When I was young, my father bought an RV for my family to use on our annual vacations. The tiny camper could only comfortably fit three people, but of course, we were a family of five.
Since it wasn't as habitable as other mobile homes might have been, dad quickly rethought his pricey purchase, and we returned to flying to our holiday destinations.
While the experience with our camper could have gone better, it doesn't mean others are destined to have similar negative experiences. With enough elbow grease and patience, a tiny home can become a beloved sanctuary to plenty of people.
An example of these humble abodes is the one owned by the Harger family. The family of six, which includes four energetic youngsters, live in a camper with minimal belongings.
Heather Harger said she and her husband Jordan bought their RV after they decided to leave their gated community in Orlando, Florida and move to South Africa.
While others would view their decision as unfathomable, the Hargers saw this as their calling.
"We are a crazy and ordinary radical family of six that left a wonderful, comfortable life in suburbia U.S.A. (by Disney World, nonetheless) to move to South Africa in order to pursue our personal calling to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly to those who are voiceless, powerless, and forgotten," Heather wrote on the family's website.
"Our goal is to break the cycle of poverty and bring dignity, restoration, and transformation back to communities," she added.
While some people wouldn't be able to live in these small quarters, their new lifestyle helps Heather and Jordan deal with one of their son's rare health aliment.
The couple's oldest son Sy had been diagnosed with a digestive disorder called eosinophilic esophagitis, a condition that makes him allergic to a significant number of foods and forcing him to live on an immensely strict diet.
However, since the family moved to South Africa, his health has significantly improved after he began drinking an organic juice the family produces themselves.
The family downsized to a 300-square-foot RV and began to pursue their mission work of teaching those in the impoverished town, situated close to Cape Town.
Jordan is teaching the residents how to grow aquaponic vegetables, and his experience as a paramedic helps him treat minor medical emergencies.
"I want my kids to see faith in action and that helping and serving others is worth so much more than focusing on yourself," Jordan Harger said.
Heather, a former Spanish teacher, does her part by educating girls about sanitary protection through The Dignity Campaign, which provides young women with feminine hygiene products.
When they're done for the day, the family returns to their quaint little home. While all of their furniture serves a dual purpose, Heather said they have plenty of space. It includes a family room, a creative corner, and a fully functioning kitchen, which even has a double sink.
Don't believe me? Take a look at their mobile home for yourself!
The camper features a master bedroom for Heather and Jordan, decorated with bright colors and Christmas lights.
Their two daughters sleep in bunk beds covered in pink and purple tones filled with several Disney plush toys.
Since their youngest son is just slightly older than a toddler, he sleeps in a crib, while his brother has a bed elevated above it.
Their kitchen includes all of their necessary appliances and is stocked full of food.
And of course, the lively colors and knickknacks of the family room brings the whole RV together.
Not only is the family's home truly beloved, it's also where Heather home school's her children, and where they learn the value of appreciating what they have.
"At least we have given them the opportunity to see and appreciate what they've been given," Jordan said. "We believe that we've been blessed in order to bless other people and not just to see how much we can get."
Would you ever want to have the experience of living in a mobile home?