In 2013, Jenna Spesard left her job and pursued her passion for travel writing and minimalism and built a tiny house to travel the globe. With her partner, Guillaume Dutilh, they have travelled all over North America and have kept accounts of their journey and those they met along the way on their blog, Tiny House Giant Journey.
We recently interviewed Jenna to get her perspective into smaller living and how it's changed her life for the better.
Here's what she had to say:
How did you come to live in a tiny home?
Three years ago I quit my job to pursue my passion for travel writing and minimalism. In 2013, I built a custom tiny house with my partner, Guillaume. Over the next year, we traveled over 20,000 miles with our tiny house in tow, reaching as far north as the Arctic Circle and as far south as the Florida Keys. Along our journey, we met and documented other tiny house dwellers on our blog and experienced freedom in a way we had never imagined possible.
What do you enjoy the most about tiny living?
The freedom. Tiny house living has not only relieved my economic burdens, but it has also taught me a lot about myself. I now know that I can live with less, and that is a gift that has opened many possibilities in my life.
Were there any challenges you had to face when you transitioned to a tiny home?
When you are living tiny with someone else, you have to be extra courteous to each other's needs. There is an adjustment period, and it can be difficult to have privacy. I think it's the ultimate test to any relationship.
Would you say that living tiny has helped you financially?
Yes. I am still working towards being debt free, but the tiny house has diminished my living expenses dramatically. It also has helped me to stop purchasing items without a thought or need. Every new belonging I bring into the tiny house has to fulfill a purpose and fit inside a pre-determined storage space. Otherwise, I don't buy it.
What advice would you have for someone considering moving into a tiny home?
Try on tiny before going tiny! Rent a tiny house for a night (or a week). Tour as many tiny homes as you can. Give yourself time to downsize. Take a workshop or attend a tiny house event to tap into the tiny house community. These experiences will help you determine if the move is right for you.
What have you done yourself and what was done by professionals? Any recommendations in this regard?
I built my tiny house myself, but I used plans from Tumbleweed Tiny House Company. I have customized my tiny [house] to fit my personality, and I wouldn't have it any other way. I recommend Tumbleweed because they have a proven product. They can customize your house to fit your needs, or you can build and design it yourself.
Tell us one secret about tiny house living/tiny homes that most would find surprising
The porch is valuable space! Don't enclose it just to have a few more feet of interior living space. Never underestimate the power of curb appeal.