Why we love living small

‘Tiny living’ is a growing trend in Australia and around the world. Couples, singles and families are opting for smaller living spaces by moving into tiny houses of all shapes and varieties. But what’s the draw card? Why is this lifestyle choice gaining so much momentum? Here’s a little bit of our ‘tiny living’ journey.

A little bit about our 1979 caravan

Our tiny house is a 1979 pop-top caravan. The wide faded stripes on the outside give the vintage beauty a sleepy beach town feel. We’ve installed new wooden floors and given the walls a splash of white paint but kept as many of the original fittings as possible. And yes, it’s a tiny home! The 14 foot interior is the size of a small room (think guest bedroom sized). We’re based on 5 acres of beautiful land about an hour west of Brisbane city. We named the caravan “Rexann” after its previous owners, Rex and his late wife Ann. The caravan is a beautiful reminder of the generosity we experienced during this season. It’s a constant sign that there are good people in this world.

Why we decided to move into a tiny house

We didn’t decide overnight to move into a tiny house. Our journey was much more gradual than that. A little while ago we had our first taste of tiny living. We stayed in a beautiful cabin off the grid, on the side of a mountain. It was winter and freezing and perfect. We watched horses and cows grazing. We made damper. We read books and wrote songs and relaxed.

That experience opened our eyes to just how content we could be living in the country with minimal possessions and zero electricity. If you want to see the photo diary from our trip, you can here.

From there it was an exercise in timing. Over the next few weeks and months we both reflected and considered our options. We were addicted to the idea of ‘simplifying’ but weren’t sure what that would look like practically. Our day-to-day lifestyle relied on living in Brisbane but we longed to live in the country with clear starry nights and crisp air. Then, things started falling into place. We both felt as though we would meet someone who would give us our new tiny home. We didn’t know how or why or what it would look like; we just felt it was going to happen. And then it did. We purchased our pop-top caravan for below market-price through a friend of a friend. We live on James’ parents acreage. We both have relatively flexible work and study schedules, allowing us to make the transition from suburban life.

What we love about living in a tiny house

The most rewarding part is simple. Living in a tiny house allows us to interact more directly with nature. We live and work just a few steps from an open paddock with trees clumped in patches. From inside our 14 foot home we can hear the tall silver gums rustle, smell the soft scent of the Australian bush on the wind and watch the ridge behind us light up as the sun sets. It’s the best type of distraction.

What’s hard about living in a tiny house

The most challenging part is facilities. It’s definitely the less glamorous side of ‘living simply’. Our home needs to be self-sufficient to work. We shower outdoors, manage toilet facilities and buy water. Despite the obstacles, the benefits definitely make the experience worthwhile.

As it turns out, good things do come in small packages.