Two years ago, Jenna Spesard and her partner, Guillaume, did what many of us, bogged down by work, debt, and rent, have dreamed of doing: They quit their jobs, hit the road, and began living off the grid. Spesard writes that she and Guillaume were both worried that the expenses of maintaining a middle class lifestyle would ultimately prevent them of ever pursuing their dreams—hers, of writing, and his, of photography. When they learned about tiny houses—small, often portable, dwellings of 100 to 400 square feet—they realized that if they were willing to make some dramatic lifestyle changes, they could finally pursue their artistic goals. Spesard writes,
We came up with a game plan: 1) Build a tiny home, 2) Travel around North America for one year, and 3) Create a travel journalism portfolio about alternative lifestyles. He’d photograph. I’d write.
The couple made the ambitious decision to build their own tiny home. Spesard recalls:
We began our tiny house build with zero construction experience and a “we’ll learn as we go” attitude. What we didn’t realize was that we weren’t just building a home, we were also challenging ourselves to rethink the idea of “home” altogether.
After some trial and error, Jenna and Guillaume were ready to hit the road with their new house, encompassing 125 square feet of space on the ground floor, plus another 60 square feet in the loft bedroom:
Six months and 10,000 miles later, our tiny abode has taken us on a wild adventure. Along the way, we’ve met numerous like-minded people who build and reside in small structures … Guillaume photographs these alternative lifestyle pioneers in their innovative dwellings, while I write down their stories.
Forbes estimates that 1,000 people live in tiny houses full time, although I think we can assume that many more use them as part-time residences. People are attracted to living in these miniscule abodes for a variety of reasons, including that they are significantly cheaper than buying and maintaining a large house, they’re often portable, and they have significantly less impact on the environment than traditional homes. Living in a tiny home might not be for everyone, but these cozy houses shows us that we could all make do with less space and less clutter in our lives.
To learn more about Jenna and Guillaume’s home and travels, visit the Tiny House Giant Journey website.
Images: Tiny House Giant Journey/Facebook