Until the age of nine, my family and I lived in a small house on a grand 14 acres of land in the Palouse in Idaho. It was a double wide trailer, to be exact, but to me that just meant that we didn’t get in trouble if we damaged the orange shag carpet or got a little too creative with the crayons on the walls. To be honest, the majority of my memories are outside, which I think is why a small house is such a wonderful thing. I remember sitting on the covered deck my dad made and watching the thunderstorms; I remember climbing high up into a treehouse on a home-made ladder (and the strict rule that three limbs needed to be in contact with that ladder at a time); I remember searching for tadpoles in the pond, sledding down the hill and chasing butterflies in the wildflowers.
Small houses necessitate living in the outside world. Therefore, now, I see building a small house in part as a renewed access to being outside more. In order not to feel cramped and restless, the rolling hills or steep mountains must also feel inviting and call you. Our lovenest is on a dirt road that I look forward to walking and running, seeing the creek and Aspens change with the seasons. At the bottom of the dirt road is one of my favorite places to train on my bike. We’ll be living just a touch more than half an hour from skiing off the continental divide.
Giving up large “comfortable” rooms/houses for something cozier and more efficient also pushes you to get your shoes dirty and fall in love with this big wide world. And to me, that’s inspiration enough.