Downsizing used to be a term associated with hardship. For individuals, downsizing meant selling your home to pay a looming debt and for businesses it meant jobs were on the chopping block.

Today, young and old are jumping on the downsizing bandwagon. Downsizing in the 21st century means an environmentally-friendly, simple, efficient life. Basically, downsizing means happiness. Okay, maybe happiness is a stretch. But, it seems logical to believe that the less ‘things’ a person has to worry
about in life, the better life becomes. Life is simple when you live simply.

When did it become hip to live simply? At some point in the past couple of decades, people stopped wanting to keep up with the Joneses and decided that the Joneses were really just wasting money. Instead of letting the Joneses set the standard for happiness, we have begun dreaming for ourselves. Who needs a flashy new car or 150 inch plasma when you can dive the Great Barrier Reef or retire at 50?

Maybe I am being a bit too generous with humanity. Yes, there are still millions of people who chase the dream of a big house in the suburbs, but from my point of view, the world is changing. And changing for the better.

To live the simple life ourselves, we have decided to downsize. Our plan to live and roam through New Zealand in a van has evolved and shrunk. Who really needs 32ftof living space in a gas-guzzling van, when you can make do with a 22ft2 station wagon?

Our struggle to find the perfect van lead to a long discussion about what we really wanted in a vehicle. We decided that the larger our vehicle, the more stuff we would acquire – I was already designing the color scheme of our curtains, tea towels, and bedding and Chase was starting to hoard collect seashells, rocks and knickknacks. Acquiring more stuff meant our hard-earned money would
be spent on things instead of memories. We didn’t like the thought of such materialism and decided we would rather spend our money on whitewater rafting trips, glowworm spelunking, or surf lessons.

In America we have Tiny House Nation and here in New Zealand we are living Tiny Car Nation. So, without further adieu, let me introduce you to our new home. Meet the lovely, not-quite-silver, station wagon with pizzazz: Miss Ava! 

This 2000 Nissan Avenir is sure to take us on countless adventures across New Zealand and you will be the first to hear about each mishap and miracle we encounter along the way.




5 thoughts on “Tiny Car Nation: Living in New Zealand

  1. We had lunch with your mom today and she said I should check out your guy’s blog. I have, and how awesome your adventures have been. Look forward to seeing more. Take care!

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