I have 5 tiny house / off-grid / simple living heroes. Yes, that’s a lot of heroes for one man, but they all bring a special insight into my life.
Let me introduce you to them:
1. Richard Telford, Abdallah House
I love Richard’s story because it is so close to home. He built his dream home in Seymour, Victoria – the same state in which I wish to settle. His mission was similar to mine – build a sustainable house without going into debt. He did end up taking on a little bit of debt but nothing unmanageable. Because of his prudence, he has been able to live the life he wants for himself and his family. A life that has purpose, that isn’t wasted at the office.
I enjoyed how Richard went into detail about costs, grants, approvals and that sort of thing. It’s all good and well reading through the government documentation but it makes much more sense when taken with a bit of context.
Classic tree changers – or should that be wanters-of-a-better-lifers? – Nick Ritar and Kirsten Bradley dumped Melbourne for a large property near Mudgee in NSW. At first they lived in a caravan on the block – much like I intend to do – and slowly started developing the land using permaculture principles – of which they are now both teachers and advocates. More recently they built a tiny house to house themselves and their young son.
I love that Nick and Kirsten are so enterprising; so opportunistic – in a good way. They have taken what looked to be a pretty overworked body of land and have breathed life into it. Life for the soil, the plants, the microbes, the critters, the animals; themselves.
Tammy – with her husband Logan – is a tiny house owner. But she is a lot more than that. She is a philosopher, a sage, a teacher. Her book, You Can Buy Happiness (and It’s Cheap): How One Woman Radically Simplified Her Life and How You Can Too (that’s the long title, obviously, hehe), changed my life. It was the tipping point for me to take my life by the short and curlies and do good with it. The book, nor her blog, are prescriptive. It doesn’t say “Do this to achieve this result”. It’s much more calming and freeing than that. She shares stories, what she and Logan went through, the perspective they developed, the actions they took, and how it has affected them. And, what’s more, they still change things – they hasn’t reached some magical, perfect end-point where all is green fields and puppy dogs. Some self-help titles seem to operate on a spectrum – once you have achieved it, you’re there, you’re done. Tammy’s writing is more continuous. I love it. Seeing in my RSS feed that she has published a new post makes me happy.
Laura has shown me that tiny houses aren’t all about trailers and living in other people’s backyards. Laura and Matt built their tiny house in the wilderness on a solid foundation. This is more like what I want to do, so hearing their story is refreshing and helpful.
What’s more, Laura shares stories and advice about life off-grid, in a tiny house. What to do for a living, how to celebrate Christmas, and a whole host of other great things. Unlike some other tiny house blogs, Life in 120 Square Feet, hasn’t just chronicled the build and then disappeared. It features the human stories that result of living tiny.
I came across David’s blog via Ken Ilgunas, Mr Walden on Wheels. Ken wrote his book, Walden on Wheels: On the Open Road from Debt to Freedom, at David’s place, Acorn Abbey. When I found David’s blog I proceeded to spend a good 4-5 hours straight going through it from start to finish.
David describes Into The Woods:
“In this blog I focus on issues that I hope are of general interest to retiring Boomers — especially those Boomers who are interested in simple, frugal living in rural America.”
Not just Boomers, David, and not just rural America. I am in my late 20s and live in Australia and found his posts enlightening and fascinating and absolutely relevant to me and where I live. It seems to me, though, that David has a slightly healthier budget than I. That goes to show in the beautiful materials and workmanship that went into the abbey. That said, he did still live in a caravan during construction.