A TINY Journey: Building a Home

$220 of $30,000 goal

Raised by 3 people in 27 months
Welcome. You may have found your way here through the link on one of the "Tiny Journey" cards. (If so, thank you for being curious. A further explanation about the card is found below.) You may have found your way here by someone telling you about this project. You may have simply stumbled upon this page. Regardless of how you got here, I want to thank you for reading these thoughts.

Part design. Part tiny house build.  Part journal.  Part photography.  Part experiment.

My name is Gregory Sewell.  I am a teacher who lives and works in New York.  For the longest time, I have had a drive to explore the world.  The world, as I see it, is both immense and tiny at the same time.  This duality is what I am hoping to investigate through this project.  The TINY Journey project is a multi-faceted one.  The aspects of the project will occur concurrently.  

The first part of the project will jump start a process that has been in development for some time.  I hope to build a tiny house.  I first became aware of tiny houses several years ago.  The smaller ecological imprint, the simplicity, the freedom to move one’s house as needed, and the nod to challenging a social norm all contributed to my intrigue.  Ultimately, one of my goals is to explore the concept of what a home can and needs to be.  My sketchbook and pencils have been exercised greatly since this interest developed. Last summer, I attended a tiny house workshop with a well known tiny house expert who has brought great awareness to tiny living. My excitement and interest has only grown after that experience.  Ever since I began telling people about my desire to build a tiny house, I have encountered mostly positive reactions and genuine intrigue.  Many people have mentioned how they love the idea of a tiny house, but for whatever reason they know they will never be able to move in that direction.  That was one of the reasons that led to my decision to launch this campaign.   I figured that it would allow others to take part in the process and follow a tiny house build.  This project could become an experiment in "digital barnbuilding."  Instead of keeping my build within my immediate world, this project would allow me to open the process with anyone who has an interest in tiny living. 

The second part of this project is to explore the connections between the people who may become aware of this journey, especially with those who were brought here by the "Tiny Journey" cards. Throughout my travels across this country, I have simply been amazed by the connections I have had with fellow travelers. Sometimes, that connection is a shared experience. Sometimes, that connection is a shared location. Sometimes, that connection is a shared friend. My hope is to bring these connections into the third part of the project upon the completion of the tiny house.  When the house is built, my hope is to then channel my energy into making new connections by spending more time helping others.  This will hopefully include volunteering, raising awareness of important social issues, or engaging others, especially at the governmental level, in dialogue about tiny houses.  Time will only tell where that energy will go in building these new connections.  It seems only fitting to reciprocate any positive energy that may come my way.

The third part of this project will involve documenting the designing and building of a tiny house, as well as the process of simplifying the physical space around me. This has been done before by others, but I hope to share my own perspective with others interested in simplifying their surroundings, infusing humor when possible. Initially, I plan to write about the entire process for those who join this journey through my blog.  Two years ago, I maintained this blog on an extended road trip.  The process of blogging proved to be both motivational and inspirational.  Many years ago, I followed the blog of a man who traveled the world in his truck.  He posted a blog entry every few days, and it was rewarding to share in his experiences along his unique journey.  I am excited to invite others to follow along with the building of a tiny house.  After the completion of the build, I plan on developing all of these experiences into a more permanent written and visual record.  (Ideally, this will become a book.  I have two other writing projects that I suspect will be merged into this one book.)  My blog:

  www.tiny-journey.com (I welcome you to follow my blog!)

Simply put, asking others for help in this manner is entirely outside of my comfort zone.  I am a very independent person by nature.  When I decided that I wanted to go tiny, I knew that I would eventually have to ask others for help with the building process.  I always knew that I wanted the project to be more than just building a home. The prospect of using this experience to foster dialogue and write about what a house represents is what I am most looking forward to in the near and distant future. That is what led me to start this fundraising campaign.  With luck, this tiny project will ultimately find a larger reach.  I invite you to be a part of the journey, wherever it may take me.

The funds raised will be used to get the tiny house build going much sooner than I would be able to on my own.  The bulk of the contributions will be used for the building materials and any specialty labor required.  I am quite excited, though, to do much of the work with my own two hands.  Additionally, some of the funds raised will be used for writing and art materials to document and share the process. My plan is to continue to work on the design of the tiny house through the fall and the winter, and begin the building of the house during a summer break in the next few years. Should the goal by some miraculous turn of events be reached, any additional funds collected will be used to help bring the written record into existence upon completion of the tiny house.

In closing, when I was in college, I had the opportunity to work with our student activities group. During that time, I was able to meet some inspiring individuals. We had invited a guest speaker to our campus who made a lasting impression on me. He was able to, with the help of others, travel around the country to meet and interview "successful" people. One of my takeaways from meeting him was a quote that someone shared with him along this trip. “One’s success is directly correlated to one’s ability to ask for help.” I share that quote with my students each and every year. Any help that you wish to provide, whether financially or by facilitating the awareness of this project, is most greatly appreciated.  Thank you so much for taking the time to read this page.

*For those who came across a “Tiny Journey” card, please consider adding your name and your location in one of the available spots whether you are interested in contributing financially to the project or not.  Then, please find a place to leave the card where it can easily, or not so easily, be found by another curious person.  (If you have a friend who loves tiny houses, it may be fun to sneak the card into their life.  Those of us who enjoy the tiny house movement get quite excited by anything connected to them.)  If you are interested in contributing financially, please include the card number that you came across in the comment section.  If you happened to have added your name on the last spot, please consider following those instructions found on the bottom of the card.  I honestly have no idea what to expect in regards to these returned cards.  I am extremely curious about this part of the project.  I plan on including these details in the final written record.

Thank you so very much for reading about this adventure!!!  I am looking forward to sharing this experience with others.  If you have any questions about anything connected to this project, please do not hesitate to send me a message.  Feel free to tell others about my project if that is something you would like to do.  Thanks, again!
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Just found out that I did not have something enabled on the project that prevented donations from happening for months. Unfortunately, I have spent a great deal of time "offline" working on this project, which prevented me from even realizing this situation. My goal is to begin publishing blog posts on a regular basis over the next few weeks.
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An in depth update is coming soon.
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$220 of $30,000 goal

Raised by 3 people in 27 months
Created July 23, 2016
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Gabrielle Loturco
11 months ago

I found your card in Asheville. I live in Brookhaven. Crazy to see you’re in patchogue!

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