Moving This Tiny House Life Afloat!

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.

Moving This Tiny House Life Afloat!

Our new home sweet home!

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.

Moving This Tiny House Life Afloat

Our new bedroom! Can’t wait to be rocked to sleep every night

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.

Moving This Tiny House Life Afloat

Can’t wait to be behind the wheel and learning how to sail

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)!

Moving This Tiny House Life Afloat!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?

44 Responses to Moving This Tiny House Life Afloat!

  1. Jeremy November 20, 2017 at 11:21 am #

    WOW!!! I am so happy and excited for both of you. Congrats on yet another super cool chapter of your journey!

    • Gabriella November 21, 2017 at 10:10 am #

      Thank you Jeremy!! 🙂

  2. Kevan Gibbs November 20, 2017 at 11:26 am #

    This is such a great idea. (I’m thinking of doing the same thing in a year when my kids are out of college).

    Take really good care of the boat. Every problem I ever had was mechanical. Make sure the engine is in top shape, as the wind will let you down from time to time.

    Don’t take too many chances too early – long trips, night sails, etc.

    BTW – I just went to the Nautilus site and saw your boat. She’s beautiful. Where are you going to harbor out of?

    • Gabriella November 21, 2017 at 10:11 am #

      Kevan that’s so great to hear!! Perhaps someday we will get to sail together! Great practical advice…thank you! In terms of where we will harbor, at this point Puerto Escondido outside of Loreto.

  3. Dave Turner November 20, 2017 at 12:01 pm #

    A beautiful testiment to the power of change, of confronting the future head on. So happy for you two! Gotta admit I got a lump in my throat over the tool belt….

    • Gabriella November 21, 2017 at 10:11 am #

      RIGHT?? You get it Dave!!

  4. Tom Schmitt November 20, 2017 at 12:03 pm #

    Wow! Congratulations you two! Andrew, I bought your straw bale home video series way back in the day then watched as you created hOMe and it too was amazing! So exciting to watch you shove off on a new adventure. So just 3 weeks ago, I received a call from a friend in Michigan. His friend was motoring his 44 ft sailboat, mast down, thru mid America and would be passing my hometown St Louis, and could I help. I cast aside my responsibilities and jumped onboard on the Illinois river, down the Mississippi and up the Ohio to Paducah…we encountered some Loopers who were the nicest people ever. Hey I spent a week on and fell in love with that boat and more in love with tiny space living, and it wasn’t even under sail. I got word this morning that my new friend Mike and SAMADHI just today! I wish you guys fair winds and following seas!! Tom

    • Gabriella November 21, 2017 at 10:12 am #

      Tom!! How great for you!!! Love that you jumped aboard and that it’s gone so well…definitely inspiring and exciting to hear!

  5. Tom Schmitt November 20, 2017 at 12:05 pm #

    Just today made it to the Gulf of Mexico, that is..

  6. Alek November 20, 2017 at 12:38 pm #

    You guys are truly inspirational. I love everything about this!

    • Gabriella November 21, 2017 at 10:09 am #

      Alek…you and Lee helped pave the way for us when you moved to NZ!!!

  7. Margi November 20, 2017 at 12:50 pm #

    Thanks for sharing – inspirational- I did a major downsize 2 years ago – moved to a much smaller rental. Then went WWOOFING and farmstaying / housesitting with my son (10) for 9 mo this.
    Fabtastic loved it – now back in a rental .. I feel stuck again !

    I’m in the process of working out what’s next smaller again – move locations – so I can save in earnest for a deposit and get sone $$ together for my tiny house which is what I truly aspire to.

    I look around at the ‘stuff’ and just wish to get rid of it – living in a tent sometimes and sometimes in others spaces was fine but I just want my own lil space not answerable to anyone !

    You’re post gave me hope once again – to keep moving forward .. if you go t like something change it – try new things – explore and step into the unknown.

    Life’s too short to remain stagnant – I wish you the very best – how should I follow you please and your ‘journey’ ? FB page !!??

    Take care stay safe best wishes
    Margi

    • Diane November 20, 2017 at 6:19 pm #

      Hi Margo,

      I also went WWOOFING for 9 months 🙂 then moved onto a sailboat where I have been for 18 months. And I’m loving it!! It wasn’t planned but it fell in my lap.

      If you are open and willing to try new things, then they will come your way.

      All the best with your next step along your journey!

