Since We Woke Up is a memoir about how living tiny somehow created a bigger life than we ever could have imagined.


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In the spring of 2018, we bought a bus to convert into a tiny home and started an Instagram profile named Since We Woke Up where we documented the build and travels that came after. But so much of our story just can’t fit into the little squares of social media. Our lives before the bus, how we met and got to that point, the moments on our travels that didn’t make it to a post – the rest of the story wanted to be told. And just like that, a book was born.

Set to be released later this year, Since We Woke Up isn’t just the story of how we sold it all and traveled around in a school bus. It’s a memoir about the people behind the social media, the ups and downs, the lessons we learned along the way, and mostly, how living tiny somehow created a bigger life than we ever could have imagined.

Please enjoy this excerpt from chapter one!

For the rest of my life, I will remember the exact moment my eyes truly opened for the first time. It was in the Piazza del Popolo, sitting on the stairs of the giant obelisk in the center. My mouth was full, the second pastry of the day melting on my tongue, a man blew giant bubbles for the children to chase, and vendors moved through the milling crowds of tourists with their trinkets as the warm autumn sun slanted down through the clouds in the way it only seems to in Rome. As my tongue captured buttery crumbs from my lip, I thought to myself I’d never been so content in all my life when Mike thoughtfully lowered the cappuccino he’d been about to drink.

“I think maybe we’re doing this whole life thing wrong, Tawny.”

That one sentence started the conversation that changed our lives. It would take a few years for the seeds planted that day to take root and bloom into the life we have now, and the growth period was full of hard and painful moments. We stood at the edge of bankruptcy, lost friends, worked ourselves into utter exhaustion, and weathered storms that bent us so low we thought we might break.

This book is that story. It isn’t always pretty, and at some parts the telling gets a little rough. I had to backtrack into our individual stories, dredging up old emotions and memories, bringing them forward to help the present make sense. Although our social media and website have never shied away from the harsh realities and downsides of bus life, this book is, at times, a far cry away from the pretty photos you’ll scroll through on the ‘Gram. It’s the real, gritty, sometimes painful story of how we upended the life we were told we should want for the one we actually did.

In other words, here’s what waking up meant for us.

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