What is a Tiny House?

My earliest memory of Tiny Houses was when I was a child, this is where I can pinpoint my love for the small, accessible, multipurpose, economy of space living area. To me, there’s something strangely appealing about fitting all your belongings into a 400 sq. ft space. It is important to note that to me, tiny house living is as much about the architecture & interior design as it is about the social movement and environmental impact behind it.

As a child growing up in Australia I would build cubby houses or tree houses (wendy house in the UK/NZ or play house in the US) much like a lot of other people my age, we didn’t have the internet easily accessible to us, mobile phones were only just coming into popularity and we really just grew up building things out of what we had around us in the garden.

This is where my tiny house journey began… but obviously then, I was six or seven years old I didn’t know what a “Tiny House” actually was… I just wanted to build a little escape pod from the harsh realities of knowing that school was on a Monday - because lets face it that was the only thing going on in our simple lives.

I feel with Tiny Houses there are a sense of nostalgia, especially for me as they transport me back to that time in addition to this my maternal grandparents lived in, not a tiny house, but a relatively small self contained space which at points would be fed by various self sustaining things that my Opa would set up whether it was fruit trees, a veggie garden or solar. My paternal grandparents on the other hand had a large garden with copious amounts of potatoes and other veggies. It always baffled me why people would go to the grocery store instead of growing their own veg.

Fast forward a few years, many iterations of vegetable gardens, chicken coops and after many hours watching home make over shows and seeing Eco villages pop up around the country and abroad I had suddenly realised that living off the grid in a self sustainable house was an option. An affordable, realistic, viable option. Forward a few years more and I was stepping foot in a tiny house in Singapore, a company there was selling pre-fab units that you could purchase and install in nearby countries.

And lets catch up to the present day, My childhood dreams could be coming real sooner than I had once thought, I had it in my mind that I would have to wait until my retirement for my tiny house dreams to become a reality but after a bit of research and my new found ability to plan things, yes - it was taken this long to learn how to actually plan things for myself, it might be something that I could achieve in the next 3 years or so.

Land in Portugal is very affordable and there is a tiny house community that is popping up in the region that I could be a part of. This excites me to no end and I’ve been obsessively looking at properties to purchase. I can’t afford one at the moment but once I have worked out the legalities of owning a property and the ongoing costs to maintain the land I should have a plot that I can build my tiny house dreams on. I had also considered Ireland as a place to purchase land but after a little research it seemed to be less of a viable option. If you have any advice about that, please let me know!