Elisa in Switzerland at St Beatus Caves

From French Fries to Bravas

Who am I kidding? French fries are forever. So instead I’ll simply add the more exotic brava (sorta like cubed hash browns but covered in a spicy mayo sauce) to my potato repertoire; mashed, fried, baked – the possibilities are endless. But I digress.

What I’m really here to share is the part of the story that has led me to this exciting, new chapter. The unfolding of Chris and I’s love story and our exploration of an expansive life on a tiny scale.

Do normal people know how many times they’ve moved?

Honestly, I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve moved – but it’s hard to keep track after 25 times. This is usually where I admit I’m not even 30. I know that kinda sounds nuts, but I’m not exactly a vagabond.

There’s a few factors that’ve contributed to this, some more common than others. Things like going away to college, break ups and make ups, following jobs to new cities, and parents serving in the military. Obviously, not all in that order, so let me explain.

Growing up in a military family, you relocate every 2 to 3 years – often out of state, or across the country, and sometimes even to the other side of the world. That accounts for the first few years of my life. I still get a moment of panic when asked, “Where are you from?” A common occurrence when you’re an expat, by the way.

After that my parents split, which reflecting now, accounts for my first foray into tiny living – a family friend’s RV in my grandma’s backyard. From there it’s the usual story of young adulthood, bopping from dorm rooms to first-time apartments, before it gets a little more colorful with my undeterred, and mostly inexplicable, dream to live abroad.

You’d think after a lifetime of moving near annually, I’d crave roots and settle into some stability. But nope, not this crazy kid.

I got my first taste of European life in Germany with a short work contract. I don’t know exactly what happened in those first few months, but it was something deep and unshakable. Something got into my blood, seeped straight into my bones. It just felt right.

If you can’t carry it, ya can’t bring it – the story of a maximalist turned minimalist

Three years and a few places ‘to hang my hat’ later, I’d finally realized my dream of landing a permanent, full-time job in Spain. And a visa – a greek epic in its own right.

What came next was the debacle of packing up my life, and my pup, for another international move. This time though, I’d already established my golden rule: “If you can’t carry it, you can’t bring it.

Listen, at this point I was no stranger to downsizing. I mean, I’d moved to NYC with what could fit in my friend’s backseat (which, thanks to a Ford sedan, is a surprising amount of shit).

But if you thought I’d have become a pro for Elisa Takes Europe Part 2, you’d be sorely wrong! In a moment of shame (you try fitting a squatty potty into your carry-on at 3 am the night before departure), I remember thinking, “How have I not perfected this?!”

Now a tiny house doesn’t sound so crazy, does it?

With all that in mind, it only makes sense that the first house I’ll buy – actually, that we intend to build – will finally be able to move with me. With us.

We’re excited about the freedom it affords us! The freedom from false attachments and a burdensome mortgage. Freedom from the weight of societal expectations that don’t actually serve us. Freedom from time-zapping chores, so we can enjoy each other’s company.

It just feels right. The togetherness of proximity, the healthy challenge to always prioritize, the taunting flexibility for new adventure. The luxury to learn new things about the world, ourselves, and each other.

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