Former Centerville resident Jenna Spesard, her boyfriend Guillaume Dutilh and their 1-year-old Australian Shepherd Salies have taken their house on the road.
Yeah, you read correctly.
The couple of two years set off last week in their newly finished, 132-square-foot Tumblewood Cypress home from Shelbyville, Ill., where Spesard’s parents Alan and Rebecca Spesard live.
At the start of an across the nation road trip, the pair swung by the Cox Media Group Ohio building and showed off the biggest and tiniest example of their new minimalist lifestyle. It took them a year to custom-build the home.
The stop was a homecoming of sorts for Spesard.
The 28-year-old spent her kindergarten to eighth-grade years in Centerville after her family moved here for her father’s job at Mound Industries. She still has friends in the area. Dutilh is originally from Pau in the South of France. He has lived in the U.S. about seven years.
Spesard and Dutilh are hauling their cozy home with a pickup at a maximum of 50 miles per hour.
They will travel the nation and Canada indefinitely, making upcoming stops in Boston; New York; and Montreal, Quebec, and Halifax, Nova Scotia in Canada.
Click here to see the route they plan to take around North America.
The couple say a growing number of people are rejecting large homes and joining the tiny house movement.
“What we want to do is travel and live debt free,” Spesard said. She noted that many people who live in so-called tiny homes live in one place.
The average size of a new single-family house in the nation was 2,392 square feet in 2010, according to the United States Census.
Some tiny house are as small as 80 square feet.
Tiny homes are gaining attention. The new FYI network show Tiny House Nation features small houses and other living spaces.
Dutilh said he and Spesard are going against the grain of a society that pushes student loans and car loans.
“Our idea was to have a more free lifestyle and not be tied down,” the 30-year-old said.
He and Spesard said they were fed up with the cubical life.
The pair abandoned their 2,000 square feet apartments and jobs in Los Angeles.
She worked as an executive assistant at Dream Works Studio. He was was an engineer at Yamaha Motor Corporation.
“We want to live our dream lives,” Jenna Spesard said. “Why not take a risk and create a project around it.”
They spent $25,000 to $30,000 on their home, which they consider a drop in the buck compared to their rent in LA.
“You can make them cheaper,” Dutilh said.
Spesard said she and Dutilh wanted something more homey than a RV.
“Every piece of our house we thought about and cared about,” Spesard said.
Spesard has long aspired to be a travel writer.
The couple is also sharing their adventures on the blog Tinyhousegiantjourney.com.