MOVING THIS TINY HOUSE LIFE AFLOAT!
Greetings from Loreto, Baja Sur, Mexico! The thermometer hit a perfect 86F today, we got our daily fill of Vitamin D, and a breeze coming off the Sea of Cortez is completing a pretty much idyllic day. Andrew and I have been coming down to Baja at least once per year since 2010. We hold this area near and dear to our hearts as this is where we moved with our pop up tent trailer for several months after getting rid of our “regular-size” house and 90% of our worldly belongings when we started our tiny house journey. It was here that we discovered that living with the least, we were the happiest. It’s what prompted us to step into living a tiny life and to focus on minimalism. So it feels fitting to be sharing some exciting news for the Morrisons from this place.
The big news is that Andrew and I are taking our tiny house journey to an even deeper level and moving onto a sailboat! We made the decision to buy a sailboat late this summer, found our boat early September, put our place on the market, and had a buyer the same week we went into contract for our boat. Have you ever made a big decision in your life that felt risky and new but were met with so much ease and support from every direction that you just knew you were going the right way? That’s how it all felt to us.
So, yes, you read the right. We listed our place…hOMe, and the land it rests upon. It was a HUGE decision for us as you can imagine and we worried that we may be making a mistake. Comfort was found right away though when our sister-in-law put in an offer to buy it; we literally couldn’t be happier that it has remained in the family and moved into the hands of someone that ‘gets’ the tiny house experience. We feel so lucky that when we come back to town, we can go visit and reconnect with the land.
Selling our place allowed us to step into a life that I have dreamed about for as long as I can remember…living on a boat and learning how to sail. I grew up spending part of my childhood in Sweden and those times on the water with my grandparents and aunts/uncles are some of my most precious memories. Since then I’ve fantasized of someday living on a boat and being more connected to the sea. So when Andrew suggested the idea that he would love to step into something completely new and live on a boat, I jumped in hook, line and sinker. I have to admit that I was surprised by his suggestion as he had maintained for years that he could never live on a sailboat. He was always too nervous about the ocean. Something shifted in him and he is now as excited as I am to experience this new part of our life journey.
Here’s the funny part: neither Andrew nor I know how to sail! My very first search on Google after Andrew suggested we buy a boat was “how hard is it to learn how to sail?” Page after page revealed blog after blog of total novices buying sailboats and learning along the way (apparently we’re not the only crazy ones!). Our second search was “can you live on a sailboat with dogs” and again, countless blogs showed us that not only is it possible, but that most dogs absolutely love the lifestyle.
Remember me sharing that everything was lining up so well after making the decision that it became impossible to deny we were on the right path? Well, the boat we checked out in September turned out to be owned by the owner of the very sailing school (Nautilus) we were going to sign up for classes with!! In fact, “Journey”, our boat, (yes, Andrew has been stalking about our life journey and the boat’s name turned out to be Journey!) is/was the sailing school’s teaching vessel. We hadn’t signed up for the class because their site showed they were sold out for months. So, part of our terms in buying Journey was that we receive a 7 day live aboard intensive class to get us on our way…and because we hit it off with the company owner so well, he’s teaching us himself! Currently our boat is being rented by his sailing school while they wait for their new boat to make its way from Croatia. On Feb. 3, we take possession and begin our new adventure as sailors.
Both of our kids are out and about exploring a new world as adults. Terra is currently volunteering in SE Asia and will move onto Fiji and central America to continue her work with marine conservation and teaching English as a second language until early summer while Paiute is continuing his dream by playing ice hockey in college. Terra plans to go to college in the fall. When we all come together back in Ashland for holidays and summer, we will rent a house so we can all spend quality time together. They will come down and visit us on our boat as their schedules allow and being that they both want to go into either marine biology or environmental conservation work, sailing through the Sea of Cortez will be an incredible experience for us all. We’re also really, really excited for them to learn how to sail while they’re young and giving them the opportunity to learn so much about the ocean.
One of the pieces we are most excited about in moving onto Journey is that it is truly a step into the unknown. We don’t know how to sail. We don’t know if we will love it or hate it. We don’t know if we will be able to do it. We don’t even know if Andrew will get sea sick or not! It brings up a lot of fear for both of us because its truly unknown. We have no reference point for this experience but what we DO know is that that is exactly the spot where massive transformation has the opportunity to take place. Andrew and I have learned through enough previous experiences that stepping into the unknown is not only healthy for us but actually necessary. By being willing to step away from the comfortable and familiar into something new, we create the opportunity of meeting different parts of ourselves which we would never encounter in normal day to day life. We often live by the motto: Feel the fear and do it anyway.
In terms of us and the tiny house movement, we’re not going anywhere. Our recent experience of selling our place and downsizing further has significantly deepened our understanding of what living minimally means. We left essentially everything we owned for our sister in law except for our clothing, basic toiletries, and some personal items (books, journals, guitar, etc.). All housewares, tools, kitchen necessities, office supplies, electronics, linens, etc. stayed behind. Andrew even left his tool belt behind, a moment that stirred emotions for both of us on a deep level as it symbolized us stepping into something truly new. That tool belt has been part of our lives for over 20 years and has survived every downsizing in that time. But not this time. We once again found ourselves downsizing and truly realizing how little we need in our day to day lives in order to thrive. We have been living out of our small carry on suitcases for almost seven weeks now and there’s nothing we miss. There’s no question that living tiny is in our hearts and souls and it’s been very therapeutic to deepen our practice even more.
Our activism work for Appendix Q (the tiny house construction code) is stronger than ever, we will continue to teach our workshops, give presentations about how to build tiny houses, and blog about all things tiny from lifestyle to the nuts and bolts (nails not screws) of the construction “how to”. We have two new and huge offerings we are currently working on (hint…think of a one stop place for looking at LOTS of tiny house plans and also a way to attend our tiny house workshop from anywhere in the world at anytime)!
In the meantime, we are spending a couple months living the life of nomads until we take possession of Journey on February 3. I have to say that we are loving it. There’s something liberating about it and having everything we need in just one suitcase has been thrilling…we truly feel free! The future is a blank slate right now and we vacillate between feeling super excited about that to somewhere on the spectrum of terrified. No matter what emotions show up, we know full and well that we are ALIVE and thriving. Living on the edge of adventure is a place we have learned to love. It inspires us to be our best, to face our fears, and to step into the fire of life…fully. Life is a journey, and so is our new home!
How about you? Do you have any advice for us? Have you ever stepped into something that seemed crazy on the surface but you just knew you HAD to keep going?