Does living in a tiny home create the need for escape?
I struggle with this one a lot. Home should be a refuge of comfort and safety. Ideally we should all be living in a place that makes us happy and satisfied to the extent that we aren't always desiring to go on "vacation" or to some place beautiful in order to rest and rejuvenate ourselves. But living in a tiny house I find myself doing just that.
Is this bad? I don't think so.
I built this house (and chose this lifestyle) with the specific hope that a smaller dwelling would in fact encourage and maybe even force me to get out more, to spend more time in wilderness, and also to interact with my community in a positive, collaborative way. And it IS doing that! That's fantastic!
Yet I feel somehow that the sense of escape associated with my recent trips misses the mark a bit when compared to my original intentions.
A week ago I was on a 4-day 40 mile backpacking trip in the Trinity Alps Wilderness in Northern California. This is something I have wanted to do every since moving to California, and something I hope to do many times in the future. What I gained from this trip was in fact a sense of rejuvenation and a "reset" of sorts, one that anyone living in any sized house would benefit from. It's not just because I'm living the tiny life that a connection to nature and a relationship with the immense, expansive power and beauty of mother earth is something I desire. I relish in my time spent out in the more untouched and wild places -- where man's impact is still largely absent, and where I feel the connection with the natural cycles of the land, sun, trees and wildlife around me.
If living in a tiny house encourages that experience then maybe it truly is serving me in the highest way?
That said, life at home, in constant close proximity and sometimes in turbulent relationship with the space and how my partner and I share it, is not always perfect. In fact, it never is perfect, and probably never can be. That's life. We arrange our homes and our lives to best support our needs and desires, but a house is still just a house, and a tiny home is certainly no magic bullet.
One thing I do know, however, is that this space I've created as my home is a catalyst -- it's bringing more of the creativity, connectedness, and energy of the "outside" into my life. That's not always easy and fun, but it's leading to new relationships, experiences, ideas and possibilities (a tiny house community, maybe) that a year ago I never thought attainable.
So cheers to that! And may I continue to be easy with myself and allow for even more time to explore those things that provide true connection, rest, and inspiration in my life. Whether I use time away from home as escape or not, here's to many more weekends spent in the mountains, at the beach, or engaging in new and exciting endeavors with my every growing Sebastopol community!
For those that are interested, here are some photos from my recent trip along the stunning Stuart Fork trail.