For many people who join the tiny living movement their “why” is about freedom… This week’s In the Spotlight introduces you to Christian and Zully on their quest for freedom.
Q: Please introduce yourself to our audience. Where are you located? We are Christian, Zully & our Funky Feline, Mambo! Currently located in Dunedin, FL.
Q: What inspired you to build a Tiny House? Is tiny living more of a dream or necessity for you? We both left the corporate world years ago looking for more… We were not exactly sure what that was, but we knew we didn’t want the American Dream route of: getting a good paying job, working hard Monday through Friday 9-5, buying a large home, filing the home with things. Though there is nothing wrong with that dream, to us, the American Dream means having the freedom & time to do the things that make us happy. A big part of that is the freedom to travel. We realized that our possessions took time away from the things that make us happy. We spend time working to earn money to buy; take care of; fix; replace, clean, etc… All of this time was time spent away from doing the things we love. So we started to down-size our lives in order to make room for more Life! In essence, we decided to “Live More & Own Less.”
When we met in 2015 and realized we shared the same dreams, we started researching the RV life. One day, someone suggested we build a tiny house on wheels. It took us a short time to realize this was the answer to the majority of our concerns pertaining to purchasing an RV.
For us, going tiny is neither a dream or a necessity. It is the next logical step to what we are creating in our lives. We desire the freedom to live our lives. What that means to us is freedom from “the rat race” and more time to do the things we really want to do, such as traveling, art, gardening, learning a new language, etc…
Q: Is there anything from your youth growing up/family experience that may have also played a role in your decision to live tiny?
Zully: I grew up moving about once a year or so, so I find myself most grounded when on the go! I do not do well with routine. I’m excited to be able to take our home whenever and wherever we choose.
Christian: My childhood was filled with road-trip vacations to different parks throughout the northeast. I’ve been traveling ever since.
Q: Describe your previous home. Currently we live in a one-bedroom apartment.
Q: What concerns, if any, did you have in/with your decision to go tiny? We really didn’t have any concerns going tiny. We’re fortunate to be surrounded by people who support us. People mostly tell us they wished they could do it themselves.
Q: Who designed your home and how did you determine the design for your tiny house? We are designing our home around our needs as a family. Currently, we are at about our 5th revision with probably more to come! Since we do not have TV, we have not seen any of the tiny house shows. All of our research has been tiny house tours on YouTube and books.
Q: How long did it take to begin to build once you’d made the decision to go tiny? We decided to go tiny 1/5/16 and will be ordering our trailer in the next week or so. Because we had been researching the RV life for a few months, it feels like it has been a long time though!
It (our build) will be a partial DIY. We will be ordering a SIP shell and doing all of the remaining work ourselves with a little help from our friends.
Q: What has been your process for simplifying your life and getting rid of your excess possessions? How’d the process feel? It has been a liberating process simplifying our lives! We have sold & given away a lot of stuff and still are until we move into the tiny house!
Q: Will you use salvaged or reclaimed materials in your build? We are using reclaimed materials as much as we can! We frequent yard sales and flea markets for work, so we have been fortunate to acquire some great items so far!
Q: Will your home be mobile? Do you plan to travel with it? What will be your tiny house parking situation? Our home will definitely be mobile. We do plan to travel frequently with her (Clementine). We will park her as we go.
Q: Will your home be on or off grid, eco-friendly, green in any way? We plan to be mostly on grid for now. As technology allows for lighter & more effective solar power, we would like to go off grid.
Q: So much of society focuses on having more and making more to have more. Why have you chosen this path instead? As we have grown spiritually, we have come to realize that life is about acquiring experiences rather than possessions. Experiences are what makes us genuinely happy.
Q: Do you plan to live in your tiny home long term or is it a temporary solution for a bigger plan? We plan to live in Clementine long term.
Q: Where do you see the tiny house movement going? Across the board tiny living will become more socially acceptable because it’s practical. We’re evolving away from generations of excess to a simpler form of living that our ancestors were a part of. “Big living” was created in the early part of the past century and became common out of commercialism more than necessity.
Q: Why do you think more POC haven’t joined/are reluctant to join the TH/Tiny Living Movement? We find most people are not aware or not well-educated about the tiny house movement, POC or otherwise. They don’t know what it is; the lifestyle; the costs involved; and more. The un-educated will make assumptions about their ability to live or afford to go tiny.
Q: Do you have any additional comments, maybe advice for future tiny home owners/builders or dreamers? Research and do it! Find out why and how people are going tiny. Not everyone has to live in under 200sf. There are many ways to go tiny!
Follow Christian, Zully and Mambo as they begin their tiny house build journey on Facebook & Instagram as Clementine’s Journey or on their website www.ClementinesJourney.com. We’re so excited for them and will be sure to feature them again so we can properly introduce you to Clementine!