There are two kinds of people in the world. (there are more than that, but let’s not nitpick)
People who love to stay home and people who love to wander.
Home people nest and settle in for the long haul as nostalgia rules the day.
Wanderers are restless horizon watchers who understand that to be a stranger in a strange land is to be right at home.
What makes people long for home?
Why are others infected with wanderlust?
The neighbors believe we’ve spaced out with a symbol of wanderlust, a tiny home jacked up on a trailer in our driveway, partially obscuring the entry to our front door.
We were driving to dinner last night and Karen said, “I thought wanderlust was spelled wonderlust and I didn’t know that it means a longing to travel.” I told her it was ok, that one doesn’t frequently hear wanderlust used in a sentence.
Wanderlust is more true of my children than for me. They love to travel in this stage of their DINK lives (double-income-no-kids).
Wanderlust is perhaps the reason for the tiny home in our driveway. Brandon and Liz will move in soon…
So rather than accumulate mortgages and children and homes on fixed foundations, they are building mobility. Our children don’t own cars…they fly in jets and take buses, trains, and Uber. They’ve traded hamburger and fries for Meshana Skara from Bulgaria and Schnitzel from Germany.
This ticket to a simpler life is almost complete. Soon, Inola the dog will move in with our son Brandon and daughter-in-law, Elizabeth. In case you are wondering if they’ve lost their minds, here are 5 thoughtful reasons to build a tiny home:
Minimalism is back…if it ever really left, and it’s the idea that you have all this clutter in your life but does all the stuff make life better? To downsize your living environment allows the pursuit of other passions and shared adventures.
Place becomes larger and the world smaller
Living in a mansion can make you a citizen of nobility, but tiny living makes one a citizen of mobility. This desire to see the world reminds me of Maya Angelou’s comment, “You only are free when you realize you belong no place — you belong every place.” You’ve broken the bonds of parochialism. In a sense, simple living makes your home larger because your footprints extend further into the world. You have more economic resources to move about, see the sights, and eat strange food. This movement isn’t just for the young. This reassessment of residential economics applies to empty nesters and retirees who find value in these same ideas.
Tiny home folks are tapping into a style of living that might be considered more adventurous than being one of 300 in an apartment project or a suburban development with lawn mowers buzzing all weekend.
I asked my son, Brandon, “Why don’t you just buy an Airstream trailer. Then you can be retro-hip and mobile?” He said that they didn’t want a trailer. It’s the hip factor. Well, tiny homes do have their own television shows…and they are kind of jazzy if you are into that sort of thing.
My son is a Meteorologist who specializes in wind studies. His graduate degree is from York University in Toronto, Canada, where they are more aware of climate change than in my cloistered prairie universe. So he asked if we could build one for him and I said sure. Crosby Stills and Nash sang a song with the lyric, “Teach your parents well.” It’s a song about generations listening to on another. And so I try to listen. I just spoke with a 35 year old friend who vacationed at Glacier National Park in Montana and I asked him what he thought of the glaciers. He told me that they are stunningly beautiful and then the sad part…they are half melted away…and so younger generations are serious about caring for this good earth. What can I do that is radically significant to impact the environment by walking softer and doing so daily in a way that doesn’t require a daily decision. You only have to do it once….build it that is. It seems palatable to me…other than the composting toilet!
Brandon works for the National Weather Service (NOAA) in Norman, OK where they will locate their tiny home sometime in September. Here is a sneak preview!