Location Independence and the Tiny House Movement

I just arrived in Detroit to spend two weeks celebrating the holidays with friends and family. It was bitter sweet to leave the tiny house behind because I love living in it, but I also love that my new life allows me the opportunity to travel. Last year we spend two months in Michigan, which was about a month and a half too long. I began to get homesick and tired of the cold and snow. In February we went to New Mexico and Arizona just because we could. I don’t know yet what we will do the rest of this winter.

Being able to spend time away from the tiny house is as important a part of our adventure as building the house was in the first place. As I mentioned in my last post, this was about profoundly changing my life. The tiny house was one component and location independence is another.

I have a lot of people asking me how they too can live in a tiny house without a mortgage or utility bills and what they can do to earn money in this lifestyle. It is as if those two things go hand in hand for most who dream about going tiny. They don’t have to. You can live in a tiny house and work a conventional job. Or you can live in a conventional house and work an unconventional job. However, without drastically changing the way you think about your life, your earning potential, and your spending you can’t do either.

Photo credit J. Andrew Flenniken.

Me picnicking in the mountains of North Carolina with friends.

Location independence is the idea that you can earn a living from anywhere in the world by working in jobs that require nothing more than an internet connection. There are several programs that can help you realize your goals and put them into action, but ultimately the bonus is on each individual to work hard and build a virtual business that can follow them around the world, or simply to their tiny house. Some location independent careers include:

  • Writing
  • Web designing
  • Affiliate marketing
  • E-commerce store
  • Project manager
  • Remote agreement with current employer

With the exception of having a remote work agreement with your employer, all of these careers have one big thing in common: they require self-management.

I decided to pursue my lifelong dream of becoming a writer. While I’m not writing vampire novels like I imagined when I was 12, I am earning a solid living writing blog posts and other marketing pieces for clients. I am extremely happy to be doing something I truly love every day. Writing won’t be the right solution for everyone but if you are interested in location independent work, there is something you can use your talents to accomplish for yourself.

What kind of location independent job would you consider to change your life? How can you start working toward it today? 

Laura is a contributing writer for Tiny House Listings and she walks the walk. She lives in a 120 square foot cabin in Asheville, NC that she and her partner Matt built themselves. You can learn more about Laura and Matt at their website 120squarefeet.com.

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2 Comments → “Location Independence and the Tiny House Movement”

  1. Ken

    Dec 21, 2013

    I am curious where Laura live in Asheville. I have looked around for small houses on land, and found none. I also have not any communities so far that allow tiny wooden houses, this includes mobile communities. So where do all these people find places to park their tiny homes? I would love to be able to live in one somewhere nice, but when I have checked, local codes do not permit them. I am retired to do not have to worry about a job, I do have to worry about where I can afford to live. A tiny home would be perfect for me, and my best friend Buddy. I just need to find a place WHERE I could live!


  2. D.Whit

    Dec 21, 2013

    I think it is wonderful if someone has the talent to be able to sustain themselves with free lancing in any type of honest labor or self created business.

    That being said, I am speaking to many and seeing too many that are just not taking the law of averages into account and doing some deep soul searching when they specifically choose to pursue free lance work…in any field.

    I like to call it the ” American Idol ” dream of independent employment.
    Everyone thinks they have the talent necessary and some actually do, but the larger number will need to work harder to achieve a certain plateau or admit to a lesser skill set in their chosen pursuit. It is either there or not in most cases or the effort is not made on the scale needed to go it alone.

    Most, not all, but most successful free lancers I encounter did spend some time in offices or job sites or positions, at locations that might have been a daily grind or a ball and chain, but they used that time productively and honed their skill or craft and were able to establish a reputation in their work to fuel the move to freelance status with a following or credentials that showed achievement and vision and a certain high standard that is recognized by their peers.

    Some realized their skill set was just average and had to adjust or take another path in another field to find their higher level of expertise.

    The internet is a powerful tool and creates additional opportunities for many, but is not the basis for self reliance for all.

    The point is that the cream always rises to the top, but the milk below is still good and a necessary thing and has many uses in it’s own right.

    I think that many interested in the small house and trailer house idea are right to want to save money and simplify day to day living and lighten their footprint , but you have to have some money to save and make some type of a footprint before you can worry about saving either.


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