Mortgage-free life in a tiny home: ‘It’s 25 square metres and cost us €26,000 in total – we have everything we need’

Emma O’Hagan lives in an off-grid tiny home in Co Leitrim with her partner Kevin O’Reilly and says living mortgage-free with no utility bills allows them to live simply, save money and feel closer to nature

Emma O Hagan and Kevin O’Reilly outside their tiny home in Leitrim

Katie Byrne

Yesterday at 17:00

Kevin and I met at the end of 2018. I wasn’t really looking for a relationship at the time because I wanted to go travelling in Asia on my own. But after our second date, I thought, ‘OK, I’m really falling for this guy so I need to book a flight quickly.’ We kept meeting up during the three months before I left. At the time, my plan was to travel indefinitely but I came back to Ireland four months later and we’ve been together ever since.

Kevin and I both love nature. From when we first met, all our dates were adventures — hikes, swims and outdoorsy things. We knew we were ready for a bigger adventure in 2021. It was around the time of the third Covid lockdown when we started to think, ‘What’s our escape plan?’ Kevin was working as a solicitor and I was working for a mental health charity and we were both at our wits’ end. After talking things through, we decided to hand in our notice and go travelling. We bought our van — a Citroen Relay — a few weeks later.

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