The time I decided to live in a tiny house

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.

"What's a tiny house??" says almost everyone I tell this convoluted story to

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.

What my tiny house will look like – there's a 1-year lead time as they're now so popular
Example of inside a tiny house

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

Murphy's law states you will have an impromptu deadline so you're working while the removers are carrying stuff out around you; your neighbour will try to chat to you while barricaded into her flat by her hallway plant collection. And inbetween times you'll be running up and down the stairs trying to find a spot for the van to park. Murphy's law also states that the day you move your normally quiet street will be filled with cars so the van has to keep circling round the block with the doors flapping open. And the neighbours will steal the bin you're trying to use to keep a parking spot.
Our stuff headed on a boat to Scotland on something like this. And then the removal guy said he'd lost the paperwork and had no one to take it off at the other side. If I have looked more frazzled or manic than normal, this is why.
"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.”
BKS Iyengar

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