I don’t need to be surrounded by lots of space and lots of stuff to find happiness
Meet Erika from upstate New York!
Tell us a bit about yourself and your tiny home
I'm Erika, I’m 31 years old living in the Fingerlakes region in upstate New York. I’m from Honeoye Lake, NY originally.
2 years ago, fed-up with an unfulfilling job in the rat-race, I quit my job, left my apartment of 8 years in Rochester, NY, and moved home to live with my parents (a bit daunting at 29, especially as a single woman), and began work building a self-designed tiny house on wheels.
It's an an 8x20 THOW with a 162 sq ft footprint.
What's your working situation like? How do you sustain life on the road?
I'm currently working full-time and am still building!
My dream is to be able to have the freedom to travel whenever the mood strikes me without being tied down by a mortgage payment or rent. While I’m building my home, I’m living in my hometown, traveling when I can get the time away from work/building. When the house is done either I’ll move it to a new location or rent it in it’s current location when I decide to travel. I’m already dreaming of a van renovation so I have more ‘on-the-go’ friendly means of transport (and the house isn’t even done!)
What ultimately made you choose this lifestyle?
I worked in retail for over a decade, and had a comfortable fun life with my friends in the city, but I began recognizing that comfortable quickly turns into complacent, and if I were to ask someone close to me to describe who I was, they’d answer in a way that I knew wasn’t describing what I thought of as my true self. It was time to change. The first step was figure out how to eliminate some bills so I could start over. What’s everyone’s biggest bill? Living costs. Ok so how do I live for free?
The answer was, build my own small home (pay for the cost of materials), and then spend my time living instead of making money to pay for a big space to live in and a bunch of stuff to fill in that space.
How long do you see yourself maintaining this lifestyle?
Anything is possible. I’m taking life’s changes and challenges as they happen these days.
What's a quote or mantra that you live by?
Do what you feel, say what you mean, live with intent.
3 Things I've Learned Living This Way
- No one's going to change your life but you
Stop waiting for answers. Take the leap and start doing something to provide yourself with happiness. Most importantly, it’s never too late to do just that.
- I don’t need to be surrounded by lots of space and lots of stuff to find happiness
Happiness comes from experiences and relationships. In the words of Tiny House builder Dee Williams, when you live in a tiny space, the world becomes your living room.
- I can leave my comfort zone for the sake of being true to myself (even though it’s scary)
The changes I’ve made have brought me a lifestyle/people into my life I never before thought I’d be able to find on my own.
What's one of the biggest challenges you've faced by choosing your lifestyle?
Being a single woman in her early thirties, I often feel that I’m cornering myself into a lifestyle that will be made to fit only me and my belongings (living at home at this age is pretty low on the glamour scale).
However, it’s challenged me to think about future relationships, and what the priorities could/should be like to find the right partner to share in this kind of adventure. It’s not gonna be easy but what the heck, the right person will be as stoked about it as I am!
If you could give someone who's interested in your lifestyle a snippet of advice, what would it be?
Do your research....I mean really a lot....and then stop finding reasons to say no to yourself and friggin' go for it!