Travelling the world does not make you better than others!

Here’s the thing, I have no problem with people travelling the world. Travelling is great (if you are someone who enjoys that). But I do have a problem with the many, many articles and many, many people that assume and imply that world travel somehow makes you a better person.

These people and articles seem to imply that travelling broadens your world view, makes you appreciate things more, makes you learn to get by with less and ultimately makes you a better person. I call BS! Experiences broaden your world view and all that, experiences of living without access to a water supply or without a bed or whatever make you appreciate what you have.

Not travelling can therefore broaden you worldview more than travelling, not travelling can therefore make you a better person than travelling can. You can broaden your worldview in any country, in any neighborhood at and time. You can go to your local hospital and help old people, or volunteer to feed the homeless, or go chat with your neighbors. You can do a million things that do not involve much travel to expand your worldview, in fact you can expand your worldview by chatting with people online. You can be an online friend to depressed people or those struggling with divorce or the death of a loved one.

The thing is travelling is great for many reasons, but it does not make you a better person. It changes you, but all life experiences change you. This crazy obsession with feeling better about yourself because you have traveled is misguided. I see it all the time via articles and in people who I meet. They really think that having traveled has made them a better person and they encourage others to also  travel so that they too could become ‘’better’’. Do not fall for their BS. I am not saying to avoid travel; it CAN broaden your worldview. But to assume it is better than all other experiences is simply incorrect.

www.gratisoptehalen.nl

The Tiny House; how much house do we need?

This was written years ago..

So after 6 years of renting in the Netherlands my husband and I decided to buy a house! The house hunt began by searching online (on funda.nl) for places bigger than 100 square meters within a certain range of my husband’s job. At first I thought 100 square meters was pretty small, and that we would never buy something smaller than that. Boy was I wrong: welcome to europe, the land where 100 square meters or 1000 square feet is the average living space for a family of four.

I grew up in a house with over 10,000 square feet of living space, yet our tiny house in Holland sits on 323 square feet or 30 square meters of land! Yup you heard me right, 30 square meters; that is all we own, and that includes the balcony lol.
So after buying a tiny house, I found myself deeply obsessed with the tiny house movement.

Are we just poor trailer trash people, who want to sound kool so we have renamed ourselves and talk a lot of bullshit about the environment? Are we cruel to our kids? Do our houses suck? Is my house too small? Will I have to move to a bigger house if my family grows? We are currently a family of 3 and our daughter is 1.5 years old. Questions, questions.

Well we bought smaller patially because of the price but mostly because we fell in love with the street it was on. It’s in the center, it’s the smallest house on the street. It’s just a really nice place and we thought that there was a lot that we could do with the space.
I mean we live in an age of technology, we live in a time where everything is getting smaller, more compact, more versatile  A couch can become a guest bed, open plan living is in… who needs 3 living rooms or an office that is only an office? Multi-functional spaces work as well. And although I wasn’t expecting it, I do love the smallness of our house. We renovated the entire thing; which was a lot of work and the idea of it being more work than it was is already scary enough.

Then there is decorating; do you know how much stuff we had to buy just to fill this space? I do not want to think about what happens in a normal sized home. Plus isn’t it nice to never be really far from the kitchen or bathroom? Smart design can give me practically everything there was in my parents house; I just have to accumulate less things. Things I really do not need. And that’s hard but still worth trying.

So my conclusions are this: You do not need a lot of house. The very, very tiny house would still be really difficult for me, but I’m really happy with the tiny house I have!!!