Alexis Stephens and Christian Parsons are well-respected tiny house movement ambassadors and Tiny House Expedition cofounders, a traveling tiny house documentary and community education project. They are passionate about sharing tiny living resources, events and inspiring tiny home stories with the world. Their work includes the acclaimed documentary series Living Tiny Legally—an insightful resource for tiny house advocacy groups and policymakers. Alexis serves on the Tiny Home Industry Association board of directors, the leading US advocacy group.
In 2014, Alexis and Christian built their own tiny house on wheels with the help of friends and family. They hit the road in 2015 on a documentarian research road trip turned nomadic lifestyle, spanning 4.5 years and 55,000 miles traveled. Now, their filmmaking and community event travels continue, part-time, in a shuttle bus conversion. Alexis and Christian also continue to live in their 130 square-foot tiny home and hope to create a mini-homestead in the future and host other tiny house dwellers.
Eight years ago, I couldn’t tell you what my goals were beyond the desire not to be so stressed. I was juggling a demanding job, daunting house maintenance, and single parenthood. I was overwhelmed and lost. After my marriage failed, I knew one thing for sure. I needed to reconnect with myself. For far too long, I had been stuffing my feelings deep inside. It was suffocating me. As a result, my sense of self was murky.
My state of mind was visually represented in my messy, cluttered house. Can you relate?
Christian and I began our tiny house journey with mutual burning desire to break free from stress and stagnation. We both stumbled across the tiny house movement at different times, despite being lifetime lovers of pillow forts, cabins, and treehouses. But it was our first road trip together that planted the seed of our future minimalist traveling lifestyle. We haven’t been dating long when we took off a ten-day camping excursion to Lake Michigan.
Not only did we love seeing the sights together, but we also discovered how well we worked together in small spaces—living out of a Honda Element and in a small tent. Ultimately, this kickstarted a year-long search for opportunities to simplify and do more adventuring.
Addictive Pinterest scrolling led to more extensive research around the lifestyle opportunities of drastically downsizing. What deeply resonated with us is the idea that simple living can result in a higher quality of life centered around personal priorities. Baked into the concept of tiny house living is the permission to tune into what makes you happy by shutting out the noise of conventional societal pressures and over-consumption habits.
We also learned about the many ways tiny houses were being used to creatively address modern housing issues, the need for sustainable living, and the yearning for more meaningful lifestyles. The idea was born to return to our filmmaking passion by traveling to document tiny house stories from the comfort of our very own tiny home on wheels.
During the downsizing process, I began to uncover what was most important to me and what wasn’t. “Things” were definitely low on the priority list. Item by item and layer by layer, downsizing started to become exhilarating. How good it felt to declutter my space and unburden myself from the noise that was cluttering my mind. Most importantly, it was a healing process, as well as an act of self-love. I was letting go of things that were holding me back. Ultimately, downsizing empowered me to see myself as capable of evolution.
The process helped me feel genuinely calmer because I was getting to know myself better. I ditched the clutter that was clouding my perspective, which, in turn, helped me set aside the typical social pressures and conventional expectations very much like what so many others in the tiny house movement are doing.
When we embarked on our DIY tiny home build, we struggled to find affordable, quality tiny house plans because options were very limited then. Ultimately, we bought expensive plans (almost $700!) that we thoroughly customized to meet our needs better. We completed our build in nine months and then hit the road on an adventure of a lifetime.
What a ride it’s been since then! During our nomadic travels, we called 37 states and one Canadian province our home. We also visited over thirty different kinds of tiny home communities, met hundreds of tiny dwellers, and welcomed tens of thousands of people into our tiny home during special events. Our traveling DIY tiny home also became the inspiration behind a beloved children’s book, The Big Adventures of Tiny House.
Priceless experiences, new friendships, and lessons we learned along the way have given us much fulfillment. Even without travel, we’ve realized that living tiny provides us with more opportunities for everyday adventure — the pleasant side effect of being more connected with my surroundings, no matter where we are parked. This connection means more time with nature and more spontaneous encounters with the neighbors. It’s both fun and fulfilling.
Living simply and more consciously has given us greater gratitude for what we do have. We no longer take our belongings and living space for granted. What we do have is essential to our daily life and the enjoyment of life. Quite satisfying.
Our mission is to empower others…YOU to step into your best version of your life. Our purpose is to provide people with the resources they’ll need to build their own tiny house.
We are committed to TinyHousePlans.com and to creating a one-stop shopping location where you can browse through a large selection of beautiful and complete architectural plans. Our wonderful team of tiny house designers has vast and varied experience in living tiny, traveling tiny, architectural design, and construction. Together, we only share high-quality tiny house plans that have been successfully built before.
We hope you’ll take the plunge and step into your dream tiny house life. We can’t recommend it more highly, and as of yet, we haven’t met anyone who has regretted their decision to make the move to tiny, even if for only a season of their life.
TinyHousePlans.com Previous Ownership
On November 16, 2019, Andrew and Gabriella Morrison acting in the capacity of the founding members of The Morrison Group, LLC, donated TinyHouseBuild.com and TinyHousePlans.com to Alexis Stephens and Christian Parsons of Tiny House Expedition.
“Both sites were formerly owned and operated by The Morrison Group, LLC, and are now masterfully run by the wonderful Alexis and Christian, our good friends and HUGE tiny house advocates. We have fully stepped away in order to focus on living on our sailboat in Mexico! We wish them all the success in the world and thank them for continuing this important work.”