Not long ago, I attended a networking event for the Asheville Blogger Society. There was a great turn out and after business was conducted we shuffled off to one of the many local watering holes for some socializing. I spent some time speaking with Jason, the author of Tribe.ly, a website dedicated to helping people find and build their tribes and change the world.
Our conversation, as it often does, turned to living in a tiny house. Reactions to the 120 square foot house range from curiosity to repulsion. Jason fell on the curious end of the spectrum and wanted to know more about how we live and, more importantly, why we live the way we do. A lot of people miss out on that piece of the puzzle by not asking the right questions. We are not trying to live the way we use to; we are fundamentally changing the way we participate in our own lives.
Jason got it. And he wrote about it:
“There is a fascinating element that I picked up on as I was talking with Laura and Matt, that I probably never would have considered as a benefit of Tiny House living until I actually tried it myself. They see their 120-square feet as a perfect excuse to live life outside of the house, so they can get to know their neighbors, invest in community and building relationships in their area. We met at a blogger society meetup, so they were clearly committed to breaking out of the 4 walls we all call our homes and intentionally investing in relationships with like-minded people.”
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In fact, he articulated this aspect of our tiny house experience better than I have managed to. Moving to the tiny house was our way to engage with life. Looking at it on paper this doesn’t seem possible. We have 15 acres in the middle of a rural area that is a 30 minute drive to the city – how can we possibly get involved in the community? We engage with our mountain by living off of its resources. We gather spring water. We walk up and down the trails every day. We cook outside and eat outside as often as we can. We are constantly coming up with new projects to improve our outdoor space. But we aren’t hermits. We engage with our immediate neighbors as regularly as any of our schedules might allow. Several times a week we leave the mountain and go into town. There is always a reason. We go have dinner, we do laundry, we go to concerts or networking events. We love meeting new people, like Jason.
I didn’t know Jason was going to be writing up an extensive post on our little life, but I am glad he did. Those of us who are part of the Tiny House Tribe have something great to contribute. Our little tribe is scattered across the world, but we do connect. We seek each other out on the internet because we want to get to know other people who also chose this path to participate in their own lives. When people who live small are being featured on CNN, we are showing everyone there are other ways to interact with our homes and our lives. There are sustainable ways. There are mortgage-free ways. There are simpler ways. As Jason says, our “small spark can change the world.” Life is not a spectator sport. You can’t sit around and wait for it to happen to you, you need to make it happen for yourself.
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How are you changing the way you connect with your life? How are you changing the world?