Tiny House True Story: I Want to Downsize, Again!
I’m a Tiny Houser Who Wants to Downsize, Again!
It’s Alaska, your tiny house concierge. I am excited to pop in once again here on the Tiny House Expedition blog. Well, I’m excited and nervous because I come to you today with a bit of a confession:
I’m considering vanlife.
Gaahhh! I feel guilty even saying it! How could I even think about leaving the house that has brought so much good? The Tiny House of Peace has given me a roof over my head, sucked the white noise out of my life, and gifted me with writing opportunities like this one. So what’s not working? Well, if I may be so bold as to complain, it’s just not mobile enough.
Why would I possibly want to downsize again?
My grand plan was to use housing to free myself financially so I could become a writer and live a life of adventure. But while this house has assisted me with the first part of that plan, at 13k pounds, my tiny house isn’t nearly mobile enough for the travel and adventure I had envisioned. I think vanlife could be the answer, but there’s just one problem: I. Am. Terrified.
I like the idea of vanlife, but what about the reality? What if I’m not cut out for it? What I upend my current life only to find out that I don’t like living on the road? What if I can’t even figure out the logistics to get started?
Actually, would it be OK to vent for a minute? I think I’m having a Tiny House Meltdown, and I don’t think I’ll be able to move forward until I get some fears off my chest. That’s cool? OK, thank you. You are welcome to invoice me for the therapy.
I, Alaska, am afraid I will get totally and completely murdered while sleeping in a vehicle. I’m afraid I will get fined absolutely every single day and that that fine will be no less than one thousand dollars. I’m afraid I will never be able to simplify my life enough and that my van will be permanently trashed on the inside. I’m also concerned that I’ll feel cramped and miserable and hot. Like, most of the time. I’m afraid that instead of hiking and swimming in creeks, I’ll spend 95% of my life in laundromat parking lots and sketchy gas stations.
I’m worried that I won’t have the wifi necessary to write the way I do now, that I’ll be robbed, and that everyone will judge me for being a tiny house concierge who doesn’t, in fact, live in a tiny house. I’m afraid my health will go out the window because Mcdonald’s will be too easy when traveling through food deserts, that just making a cup of coffee will be an ordeal, and that vanlife will cost more than living in my tiny house + shopping at Costco.
And here’s the big one: I’m afraid I’ll be lonely on the road.
*Breathes into a paper bag.*
Whew! Thank you for listening! That concludes this Tiny House Meltdown.
But now that I’ve melted down, it’s time to consider the solutions. I am a tiny house concierge, after all. Aren’t I supposed to be good at this sort of thing? If my techniques work for my clients, shouldn’t I be able to apply them to my own life? Actually, you know what? Let me do that. Oh, Lord. Here we go.
Tiny House Concierge: What is inspiring you to explore vanlife?
Alaska: I want to live a simple life of adventure and write about it. Also, I want to be more mobile than I am now.
Tiny House Concierge: Well, vanlife could be a good fit. Can you tell me what your ideal day would look like?
Alaska: I’d like to wake up early but on my schedule and have time in the morning to enjoy coffee and think. Then, I’d write/work during the day and spend the afternoon/evening adventuring.
Tiny House Concierge: What does adventuring mean to you?
Alaska: Adventuring means hiking or taking long walks through big cities or towns. It means visiting little shops and local restaurants, swimming in natural bodies of water, skiing, and talking to strangers- specifically about what they value and what it means to enjoy life.
Tiny House Concierge: Well, that sounds conducive to vanlife. So what’s stopping you from doing that today?
Alaska: Well, I don’t know if I would qualify for a vehicle loan or what that would look like. I don’t know what would happen to my tiny house, but I don’t want to get rid of it, and I’m afraid this lifestyle could be chaotic and expensive. Do I need to get commercial insurance? Can you even get insurance on a van build? Could I rent out my van part-time to help pay for it?
Tiny House Concierge: All good questions. And I’ll take this opportunity to remind you that many people are already living this lifestyle, so it is possible; you just need to sort out one piece at a time. Fortunately, you have a tiny house concierge, so you don’t have to do this alone! And as to your question about renting out the van, yes, you can. I recommend Outdoorsy.
In other news, I’m hearing that you have a few logistical things to work through, specifically with the vehicle loan and insurance, so let’s start there. I will send you a list of resources to call so you can start working through those two pieces. Now, is anything else holding you back?
Alaska: I’m just scared! What if my life becomes way more complicated because I’m trying to fit everything into a smaller space?
Tiny House Concierge: Well, how committed are you to honing in on what you value and letting the rest go? There probably will be times when it is more complicated, but you also have some control over that.
Alaska: What if vanlife is way more expensive, or I get lonely?
Tiny House Concierge: Well, your tiny house life isn’t very expensive now. If vanlife proves to be more expensive, you could always take on more work. Also, you could rent out your tiny house…
And as for the loneliness, you probably will get lonely sometimes. But I’m sure you will also meet people on the road who know that same feeling, so you’ll be alone together, you know?
Alaska: What if I can’t handle it? What if I hate it?
Tiny House Concierge: Then move back into your tiny house! Vanlife isn’t a permanent sentence. If you regret your decision or live it for a while and then want something else, you will be a finite number of decisions away from choosing another reality. With the time you’ve spent worrying about it, you’d be living it already.
Alaska: But it’s SO SCARY.
Tiny House Concierge: Yes, but remember that you aren’t doing this alone, I am a tiny house concierge, and I’m here to help you work through the details.
Alaska: Do you promise?
Tiny House Concierge: Yes.
Alaska: Can I ask one more question?
Tiny House Concierge: Yes.
Alaska: What if I get murdered?
Tiny House Concierge: Well, take precautions and trust your gut, but remember that people get murdered in regular houses too. Does that make you feel better?
Tiny House Concierge: People also safely enjoy vanlife every single day.
Alaska: OK, thank you.
Tiny House Concierge: You’re welcome. This conversation has been very meta.
My Tiny House True Story
Alright, Friends, back to you! Maybe this blog post will make me seem crazy, but my hope is that it proves you are not alone in your fears about going tiny (or tiny-er!). I might be a tiny house concierge, but that doesn’t make me immune from fear or logistical overwhelm. Fortunately, putting my fears in print has reminded me that going tiny really is just a process of solving a bunch of micro problems. You can do it! (And I can do it again!)
So anyway, if you need me (or want to send me that aforementioned therapy invoice), my contact information is below. In the meantime, I’ll be:
- Researching van layouts and products
- Finding financing
- Choosing a builder
- Locating a vehicle
- Deciding what to do with my tiny house
- Learning about safety on the road
- Obtaining insurance
- Teaching myself about Outdoorsy
- And meditating. A lot.
If you haven’t had a chance, I encourage you to subscribe to the Tiny House Expedition blog. Thanks again for listening, and I’ll be back soon.
Alaska is a writer, realtor, and tiny homeowner living in the great state of Colorado. She is the founder of The Tiny House Concierge, a company that offers consultation and copywriting services for people looking to rethink their housing and rewrite their lives. In addition to her website, she can be found on Instagram and YouTube.