Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Minimalist Alexis Stephens and Christian Parsons, a look at their ‘Tiny House Expedition’

By: Ron Valderrama/Tragically Hip Living

Alexis Stephens & Christian Parsons - Tiny House Expedition
Photo: Tragically Hip Living
To most people, wealth is measured by how much money or the material things that are acquired along the way. We come into this world with nothing and leave this world with nothing but the skin it came in. The Dalai Lama may sum it best when he was once asked about what surprised him most about humanity, “Man.... Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.” 

Photo: Tragically Hip Living
For the many who travel a different path, wealth is measured by health, living small and with less, such is the case with Alexis Stephens and Christian Parsons of Tiny House Expedition, a project they created which will document their nationwide travels. Together, this young couple grew tired of the stress and time given to own too many material possessions. But the story doesn't end there, no sir, it just begins here. Alexis and Christian for a number of different reasons became “Minimalist,” and changed the way they live for a purpose. The two spent about nine months building a tiny house on wheels and I do mean tiny, but yet, totally big enough to live like a boss. They  are traveling the country and educating people on the minimalist lifestyle, doing so in a tiny house on wheels at that. This past weekend, I had the opportunity to meet with Alexis and Christian, they were featured guest, (their tiny house too) at the Maricopa County Home and Garden Show in Phoenix. A tour of their 130 sq. ft. "tiny house on wheels" is proof that one can indeed live very comfortable if planned correctly.

Photo: Tragically Hip Living
Check out the video tour at the bottom of the page from my Tragically Hip Living YouTube Channel, the channel is still in the works, and the video is not edited, but it's a great tour of the home. Sure it’s an adjustment for them and may not be for everybody, but these two have it figured out and made adjustments for a better way of life along the way. Every inch of the home serves a purpose, everything has a place and a function. What I noticed most as I entered through the door, the peaceful energy Alexis and Christian have, the same energy is evident in the house as well. 

130 sq. ft. of pure joy
Photo: Tragically Hip Living
Of course, like in real life, it's not always fairies and unicorns every day. Things break down like a normal house or you may wish you had some of the things you gave up, but overall, it's a small price to pay for living in a mobile paradise. I asked them if there was anything they missed from living in a larger home, Alexis said a washer and dryer would be nice, and Christian said he missed having a garden and plants, although he is experimenting with gardening while on the road. Both of them said the few things they miss are only minor compared to the experience they are living now. 

The Tiny House Expedition
Photo: Tragically Hip Living
Imagine, being able to have your home with all the comforts, yet, wake up to a whole new view and world that is right outside your door every few days. That my friend is priceless! The purpose of the Tiny House Expedition is to think big and build small, doing it through documentary storytelling and most important, through direct engagement, Alexis and Christian are doing just that. Besides, being advocates for the tiny house movement, they are also filmmakers, and this tragically hip couple have some interesting projects in the works. Alexis and Christian are not only documenting their journey across the country, they have also teamed up with Kai Rostscheck, another advocate (I Love Tiny Houses, Tiny House Lending & Tiny House Dating) for the tiny house movement. "Living Tiny, Legally" will be a co-produced documentary that hopes to educate and make legal tiny house communities a reality along with many other things, best of all it will be free, and a resource for those who want to learn about living tiny and legally. If you would like to donate, or know more about the project, check out their site on Indiegogo for more information. 

Alexis Stephens - Tiny House Expedition
Photo: Tragically Hip Living
So, what did I myself get out this interview with Alexis and Christian? Well, I got a lot out of it to tell the truth. It was inspiring to see a young couple take on a challenge like this, only to find out it's not a challenge at all, but a journey that is packed with adventure and a continuing Tiny House Expedition. Living tiny doesn't mean having to give up style, it's about giving up the things that hold you back. For Alexis and Christian, most of their time is spent outdoors, experiencing the adventures to be had.

Until next time, have a tragically hip day!

Ron Valderrama can be contacted by email: tragicallyhipliving@gmail.com

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