I won’t even lie to you. I obsessively watch tiny home shows on HGTV. Is that baggage? You know those shows where people have to reveal small, medium and large baggage about themselves to a potential suitor? I feel like an obsession with tiny spaces would be small baggage (no pun intended.) A carry-on, if you will. But I digress….
Listen. Living tiny is what it’s all about! After all, how much stuff do we each really need? I have clothes hanging in my closet that have traveled with me from apartment to apartment over the years and haven’t been touched once. We as humans have a tendency to grasp onto material items. We even save items for the “just in case” moments. Pro tip: the just in cases never come. I can tell you this because I do the same dang thing, friends! It wasn’t until a few months ago that my outlook on life drastically shifted. And it all started with a little walk…
This summer, I went to hike the Camino de Santiago and the experience kind of beat this whole idea of living in excess out of me. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the hike, it’s a 700km pilgrimage across Spain to the cathedral in Santiago where the remains of St. James are buried (One of Jesus’ 12 Apostles. A main homie if you will.)
So you walk and walk and walk and walk until you can’t walk anymore. And then you walk just a little bit more until you get to the coast. The “End of the World” as the original pilgrims coined it. Throughout the month, each person lives only off of the items they can fit in their backpack (and are willing to carry.) I wore the same two outfits and the same two pairs of shoes for over 30 days, and I never felt more free in my life. I was pushed so far out of my comfort zone on this journey, and I cannot even being to express what an impact it made on me. It was my first time traveling alone, my first time traveling internationally as an adult, my first time leaving behind all of my material items, and my first time in country where I didn’t fluently speak the language.
Everything was stripped back. I had no job to worry about, no material items to keep up with, and no stress of comparing myself to other people. It was a month of very basic, genuine human interaction with strangers I met along the way and I came out on the other end with some of the best friends I have ever had. It was just about three days into the Camino that I decided that this was how life is meant to be lived. Experiences, not things. I came back to Florida and decided that now was the time in my life that I was finally going to make a step towards my dream and stop watching everyone else do it.
So I bought a boat.
You might be asking, Kat, do you know anything about boats?
Well, funny you should ask. No. Not particularly.
I grew up in a Navy family, so boats and traveling have been a constant norm in my life, but I had never purchased a boat before, never mind by myself. So of course I did what any sensible 23 year old would do. I set off, by myself, and told absolutely no one what I was doing until I just showed up one day in this bad boy (girl?)
She’s a 1974 Hunter sailboat, and I own all 27 ft of her! I never expected my tiny home dreams to manifest themselves out on the water, but here I am and I couldn’t be happier.
It took an open mind and a heck of a lot of vision when deciding to purchase this boat. After a successful survey, I knew the bones were fantastic….the inside not so much. It needed a complete restoration of the interior and I’ve been working tirelessly every weekend for the past three months to get her livable. I think anyone in their right mind would have been nervous had I shown them the before pictures and said it was going to be their new home. With less than 100 square feet of living space, I had to get creative with renovations and storage space. I’ll be doing a separate blog post detailing the restoration, including the updated pictures, so stay tuned for that!
For now, I’m so excited to be out on the water, having taken a step towards my dream of minimalizing my life. It’s time to focus more energy on travel, adventure and genuine friendship. Let’s declutter our lives and make more room for each other!