Hanne and her boyfriend own both a tiny house AND a van, so they can travel at will and not need to work full-time since their home costs are minimal! They got their tiny house via a reality TV show in Belgium that was a “tiny house battle.”
Their home sits on such a beautiful little spot of land! We got the honor of interviewing Hanne about her tiny life, and you can read her story and check out her house below.
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Their Gorgeous Single-Level Tiny House in Belgium
There are three reasons that got me into tiny living: 1) I wanted more financial freedom. Housing and rental prices were going insane after covid. Me and my boyfriend had just graduated from college and university and we were at a point in our lives where we had to choose in which direction we wanted to go. We figured we didn’t want a full-time job, or a loan for 30 years … We wanted more free time, live at a slower pace and the possibility to travel with our van whenever we wanted and work a remote job in the mean time. So we started dreaming about living in a tiny house that would allow us to do all that.
2) Less is more, and we need to live more sustainable. I’m convinced that we take up a lotttt of space with our big houses and that that’s more than we need. We keep buying stuff to fill up these places and we keep taking away nature to build more and more and more, and in my opinion, that’s a capitalist way of living that in the end is not sustainable. With a tiny house on wheels, you don’t leave a crater, and you live much more to the rhythm of your surroundings.
3) I wanted to be closer to nature without ruining it. In the city, I really missed the connection with nature. I barely noticed when spring or autumn began. Meanwhile, here in nature, I much more live at natures rhythm, because I’m closer to it and because I’m much more outside than I used to be. Nature is an essential part of our existence, so I didn’t want to miss out on it, as it makes me happier and at ease.
How we got our tiny house is actually a funny story. When I was dreaming about buying an tiny house on wheels one day, I stumbled upon an appeal from a TV channel in which they were looking for people who would like to move into a tiny house. I had signed myself and my boyfriend up, and a few interviews and visits later, we heard that we could participate in the programme. It was a ‘tiny house battle’ in which two teams of four had to build our dream house. We’re not so handy ourselves. 😉 They built two houses in exactly nine days. After 9 days, we got to buy our favourite tiny house. Our tiny house was built by people who had absolutely no experience with it. They were a cook, a hairdresser, … but they did a fantastically beautiful job and we’re still very grateful.
I don’t always live on the road. Right now I mostly live in my tiny house in the north of Belgium, sometimes I live on the road in my van for a few weeks. The past two years, I worked as a part-time copywriter for a Belgian company that rents out Slow Cabins in nature for people to slow down. But right now I work as a freelance writer and content creator. I have a professional bachelors degree in text & media journalism. I love how I can choose when and for how long I want to work, because time and freedom is very important to me.
It has definitely changed it for the better. My costs are way lower than when I used to rent an apartment in the city, which makes that I do not have to work full time and that I have more free time and can live my life at a slower pace at nature’s rhythm. I think that’s so important. We live in a capitalist rush rush-society, almost forcing us to work a full time job, buy a big house or a fancy car and make a career. These things aren’t important to me. I want to wake up every day without an alarm clock and genuinely look forward to that day. Days where I have an almost empty agenda are my favourites. And I have these days way more often now. I used be stressed all the time, had headaches and my mind was going everywhere, but now I feel much more at ease and I take every day as it comes. I also love that I have more time to try out new hobbies en hike around in nature, cause that’s one of my favourite activities. My tiny house is everything I need at only 27 square metres. It’s my cosy cocoon to come home to and allows me to live a more sustainable life.
In the beginning, I had a lot of stuff I had to get rid off. At first that was kinda frustrating, but now only the things that I genuinely want and need remain and that’s more than enough. I would say that the hardest part is that it’s difficult to invite big friend groups (bigger than 4) in my tiny home during winter. In summer, we organise barbecues in the garden, so everyone can come over, but in winter it’s more difficult, and sometimes I think that’s a shame. But on the other hand, I like to be quiet during winter, so it’s not a big problem.
Really depends on the country you’re in, but I’d say: just go for it. I know there are challenges involved, but in the end, it’s all much better than you think. And if you’re financially tight, I would keep scrolling second-hand sites every day. Because sometimes gems pass through there. And then it’s 100% worth taking the plunge.
- Hanne and her boyfriend won this incredible tiny home on a TV program in Belgium, where two groups of inexperienced builders each had to create a tiny home in 9 days, and Hanne got to choose the best and purchase it!
- The tiny house allowed the couple to settle down without taking on a 30-year mortgage.
- She also has a van that she uses to travel around from time to time! How fun!
- Her tiny house has an open-concept living and dining area, with an L-shaped kitchen and an elevated living room.
- The bed is lofted slightly above some storage down below.
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Our big thanks to Hanne for sharing! 🙏
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