Hakam and I met in 2004 when he was a Naval Officer stationed at MCAS in Beaufort, SC. I worked for a data company. The short version is we moved to another city, I accepted a position as a police officer, and we got married. During my career, I worked in patrol, special operations, and then as a Detective in the Special Victims Unit. Hakam completed his 22-year military career in 2012 and retired. He went on to also became a police officer. At the time we met, I had two children and so did he, but we never had any of our own. We were both in our thirties, career driven, and figured four children was enough. Our children are now adults with their own careers and families.
About two years ago, and well into our forties, something changed for us. After watching a Tiny House Big Living episode on television, Hakam and I started throwing around the idea of living small, at least much smaller than we already were. At the time, we were residing in a 2,500 square-foot home, which was much more space than empty-nesters needed. Not only had our children grown up and moved out, but one of our two beloved dogs had passed away. It was then just the two of us and our dog, Wilson. The home was a three-story townhouse, and the first of these floors was a 450 square foot room we converted into a gym. After watching that tiny-house episode, Hakam and I started imagining our home in that space. It wasn’t hard. We knew we could live in it, and with our dog, too.
We started talking about how much money we were spending on mortgage, utilities and maintenance, and how much we had already spent on furniture for those formal living areas and guest rooms dedicated to company that never got invited. And the gym we built (our new imaginary living space), we never used it because we had no time, or we were too tired. We talked about the time spent cleaning the home, doing laundry and ironing, paying bills and grocery shopping, and completing it all just in time to start the new work week.
I don’t want to say that tiny-house episode put things in perspective for us, because we always knew our lives were consumed by work, but it allowed us to start a serious conversation about what we really wanted and what we really needed to be truly fulfilled: time to take care of ourselves, spend with each other and our children, travel, and do the activities we enjoy. We had none of that. We both felt trapped, bored, unfulfilled, and most of all, tired.
Now that we both knew we felt the same way, we agreed to start taking steps toward a simpler life, which would allow us to live the way we want. We knew this meant doing-away with the things that made us dependent on our jobs. We knew this meant selling the house and eventually living full time in something much smaller than we were accustomed to.
We began watching more tiny house episodes, and then RV shows on You Tube. We followed full-time RV’ers like Technomadia, LoLoHo, We’re the Russos, Cheap RV Living, and Carolyn’s RV Life. After absorbing everything we watched and seeing a variety of different living accommodations, we decided that if we were going to live tiny, a travel trailer was the way to go. Once this decision was made, we traded-in our pristine Lexus and bought a rugged Ford pickup truck (one we knew would pull any travel trailer we chose). We sold our home and moved into a two-bedroom, 1,000 square foot, apartment, and used the second bedroom to store all that unused and un-sat-in formal furniture. Next on the list was to decide which travel trailer to purchase. We looked at them all, and even traveled to other cities and states to tour the ones we were interested in. In the end, we chose our Airstream Flying Cloud 23FB. I believe it’s approximately 180 square feet of living space. We then turned our attention to all of our stuff. We either sold it, donated it, or stored it until nothing remained in the apartment. The process took much longer, and was more emotional, than either of us anticipated. The only thing left to do at that point was quit our jobs. This change, or elimination in our lives, took the most courage. We took the leap together and turned in our resignations on the same day. And just like that… we were done. We had gone from having respectable careers and a beautiful home and luxury vehicle, to being jobless, on a budget, and living in a tin can. It made little sense to most, but we knew our tiny home would provide us with the one thing we longed for most………Freedom.
This blog is about our life-altering decision to trade in our old life for a new one. It’s about swapping possessions for experiences in search of freedom and fulfillment. Along the way we’ll share our experiences, adventures, our tiny home, how much it costs to live on the road and how we make money, and so much more. Keep visiting our website to follow our journey. You can also catch us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
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