The struggles are real and funny.

I’ve spent the last six weeks taking cold showers if/when water is available; brushing my teeth in Walmart bathrooms; eating a mostly sandwich diet; and tossing and turning on an uncomfortable foam bed. But as it turns out, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Before we hit the road, I was terrified of living in a 140-square-foot tin can. How would I cook? Shower? Sleep? Maintain my sanity in such a teeny space? I knew this would be difficult, especially since I hope to stay married to James after all of this. And living in a tiny home definitely has its challenges. Right now, building a food pantry and making the bed more comfortable are at the top of that list. The struggles are real. But I quickly discovered that the pros don’t just outweigh the cons, they actually contribute to the experience.

Living in a smaller space with less stuff has been freeing. There are fewer things for me to lose and dishes to clean so my stress level is already plummeting. Instead of being frustrated at a busted hot water handle, I find myself laughing repeatedly (sometimes hysterically) every time I twist the pliers that turn on our shower or giggling out loud when the icy water hits my back. The curtain that gives us “privacy” in the bathroom has become a running joke. Finding unused space anywhere in the camper warrants a celebration worthy of fireworks and a slow motion clap.

DCIM100GOPROThe tin can is also bringing James and I closer, literally. We’re spending more time together in a much tighter space and I’m having a ball. I guess what I’m saying is, we’re laughing a lot and having way too much fun for no good reason.

For now, we’re reveling in the temporary comforts of home like sleeping on a traditional mattress and long hot showers that don’t require pliers. But I’m looking forward to getting back on the road and discovering more of the nuances that come with our minimalist lifestyle.

Think you could live in a tiny home? What comforts of home would be the hardest for you to give up? Tell me in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you.

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5 Comments

  • You are surviving without hot water for showers? Impressive. The little things. Hot coffee in the morning. Ice cubes. A comfy bed. Although, being free of the everyday worries and “stuff,” might be an amazing trade off. 🙂

    • icy showers are one thing but you better believe I have a French press for my morning coffee. Some things are non negotiable.

  • Sonny and I lived in our 17 ft camper van for 2 months one summer while traveling through eastern Canada. You get used to tiny spaces and necessary daily routines real quick! We had some of the best camping sites in remote areas often with gorgeous ocean views. We relied on propane for our two burner stove and very mini fridge (also had a cooler for extras and bought an ice block every 3-4 days). Fridge ran off battery while traveling each day. Never plugged into electricity. Lights ran off auxiliary battery. Our van has a small four shelf pantry for food supplies and 3 upper cabinets for dishes, pots, and all other supplies. Also have storage over the two front seats for luggage, etc. and a small closet space to hang coats, etc. We carried a Rubbermaid tote for rain gear, extra shoes, day use packs, ropes, etc. We did “bird baths” to wash up each morning at our tiny sink. Stopped every three days or so for showers at town pools or in a provincial camping park on a day use pass. Learned to just make do. Occasionally we actually camped at a park or campground facility but mostly we liked our rugged camping spots whether it be by a beach or other scenic place. Occasionally a gravel pit, community sports complex parking lot or a Walmart parking lot had to suffice. We became experts at scouting out free places for overnight parking — much easier to do in a van than hauling a larger trailer. We learned that many gas stations, tourism centers, or communities had dump stations for our waste water and portable toilet in our corner closet, along with potable water refilling hoses. That summer was my favorite camping and traveling adventure! We were together 24-7 and enjoyed each day. We managed to find a reasonable degree of comfort on our 40″ wide cushioned benches for our table which folded down to make our bed (put it up for table every morning so we could use it for b/fast, lunch, supper each day and then down again every night for bed!); learned that everything had a place and needed to be put away to make space to move around. Fortunately we could swivel the passenger seat in the front of van around each night to make an “easy boy chair” for one of us to sit and read (usually Sonny) while the other cooked, cleaned up, or set up the bed (usually me). We saw so many wonderful things, did some amazing hikes, and absolutely loved all the places we visited. The Maritime provinces and Newfoundland are filled with beauty, history, culture, and amazing sights! Hope you get to see this area of our world some day. In the meantime, be grateful for one another’s company in small spaces and enjoy your year of doing without a lot of the things that can often clutter our use of space, time, money, and energy. The simple life is great! You just have to figure out how to eat better! Sandwiches for a year???? Got to change your menu!!! Continue to find creative ways to resolve issues with equipment, grow in love for each other ( yes, you will still be married at the end and will have learned to appreciate each other so much more!), and take lots of pictures! I highly recommend keeping a journal of the moments that are too special to include in your “traveling sidekicks” blog. But thanks so much for sharing some of your adventures with friends and family!!! Travel on!!!!

    • Thanks for sharing Marjorie! So many of these are familiar already like making and unmaking the bed everyday (ours is a couch during the day). And bird baths for us are baby wipes between showers. We are having the best time and I really wouldn’t trade it. We’ve started cooking more especially on the portable grill so the diet is improving. And a mattress topper for the bed is in the works. We are coming up with lots of solutions and the space has actually turned out to be really functional. We will be sharing more about it along the way. As for the journal, mom bought me a beautiful leather bound one for my bday right before we left. We love hearing your stories and absolutely plan to pop up north for a visit during our travels.

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