BY: SAMANTHA TAPP
All photos by Guillaume Dutilh @ Tiny House Giant Journey.
Tiny houses and dream-like, converted vans have been taking over our Instagram feeds, our Pinterest boards, and quite possibly, have become some of our most googled items. For some, the idea of sustainability and saving money pulls them towards a tiny house, for others their desire for mobility and travelling the world (and yes, saving money) leads them towards living the van life. For one couple, they wanted both.
Four years ago, Guillaume Dutilh and Jenna Spesard were living in LA and had enough of the regular 9-5 life. Drowning with too much debt, too many belongings, and not enough money to pursue their dreams, they decided to change their life drastically by going tiny and mobile. Dutilh quit his job as an engineer and Spesard quit hers as an executive assistant for a movie studio. He wanted to pursue photography, and she writing. This led them to a tiny house on wheels.
With the hope of living a simple life, traveling the world, and pursuing their passions, the couple began their adventure, which they called the ‘Tiny House Giant Journey.’
In September 2013, they began the construction of their tiny home. In exactly a year, they had completed their tiny home, which was 125 square feet, plus a 60 foot loft. They purchased the majority of the materials at homeware stores, on Amazon and on Craigslists. The home includes a bathroom with a shower and a toilet, a propane fridge, hardwood floors, and a propane cooktop stove. The couple estimates that their tiny abode took them over 1,000 hours of work, about 6,500 nails, more than 8,000 screws, and cost them $29,328.
“We enjoy the new freedom this lifestyle has afforded us,” Spesard said according to The Huffington Post. “We get to travel all over the country and go on new adventures almost daily. We work online and from the road. North America is our backyard!”
Pulling their new home behind a 2006 Ford truck and going an average of 55 mph, they ventured through more than 30 U.S. states and five Canadian provinces in their first year. Up until 2016, the couple travelled over 25,000 miles with the tiny house in tow, even taking the tiny house along on a ferry ride from Alaska to Washington.
Currently the house is parked in Oregon. The couple split in 2016, and Spesard now resides in the the tiny home with her dog. She continues to write, travel and continue the ‘Giant Journey.’ Follow her journey here.