Hi there! I’m Jenna – that “Tiny House Girl”
Five years ago I was working paycheck to paycheck at a miserable job. I was never able to save money, pay off my debt, or go on vacation. I was treading water and putting my dreams on hold. Why? Because society told me that I needed to live this way. It’s what you do after college. It’s the “norm.” Then, in 2013, I did something radical. I quit my stable job and built a Tiny House on wheels. The goal? To live simply, pursue my dream of becoming a writer, and travel the world. Tiny House Giant Journey was born.
My Tiny House traveled 25,000 miles the first year!
From 2014-2015, I visited more than thirty U.S. States and five Canadian Provinces with my Tiny House in tow. Along the journey, I met dozens of like-minded people embracing alternative lifestyles. I was inspired by them because I know how difficult it can be to choose a different path to what society deems as normal. I began sharing their stories, as well as the challenges and benefits of living small on this blog.
The blog was featured several times on HGTV and other big press outlets. People really responded to the idea of downsizing and finding freedom through alternatives. In less than a year, the blog started earning revenue, and I was able to save a little bit of money. Four years later and I’ve paid off all of my student debt. I’m now financially secure enough to travel the world several times a year!
It is difficult to explain how much I’ve learned from downsizing
Life is bigger when you live small. The American Dream (big house, white picket fence, fancy car, etc), is NOT the key to happiness. In fact, for most, this concept will force you to spend your life chasing something that doesn’t really exist. It’s better to find happiness in less. Happiness is really all the matters.
“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.” – John Lennon
I hold a higher value on my time, passions, and experiences than I do on my possessions. My little house, which may seem meager to most, has brought me more happiness than any other space I’ve called “home.” And, while I know that living in a Tiny House is not for everyone, I believe there are many benefits to clearing space, not only in our homes but also in our lives and minds.
My mantra is: TRAVEL BIG, LIVE TINY
I must confess, I’m a travel junkie. I now can afford to travel abroad several times a year, and I have no intention of stopping. Since downsizing in 2014, I’ve visited these destinations: Iceland, France, Costa Rica, Mexico, Thailand, Hawaii, Taiwan, Peru, Guatemala, El Salvador, Great Britain, Spain, Morocco, Portugal, and The Netherlands.
There is no better education than witnessing how other people live, all over the world.
I’m not only interested in traveling abroad. In 2018, I bought a 60 square foot vintage camper, restored it, and took it on a cross-country road trip. Living in a fiberglass box for the summer taught me even more about what I truly need in life. This past fall, I showed my camper at a Tiny House festival in Oregon. Hundreds of people toured the inside and were shocked at how innovative and clever you can be with such a small living space.
Slow and Steady Growth & My View on Home
I now live part-time in my Tiny House, which is currently parked on Whidbey Island in Washington and available for rent when I’m not using it. Otherwise, I’m traveling abroad or living with my boyfriend in his 500 square foot cottage in Seattle. Currently, I’m saving for a slightly bigger home (hopefully 600-700 square feet), so that I can raise a family and possibly start a homestead. I’d like to purchase or build my next home with cash or, at the very most, a small loan. Being debt-free is just too sweet!
If we all lived within our means,
we could all live the life of our dreams.
I am slowly working my way to living larger. Although, my home will always be small, simple, and easy to maintain. The majority of Americans do the opposite of this. They purchase an enormous house with a 30-year mortgage, only to find themselves to be house poor. This, in my opinion, is a terrible life-altering mistake. And through this blog, I intend to prove that to you.
Thank you for taking the time to read my story!
Would you like to work with me?
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