Of the “icebreaker” questions that most acquaintances, new friends, parents, peers, (well, just about anybody asks), there’s the “What do you do?” and “Where do you live?” favorites.
As a professional skier and freelance writer, the first question stunts most conversations alone. The confused questioner has, most times, already given up. It’s just not as simple as “Doctor.” “Lawyer.” “Teacher.” “Banker.” Those answers are palatable. “Skier.” “Writer.” “Tiny-house advocate.” What?
When the “Where do you live?” comes around, most people are already lost from the trail of comprehension. Only a few stick around for the answer.
Unless you come from a long-line of gypsies, this response is the final straw. You can’t live everywhere and not be able to explain concisely what you do. People just don’t live like that.
But, it is possible. And having a tiny house makes living that life, just that much easier.
So what is it like to not have an address? What happens when you start calling anywhere you land “home”?
Where do the bills go?
Bills. Most people wonder and ask “Where do the bills go?” As if we needed another reason to go electronic for most of our financial baggage, living in a tiny house is a great way to get rid of the paper. If you simply must have a few bills sent now and then, I have found a parent’s address or even a local friend to be a good solution.
Then there’s government documents, licenses, taxes, healthcare—all those things that require you to decide one place that’s your home. How is it that documents have pigeon holed us into summing our identities up in a single-sided, 8×12 piece of paper? You are your birth date, occupation, and home address.
An assist from steady compatriots
Well, the truth is, us spirited, traveling types do benefit from our more immobile, steady, and traditional compatriots. I’ve had one address my whole life—my parents. When I moved to college I used that address for forms. When I left college, I had my bills sent there.
And now, as a tiny house liver, I have important documents connected to that place. Their stability has made my lifestyle easier, but that’s not to say it can’t be done without your family. Although we rarely do things in this life alone, and all get by with a little help from our friends.
To be or not to be…understood
I have really found that, beyond finding a place for my driver’s license, medical bills, and debit card to arrive, it’s conversations resulting in my embarrassingly rosy cheeks and an unsatisfied listener which make living without a real address difficult. It’s the belief that I can’t be understood because my life can’t be summed up in a few words and numbers. That is what I find difficult to stomach!
Then I realized it’s not about whether or not many people understand. They probably don’t and that’s exactly why we’re doing what we’re doing as tiny house livers. Opening peoples eyes, sharing a new experience, and showing them that to be important, I don’t have to be: Molly Baker, 21725 Redwood Drive, Female, Doctor. I can be me, picking up titles, accolades, experiences in every place that I live, which changes monthly, yearly, daily.
Living in a tiny house is like living a thousand lives in one, unrestricted by the confines of an address.