Kathleen is one of my good friends from high school. She and I have kept in touch even though we no longer live in the same state. She currently lives in Colorado and I now live in Washington state. We played tennis together in high school and she’s been such a great friend ever since. We’ve traveled all over the US together and have visited each other in Colorado and California. Maybe someday she will move to Seattle 😉
She was my first interview on the blog that you can check out here. I’m so happy she’s guest blogging today. You can learn more about her tiny living journey which is so inspiring!
Julie and I go way back to high school. Back then, we’d exchange notes in our classes, which is a little like blogging, right?
Moving to Colorado
Julie and I grew up in neighboring hometowns. We both stayed in the Midwest for college, but after we graduated, I ended up moving from Chicago out west to Colorado. I packed everything that would fit in my Toyota Camry and drove by myself the 16 hours to the state with 300 days of sunshine.
I remember when I reached the Colorado border, I let out a little yelp (which was quite weird honestly, because no one was in the car with me). All of my daydreaming about living near the Rocky Mountains was finally coming to life.
After three years living in Colorado, I was feeling lonely after recent breakup from a long relationship. A friend joked about a dating app called Tinder. We played around with it one day, and I thought the whole thing was strange. How could I possibly find a date on this thing? Did people really take this seriously?
I was not at a point to take anything seriously, so I decided to have some fun with it, so I messaged some guys and scheduled some dates on the app.
Greg was my first Tinder date and he stuck. At dinner during our first date, I listened wide-eyed to ideas he had about permaculture and local foods. He had stories of backpacking in New Zealand and living out of a van.
We moved into my 1,000-square-foot apartment with my roommate, Stacey, after a few months of dating. When our lease ran out, Greg and I began to talk about what our next living options were.
It seemed like everyone was telling us we should get an apartment or house in the city, but that’s exactly what Greg and I didn’t want to do. Every place we looked was expensive and lacked the backyard and garden we dreamed about.
Greg started bringing up living in a van during his travels but I wasn’t convinced. It was one thing to travel and live in a van, but how was I going to do that and go to work everyday?
In relationships, you have to compromise, and so, our compromise was buying a 1969 camper trailer (140 square feet).
We found our tiny home on Craigslist and immediately started looking for places to park it. We ended up messaging a few people in the area we wanted to live and found a backyard in the foothills.
In the past year, we’ve lived with limited access to electricity and Wi-Fi, but do not connect to their hose for running water. Instead, we fill galloon jugs with water at our local grocery store.
Our dog, Blaize, loves running around in her big backyard.
What I’ve Learned
Living small has taught me how to adapt to hardships. I know I could be self-sufficient living off the grid if I needed to be and that is a freeing feeling.
I’m not the only one who has chosen this lifestyle. Others my age have also challenged themselves to live small or on the road. Every week, I feature a new tiny dweller on my blog. I would love for you to check it and leave comments.
Follow me on Instagram as well for photos of my camper trailer and lifestyle.
I am so beyond happy and proud of Kathleen and Greg for embarking on such a great journey. We all could learn a thing or two from them! I know I definitely have a lot of stuff I don’t need but hold on to for sentimental reasons or others. But it’s so refreshing to see them living tiny and getting outdoors as much as possible. Thanks again Kathleen for sharing more of your story with us!