      Best wishes,
      Diane

      • Gabriella November 21, 2017 at 9:59 am #

        That’s super awesome Diane! I’d love to hear more about your experience. Feel free to shoot me an email…

    • Diane November 20, 2017 at 6:20 pm #

      Sorry Margi, I didn’t notice auto correct had changed your name to Margo.
      Diane

    • Gabriella November 21, 2017 at 10:09 am #

      Margi, I think it’s AMAZING that you took your son WOOFING with you. I haven’t heard of anyone else doing that. We took our at the time 10 year old daughter down here to Baja and it was a life changing experience for her. That opportunity afforded her a chance to see who she really was without social and electronic pressures in fast paced life. In many ways she came back into contact with her happy and free 4 year old self. Super cool to watch! In terms of following our journey, you can friend me on Facebook (if we aren’t friends yet). We will write about our sailing experience a little bit on our blog here but not a ton bc we want the focus to be on tiny houses. We may at some point begin a new blog to share our experience but that hasn’t been decided yet. <3

  8. Peter November 20, 2017 at 2:57 pm #

    I’ve always though hOMe was a clever build, but suspected it wasn’t a long term thing for you folks. Change is good.

    We lived in SanCarlos / Guaymas Sonora Mexico, on the sea of Cortez for about 7 1/2 years. We lived in a couple of 500/600 sq ft places. Have a few of friends who enjoyed the yacht experience for a while too.

    We are inland now, in Alamos, Sonora, Mexico, in the foothills of the Sierra Madre Occidental.. Lots of elbow room in the current place. But still keeping it simple. It’s a good life. (I’ve got a small place, stateside, just north of the border, if the need arises to return).

    Enjoy it. For peace of mind, have a good head back home plan in place as circumstances change (not just yours, but family).

    • Gabriella November 21, 2017 at 10:03 am #

      Peter how cool is that!? Love hearing that you’ve been down here for so long. The more time we spend down here, the more we realize that loads of people end up spending more and more time down here until making eventual permanent move.

  9. Rita Parsons November 20, 2017 at 3:55 pm #

    You will love the sailboat lifestyle! I had a sailboat, while living in Monterey and I miss that boat and sleeping on it, to this day!! I will look forward to you sharing your experience! Such a great thing to do….

    • Gabriella November 21, 2017 at 10:02 am #

      That’s great Rita! I love hearing how many people have actually sailed!! And agreed…nothing quite like sleeping on a boat as far as I’m concerned.

  10. Marianne November 20, 2017 at 5:01 pm #

    I am so thrilled for you both! What an inspiration and what an adventerous leap of faith! It sounds absolutely perfect! I believe you will love it. I lived on a 40′ (47’LOA including bow sprit) and loved the sea rocking me to sleep at night. Every time I move, I downsize more and this latest move of mine back to Utah last week has me ready to part with some of the things I thought I could never live without. It’s a process for sure and each time I get rid of more, I feel lighter and better! So, I totally get how living out of 1 suitcase is liberating. Congratulations and I can’t wait to watch your adventures on Journey! And how wonderful that hOMe is still in the family!

    • Gabriella November 21, 2017 at 10:01 am #

      Thank you Marianne!! Great you lived on a boat…ours is 42′ LOA so kind of similar in size. Hope it’s a good size for us!!

  11. Blake November 20, 2017 at 9:05 pm #

    The boat is used; you will need some tools. Maybe not woodworking tools but engine tools (and sewing tools). Those tools could use a tool belt to stay organized. Just saying.

    • Gabriella November 21, 2017 at 9:58 am #

      Blake…so true but the one Andrew had was massive!

  12. Barbara Mariner November 21, 2017 at 1:56 am #

    The world is your oyster! Congratulations!

    • Gabriella November 21, 2017 at 9:58 am #

      Yum yum Barbara!! 😉

  13. Marissa November 21, 2017 at 10:58 am #

    Wow! Congrats! I learned to sail as a kid and loved it and want to live aboard a boat someday. Just on a boat like a boat house. I’d like someone else to do all that navigation stuff so I’m interested in how things go for you two. On another note, I’d like to see if we can get you back to help with thow policy. But until then safe travels. “Smooth Seas Never Made a Skilled Sailor”

    • Gabriella November 25, 2017 at 11:54 am #

      Thanks Marissa…great to hear from you and that you have the sea in your veins too! In terms of movable tiny house policy we are working on it! <3

  14. Jerry McIntire November 21, 2017 at 1:04 pm #

    Congratulations on taking a big step into the unknown! Nice boat, 42′ is roomy and not too big for maneuvering. Will you dock or moor it there?

    Your adventure reminds me of our winter last year, deciding to leave rural Wisconsin where we’d lived for ten years and explore new possibilities. We rented from friends, a great new job opened up, and I didn’t have to start until February so we spent a month in Argentina with our son and then moved to Rhode Island.

    The story continues to unfold. This fall we have bought a 38′ Freedom to live aboard. We took delivery two weeks ago and will bring it to its winter berth this weekend, after Thanksgiving. No shopping on Black Friday, we’ll be sailing!

