As a Designer. one of my passions is designing & building tiny homes. During my 6-month solo road trip, I rely on Airbnb to stay at interesting properties. I love unique homes, it’s part of the travel experience. Oregon seems to be the state of tiny homes. One can find them everywhere which is really cool. I’m heading to Portland for a week to check out the scene. I’m also flying out of Portland International Airport the following week to visit Kauai, HI with friends that I met on the Sailboat adventure in the Bahamas. I find a tiny home on wheels in Portland which looks inviting, so I book it for a week. I think it’s important to try something out, or as they say, take it for a test drive before you invest in it. Staying here for a week allows me to understand what tiny home on wheels living is all about.
After traveling all day checking out the mid-Oregon coast, I arrive at the property around 9 pm. I text the homeowner earlier in the day letting her know of my late arrival. Even though its dark, I find it fairly easily and grab what I need for the night.
As I enter and turn on the lights, I survey the surroundings. The interior space is open and bright but lacks personality. The expansive white walls are cold and uninviting. There are no paintings or pictures hanging from the walls to give it character, or a homey feel. The furnishings are simple, a couch, a small folding table, and a chair. A small ladder which is on a sliding rail leads to the sleeping loft. From below the sleeping loft seems quite small. I carefully climb the wooden ladder to investigate. The sleeping area doesn’t have much headroom and I’m concerned about the small space between the mattress and ceiling which is about 2 feet. I hope I don’t hit my head when I get up, that would not be a great start to the day.
As I gingerly make my way down the ladder I check out the kitchen and bathroom. The galley kitchen (everything is on one wall) has apartment-style appliances which seem huge for the space. It is functional with for the items I need, however. The bathroom is off the kitchen. It’s small but functional. To the left is the toilet with storage overhead. In the center bump out is the narrow vanity with a top mounted sink. I’ve never seen such a small sink except on airplanes. The shower unit is to the right. I stand in the shower to feel the dimensions. My head hits the shower head. At 5’8″ I’m going to have to squat to clean myself.
I feel a sense of disappointment and a feeling of claustrophobia creeping in. I have stayed in small places before, but this feels more like a jail cell. Will I survive the week-long experience in this tiny home on wheels? Yes, I will. I console myself by saying it’s just for sleeping. During the days I will be exploring. Portland. I immediately jump on the computer and make reservations for a mini side trip to the coast.