How do you make spring travel plans during a pandemic?
Or at least, we didn’t. We decided to build a tiny house instead.
A few months ago Dylan (my boyfriend) and I had made a firm decision that, come May 8th 2021, we would be leaving Vancouver BC and jet-setting off across the world to work from anywhere. Spain and Madeira were the first two locations on a long list of places we planned to live over the next few years. We even booked the flights to Spain, fully aware that COVID could throw a wrench in our plans. But, it wasn’t a question of if we would travel, it was when. So naturally, while we were strategizing for the potential COVID-related delay to our flight departure date, these ‘backup’ plans were simply transition steps towards our main goal – a digital nomad lifestyle.
Funny how things change.
It happened one afternoon while sitting at our favorite local pub The Three Brits, Dylan crushing Guinness while I sipped on glasses of bubbles. We were discussing potential backup plans, yet again, but we both kept coming back to one idea. It was an idea that had evolved over the past couple of weeks since we began discussing alternatives to immediate travel. It started off as, ‘well if worse comes to worse we could tent it up at my parents’. This turned into, ‘well maybe we could stay in their heated tack room for a few months while we wait out COVID and save on rent money’. This led to, ‘wouldn’t it be cool if we built our own place on their land?’
A Tiny House?
The seed had been planted in both of our minds, but we didn’t realize JUST how much both of us had been thinking about that last statement over the ensuing weeks. It wasn’t until we found ourselves back at the Three Brits, sitting at a cosy low top table in the corner (as opposed to our usual high top, ocean view, central location), discussing the travel template I had created to track our budget and spending. Our conversation naturally slid from travel back to building a home. I sat back in my seat and took a sip of wine, I watched Dylan talk animatedly about how he has always wanted to build a tiny home out in the middle of nowhere. I interrupted him,
“It seems like we talk more about our tiny home than we do travel planning’.
The answer was right there in front of us. We both wanted the same thing and to both of our surprise – it wasn’t travel. We wanted to build a tiny house together.
The benefits were numerous and the long term gain was invaluable. We weren’t locking ourselves down by building a home, we were actually giving ourselves more freedom. The cost of building a tiny house in BC was extremely low, especially for us since my Stepdad is a master carpenter who works a lumber mill (discounts babbyyyy). We could invest everything we were spending in rent into each month, which was a monstrous amount considering rent in Downtown Vancouver runs 2000+ per month, and after an initial investment of cash into building this home – it would repay us with next to nothing bills (a little bit of hydro and almost zero property tax as my parents are on farm land). We would be saving massive amounts of money that we could put towards our future digital nomad travel plan – and the best part? We would have a home base to come back to.
It only took a few more discussions and a quick confirmation from my parents for us to find ourselves where we are right now. Sending our notice to our landlord, posting all (literally all) of our items up for sale in anticipation of tenting it over the summer, and shifting all of our energy towards our newest project – building our tiny home. In a random discussion with Dylan’s Dad about tiny house designs (his dad is obsessed with watching videos on people building them), Dylan’s brother offered an offhand comment ‘you two should Youtube it, you’re both beautiful, I’d watch you’. Yet another piece of the puzzle fell into place – we would film our entire journey and put it on YouTube.
And thus, Tiny House Lifestyle, our new Youtube Channel was created. We are going to share everything – from our tiny house ideas to our tiny house plans to our completed tiny house British Columbia – every episode will document how we went from raw land to a finished tiny home. It’s going to be epic (and very entertaining considering we have a segment planned called #beerswithbrawny which will have you dying laughing).