    • Gabriella November 25, 2017 at 11:53 am #

      Jerry what do you think of your boat?? Please email photos when you get a chance…would love to see what you guys bought! We will hopefully be anchoring most of the time we are down there. There are hundreds of deserted islands with nobody around and we just want to go island hopping and life off grid. We’ll be doing a lot of fishing and learning how to harvest edible plants from the sea. Even looking at ways to grow some veggies on board…even some fresh greens would be amazing. Need to find varieties that can handle the heat without bolting too quickly. Anyways, look forward to hearing how things go for you guys!

  15. Matt Miller November 21, 2017 at 10:20 pm #

    Man. You both are crushing it.

    I started following the two of you some 5 years ago and had the dream of building a tiny home and buying the plans you have. I have since purchased a smaller fixer upper and have implemented many ideas you both had.

    Thank you for your inspiration and I always look forward to reading more from you both.

    P.s. I love BCS. My girlfriend and I have visited quite a few times now after working on some small passenger vessels down there. Best of luck to you both!

    • Gabriella November 25, 2017 at 11:49 am #

      Thanks Matt!! So cool to hear you’re been reading our stuff for all these years! Please let us know if/when you guys make it down here again. Will be happy to take you guys out for a sail!

  16. Greg November 22, 2017 at 4:32 am #

    Curious how much your new sailboat cost, length and how sailboats are priced and sold.

    Can’t wait to hear future post on tiny living, sailboats, and tiny houses on land.

    Will follow you forever as I think you are at the epicenter of tiny houses.

    Keep up the great work.

    🙂

    • Gabriella November 25, 2017 at 11:47 am #

      Awwww…thanks Greg!!! I always love hearing from you via email and on the blog. Wasn’t planning on doing a whole lot of blogging about the sailboat but thanks for the urging! We don’t want to talk too much about sailboats on this blog bc we want to be sensitive to what our readers may want to hear about. But if people want to hear, we’ll be more than happy to share a bit about your experience!

  17. John McCart November 22, 2017 at 9:09 pm #

    Hey, congratulation to you both. Big step, great idea. Be sure to ring me when you get back up here in December. Let’s get together for one last hurrah on dry land. Lol

    • Gabriella November 25, 2017 at 11:44 am #

      Thanks John!! Yes…let’s get together third week in Dec or so! <3

  18. Deborah Patt November 22, 2017 at 9:27 pm #

    I just tuned in to your hOMe resources, and I’m positive I will be investing in the plans soon. I have already been planning various floor plans, and I can find nothing but positives with yours. I love that you are stepping out into the unknown and wish you well. You ask what others have been doing. Our family started a distillery in AZ in 2009, we are the oldest craft distillery in AZ, and it is very hard, and NOT minimal! But we are on that minimal path when it comes to personal possessions, and it is a take a bit longer for us. With such a business, we meet others from all over the World, and it is freeing. We have met many from South America, and those who travel, and the only way we will get to do it is in small doses in our less than busy months. When we started our distillery, it was just as you say, we were thrilled but scared, and it has been that way ever since! We are still building our brand, and it is still exciting and challenging.

    • Gabriella November 25, 2017 at 11:43 am #

      Hi Deborah!! Love reading about your journey!! Took a look at your website and it’s beautiful…you guys should feel VERY proud of what you’ve been able to do in a relatively short time. Looks like you have recipe for big success. Please keep in touch and if we are ever in your area we will be sure to come and sample your wares lol. And if you have questions about the plans, please don’t hesitate to ask 🙂

  19. Katrina Toucké November 24, 2017 at 6:14 pm #

    Wow! Congrats guys! How cool! FEEL the fear and do it any ways. Awesome! My life has been this too since I sold my convensional house and reinvented my life with my 2 bigs pups and our tiny
    You guys have been So inspiring. Good luck with all and enjoy the suitcase until Feb!
    Congrats from 1 juicer to another. (I saw your juicer in a video;-)
    Wahoo…so exciting!!!

    • Gabriella November 25, 2017 at 11:37 am #

      Hi Katrina!! Another adventurer…love it!! Thank you for the well wishes. <3

  20. Dorothy Strehl November 25, 2017 at 6:08 am #

    So … where do I meet you for a visit on your boat?

    Love you, both (and your adorable adult kids, too).

    • Gabriella November 25, 2017 at 11:35 am #

      Dorothy, LITERALLY can’t wait to have you join us!!!

  21. Louis November 25, 2017 at 11:00 am #

    Okay, I have tears in my eyes and a huge smile on my face!

    I’m feeling the feelings I had the day I left all I had known and moved to California in 1993

    The bottom line is I’m so grateful for the life I have – and equally grateful to have met you two

    Bon Voyage!

    • Gabriella November 25, 2017 at 11:34 am #

      Awwwww…so happy to read this Louis!!! Totally caught up in your gratitude and happy feelings. 🙂

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