Two years ago, Guillaume Dutilh and Jenna Spesard realised they didn’t want to spend another day chasing careers they didn’t love.
The adventure junkies’ love for writing, photography, and the great outdoors led them to quit their jobs and pursue travel journalism — opting for life as cross-country nomads.
They ditched their homes in Los Angeles and built a tiny house on wheels that now serves as their permanent abode.
Five months into their journey, the couple, along with their dog, Salies, have racked up 10,000 miles and visited 25 states. They document their experience on their blog, Tiny House Giant Journey, and on their YouTube channel.
Dutilh and Spesard shared some memories and photos from their micro-living journey with us.
Meet Guillaume Dutilh and Jenna Spesard. For the past five months, the two have lived in a mobile tiny house of their own making and traveled through 25 states.
They have towed their 125-square-foot home from California to New York, through eastern Canada, and from Maine to Florida, documenting the journey on their blog, Tiny House Giant Journey.
Two years ago, Dutilh was an engineer for a motorcycle manufacturer, and Spesard was an executive assistant for a movie studio. They didn't like their jobs, but the work paid the rent.
They realised they couldn't afford to waste any more time pursuing anything other than their dream careers in travel journalism. One day Dutilh stumbled upon and became inspired by the tiny-house concept.
'The idea of exploring North America while creating a travel-writing and photography portfolio seemed feasible, and with a tiny house we could do it in a way that hadn't been done before,' Dutilh tells Business Insider. 'We had a little bit of savings and sold almost everything we owned to get the project started.'
The tiny-house concept attracted the couple for numerous reasons. 'Besides the fact that they are adorable,' the couple say of tiny houses, they allow homeowners to reduce their carbon footprint and afford a higher quality of life without breaking the bank.
Dutilh attended a tiny-house workshop in Seattle, purchased a set of building plans and a trailer bed, and started hammering.
The couple say they invested over 1,000 work hours, including research, trips to the hardware store, and cleanup, in building their dream home. Exactly one year after they began construction, they hit the road.
The couple even braved the chaotic streets of New York City -- an experience they call 'tougher and bouncier than off-roading in California's Mojave Desert.'
'There were taxis cutting us off, cyclists flying by, and pedestrians jumping in front of our truck,' Dutilh says. 'It was as if New Yorkers, when they peeled their eyes off of their phones, were completely unfazed by the sight of our house on wheels in the middle of the skyscrapers.'
The couple document their journey with diary-like entries and photos on their blog and YouTube channel, which has garnered almost 400,000 views.
'Tiny friends,' or people who live in tiny houses, and their fans often offer their driveways to keep the couple's lodging expenses down.
Along the way, Dutilh and Spesard have found ways to make their tiny house feel like home. They customised the build to fit their lifestyle.
Snowboards hang in the mezzanine, although they're more for decoration. The house is insulated to survive harsh winters, but the duo doesn't want to deal with towing in snow.
They extended the loft area so there is space for their dog, Salies, who often appears on the blog, to sleep at their feet.
Their favourite feature in the home is the tree stump repurposed as window trim. Wood slats cut from an alligator juniper tree fan out like a sunburst.
When they started their journey, Dutilh and Spesard agreed to one year on the road before evaluating their financial situation.
Dutilh estimates they spend $800 a month on gas, with utilities close to zero. They write and take pictures for tiny-house websites, host workshops for Tumbleweed Tiny House Company, and generate some income from their YouTube channel.
'If we enjoy the lifestyle on the road and aren't losing money, then why not explore a little longer?' Dutilh says. 'Taking a step back and realising where we are, where we have been, and where we'll go, thanks to this lifestyle, makes any minor challenge seem futile.'
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