Updated: Apr 23, 2021
We get this question a lot, so here's a little bit about why we decided to live in our tiny home on wheels. Many people can’t fathom the idea of living on the road full-time or in a tiny home. We have chosen to do both! But why?!
We’ve owned our van for almost 3 years now. We spent about a year designing the build of our tiny home on wheels before doing the main build, taking small trips to get a feel for how we maneuver in the small space. Over time and even before getting the van, we’d been collecting reasons and shaping our dream lifestyle. We have figured out there are important areas of our life that we must have a certain way. As part of our self-awareness, we listened to those key points and adjust our life accordingly. Some of these changes take time. Sometimes, one of us gets impatient with the process. Sometimes, one of us drags our feet, fearing the change. But overall, Joe and I agree on this crazy journey. We make a good team. I wouldn’t be experiencing amazing new adventures that he drags me on. He would be all over chaotic without a planned route and destination without me. We even have VERY different ideas on how and when to finish building the van. But the one thing we’ve always been good at is finding the happy medium, working together to achieve something we are both happy and proud about.
Below is our current running list of reasons we decided to live in a tiny home on wheels (aka van or it's proper name, Sir Richard Vanson).
Mobility = Freedom – Every time we buy a house, we begin to feel trapped after a few years. We love the ability to get up and go somewhere if we want or need to. No more fearing hurricanes. Just go. Family needs us? Just go. We want to be by the beach? Just go. We are tired after a big event? Just stay and rest.
Comfort – My chronic pain is doing very well right now. I feel energized and flexible. But that’s not always the case. If a migraine hits or random severe pains hit, I am always home in a comfortable place to rest. We can control our environment.
Simplicity – Less stuff = less stress for us. Both of our families have a tendency to keep stuff. We were in Wisconsin helping my parents declutter their home. Many of the rooms couldn’t even be used properly or at all because there was so much stuff in them. It is scientifically proven that clutter and “too much stuff” can have negative effects on health. Joe has been helping me simplify and declutter over the years. It’s been a long process but a very healthy one. After we sold our house, we were sitting on the floor of our unfinished van having a simple picnic dinner. I felt this joy and happiness wash over me because I felt the simplicity and peace we had in that moment. I have less worry, less pain, and more time.
Responsibilities – It empowers your responsibility and accountability. My brother recently asked us if we’ll have a microwave in the van? Joe said, “No, because it keeps motivates me and keeps me accountable to eat fresher whole foods instead of processed foods.” We can more closely watch what we eat and what we do without being enabled into unhealthy habits.
Cleanliness – Smaller space means taking care of what we use more frequently. When we owned our house and used it for Airbnb, I was amazed how much time was involved cleaning it. It was easy to just leave the dishes in the sink or pile up a stack of papers that I’ll eventually get to but never do. In a small space, you make a dish, you wash it right away. The clutter is so much more noticeable. I know I do better in small spaces based on when I was in cubicles at my corporate jobs. I always kept my desk clean and tidy because it was such a small working space. At home I was a mess!
Less Waste – Less food to carry, less garbage is produced. We have limited storage space for food so we buy what we want to eat for those couple of days and make sure we finish it. It’s absolutely ridiculous the expired foods we’ve thrown out when we’ve moved and cleaning out our parents’ houses. It’s so easy to pile it up and forget what you have.
Fresh Start – After our bankruptcy, we wanted to simplify and downsize our stuff (by choice) so that we can rebuild and have bigger experiences. The bankruptcy taught us a lot about habits, debt, and excess that we were not controlling. We’ve been able to cut out a lot of expenses and increase our time and focus available to work on building our businesses. For us, we needed to restart everything to move forward.
Social Environment – We are very empathetic people. We know we are greatly impacted by the energy of the people around us. We have the choice to control where we are and who we are with. If we are not in a good environment, we can leave. We can choose to be around like-minded people. Now, you don’t have to live in a van to be able to do this. But, for us, to have the ability to go anywhere and learn from the people we do want to be around is a freedom we are very grateful for. “You are the sum of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” - Jim Rohn. It actually goes much bigger than that. Evaluating your social circle is extremely important. Check out this article to understand more.
If you live in a tiny home, RV, van, etc. we would love to hear why you chose to live this lifestyle. Are you thinking about making this change too? Ask us questions. We would love to hear your comments!