Though I’m still relatively young, I already have a dream for retirement. My goal is to sell our current house and buy one small cottage at the beach, and one small log cabin in the mountains. We would split our time evenly between the two, and allow our kids and their families to vacation in both locations. My husband loves the mountains, while I prefer the beach, so this seems like a fair arrangement.
Recently we were blessed to be able to get away kid-free for a few days. Since we were going to the beach for a week this summer, we chose to visit the mountains this time around. Furthermore, we decided to stay in a Tiny House after days of searching for accommodations. I was very excited about the prospect of staying in a Tiny House as I believed it would give me a preview of my future retirement dream. Also, Tiny Houses are all the rage right now as people seek to downsize and simplify their lives.
The online photos of the Tiny House we chose painted it to be a sweet, cozy abode set in an idyllic locale. When we arrived, we found that this was mostly true. The house was nestled in the woods. The woods surrounded a golf course, and train tracks were about 100 yards from our Tiny House. I was fine with all of this. The house itself, though microscopic, actually had a living room, kitchenette, bathroom, and dining room, and that was just on the first floor. Yes, it had a cute loft up a wooden ladder where the bedroom was located. Outside was a fairly large deck considering the size of the house, and there was even a small porch with two lounge chairs.
After we settled in, we headed out to visit several of the local breweries in town. At the end of the day, we returned to our Tiny House and relaxed for the evening. This is when the true experience of our Tiny House stay actually started. First of all, the house didn’t have a TV. This made me a bit uneasy, since like most modern folk, I’m fairly addicted to screens. We did bring a laptop, tablet, and both our phones, so if we needed to get online, we did have that option. We opted to have a drink on the deck and joked about getting killed and eaten by a bear and no one ever finding our mutilated corpses. Funny stuff.
We retired for the evening and the Tiny House started to make me feel a bit claustrophobic. The loft had a low vaulted ceiling and it took a lot of effort for me to avoid having a panic attack. I’m one of the few people in the world who find being in the mountains to be a bit anxiety-inducing, so I was doubly distressed at this point. Luckily, I felt asleep fairly quickly…only to be awoken by a train whistle around 2 AM. I didn’t remember reading about an overnight train coming through in the online description of our Tiny House, but alas, it came through not once, but twice, while we were sleeping. My husband only woke up once, but I woke up both times. Sigh.
The next day, despite my lack of sleep, I woke up cheerful to have another fun day ahead of us. My husband tricked me into hiking 2000 feet up to, and then back down from, the peak of a mountain, and then we hit town again to visit more breweries, as well as a chocolate shop. My husband’s fatal flaw that day was neglecting to drink coffee. He usually has four to five cups within the first few hours after he wakes up, so the fact that he didn’t that day made him go into a state of withdrawal. Add to that, he was likely dehydrated from our mountain trek, and so he became violently ill. This is where the Tiny House really failed us. He was puking his guts out and no matter where I went in the Tiny House, I was still within a ten foot radius of him and his retching. Our marriage became stronger that day. Or not. Either way, that was definitely a new experience for us.
By now, I was greatly missing our very spacious house, but tried to be good sport since we had another night ahead of us. Luckily, my husband felt instantly better after his “episode” and we were able to relax and enjoy the remainder of the evening. The following morning we packed up and headed out for another half day of enjoying our getaway before finally heading back home. I had mixed feelings about leaving the Tiny House for good, but mostly I felt relieved. I realized that my future retirement cottage/log cabin will need to have a least three or four rooms to which I could escape barring any unplanned incidents such as what my husband experienced. Also, I missed having the luxuries we all take for granted, such as a TV, dishwasher, and lack of possible bear attacks. I’m not sure I would stay in a Tiny House again, but I’m glad I
survived experienced it at least once.