Updated: Jun 16, 2019
I had been admiring all those cute photos of tiny houses on facebook for a good couple of years. I must have been following half a dozen tiny house facebook pages and talking wistfully to anyone who would listen about “when I build my tiny house..” I just couldn’t see how that was going to happen. Of all the tiny house facebook pages I was following it didn’t seem like many people were actually living in them. Just lots of people re-posting cute photos.
And then there was the entire lifestyle problem. When I first started looking at tiny houses I was working a full time permanent job with a blue chip corporate in the middle of Sydney city. I liked what I did. Where was I going to be able to put my tiny house in Sydney?? Even if the council would let me, I didn’t really want a tiny house with a view of the wall next door. That just wasn’t the package I was after. I wanted to live in a tiny house in a beautiful location. But how would I get the work I do (I work in high tech) in a beautiful location (read remote location)?
So I let it all slide for a bit. Kept liking lots of cute photos on facebook.
Then my working circumstances changed. Not because I wanted to live in a tiny houses, but because I felt like a square peg in a round hole. I decided to prioritise my personal time over my career and quit my job to take up contract work. It wasn’t an easy decision to come to, but with the support of people who had a similar mindset to me I took the plunge. It was the best day ever. And I haven’t been short of work since. AND I have managed to take at least 3 months off per year in leave, without much financial impact.
So then I was not so anchored in Sydney. I took a contract with a company whose head office was in San Francisco and I found myself working there for a bit. I decided that whilst I was over there I should put some effort into researching tiny houses. After all, the west coast was the birthplace of tiny houses.
To be honest, I didn’t actually put that much effort in. My hobby is paragliding and I focused on that in my spare time. But I had booked a trip in advance with cheap flights to Seattle to paraglide with a friend there and as the dates loomed the weather wasn’t looking so inspiring. I considered cancelling but decided to look at AirBnBs in the area anyway. That’s when I came across this – Brittany Yunker’s Tiny House. I had not heard of it before but it looked amazing on AirBnB. And the 2 days I really needed accommodation were the only 2 days it had vacancy for weeks. And then something weird happened – I became indifferent about it. I started thinking about the cost, I’d need to hire a car, its a long way etc etc. EVEN THOUGH I KNEW THIS WAS THE BRIDGE TO GETTING STARTED. It’s like when you get close to your dreams, a part of you doesn’t want you to take the step. So I had a firm word with myself and booked it before I could change my mind.
That 2 day stay was by far the best getaway I have had in a very long time. It was exactly as the photos showed. When I first walked in (very late at night) I thought it felt smaller than I expected. Maybe because it was dark outside. And I thought to myself “Good thing you decided to try it out first”. But then I found as I used it – the kitchen, the bathroom, the bedroom – it felt bigger. Like I didn’t need more space. During the day the place was a pleasure to be in – so much natural light and wood. It just didn’t feel claustrophobic at all. I was worried about the composting toilet (she has the manual kind) and that was absolutely fine.
Brittany offers a 1 hour consult for a small (and very reasonable) fee, so I took that up and and met her for lunch in town. Brittany was a normal person seeking similar things that I did. She appeared to be a round peg in her round hole. And she wasn’t destitute – she had a normal job. She did not know how to build before she started her tiny house. All the excuses my brain had come up with, Brittany had appeared to overcome. Not without some difficulty – but she had overcome them. Even the last excuse was squashed. Her website said that she had lived in her tiny house for 2 years but now rented it out. “Ah”, my brain said, “see you can’t live in these things forever”. Actually, the only reason Brittany was not still living in it was because she now had a boyfriend and they had decided to move into a neutral space. She missed her tiny house and said she would move back in flash if circumstances permitted.