significant traits in common:

  •  We want to live an unconventional life.
  •  We aren't afraid to take and face risks.
  •  We don't give up very easily.

      Adventure fits in well with my overall Deliberate Living philosophy. I've always referred to our experience as an adventure. We didn't just build a tiny house, we had an adventure. All of the good things and all of the bad things added up to make a singular experience that we will never be able to repeat. It also propels us to more adventures because of the freedom we have gained from it. And I see this mindset among my friends in the tiny house community as well. 

     What kind of adventure do you want in your life?

1 comment:

  1. I want the adventure of being willing to create something, not worrying about the outcomes, and if the outcome sucks, to be willing to start all over again without stress!

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