At 2 a.m. a few weeks ago I decided I should live in a tiny house beside the sea. At 5 p.m. that day I'd given notice on my flat.
That's the short story. The longer version makes me sound slightly less rash, although historically speaking my best decisions are made at 2 a.m. and preceded by "fuck it".
For a while now I've been watching tiny house videos on YouTube but always classed that idea as daydream fodder rather than anything realistic.
I love the minimalism of tiny houses, the fact they let you spend more time outside/close to nature and the eco aspect (saving water and resources – my goal/dream is to be as off grid as possible). Given I almost gave up translation a few years ago to open a zero-waste shop, eco stuff is right up my street.
But most importantly for me, the tiny house movement is about rejecting this 'living just to work and pay bills' culture. Life is too short.
Anyhoo, a few weeks ago some things happened that forced my hand and made this back burner idea happen way sooner than I expected.
First, my parents moved back to Scotland. But with Lisbon prices as they are, it made no sense to find to a smaller flat and pay much more for it.
Also, I realised I'm going to be in China and India for a few months for yoga. Why pay rent on a place that's empty, I thought. I'd rather put it towards something that can be mine.
As soon as I set foot in one of the tiny houses being built at the workshop in Castelo Branco, I just knew it felt right.
While I accidentally nomaded (lived out of a suitcase and moved every month) for a year after leaving Germany, I loved the freedom that comes from not having much stuff and not being attached to a physical space.
It's strangely liberating how you approach life and connect with things and people around you. There feels less of a need to pretend to be someone you're not. More grateful for the little things you'd otherwise take for granted like listening to the rain or sitting in a new city and just people watching. It taught me to live in the moment, say yes to opportunities and grow from them.
After almost two years with a fixed address and somewhere to actually unpack my suitcase, I'm getting itchy feet for new challenges and adventures. And that freedom feeling that comes with it.
No matter how much I go on about Scotland (sorry... believe me, I do the same about Portugal when I'm in Glasgow), Lisbon really feels like home to me and I don't want to leave.
But my gut tells me there are some things I have to learn* before I come back with my tiny house at the end of next year.
*not least learning how to drive
"Change is not something that we should fear. Rather, it is something that we should welcome. For without change, nothing in this world would ever grow or blossom, and no one in this world would ever move forward to become the person they're meant to be.”