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FJVs Ultimate Quest for Simple Living: Building A Tiny Home

By Carleigh Lanclos


Well, I guess it all started because we had a dream of adventure and living with less. By we, I mean my girlfriend (Christina Hayes aka Tina) and I. After our year as JVs living in the Ita Ford community in LA (2013-2014) we moved to Tennessee.

Tiny home owners Tina and Carleigh smile near a spiral staircase.

We wanted to focus on being present in our lives. To work toward more intentional choices about the way we were living. Rather than focus on the stuff that’s in it.

tiny home construction

A behind the scenes shot of the construction of Tina and Carleigh’s tiny home named Happy.

As FJV’s we of course are always asking ourselves…”what are we doing?” Or questions like, “what’s our purpose?” “Am I living my values?” And then thinking, actually, wait! “What are my values?” And on and on and on.

And for us, something that keeps coming up is stuff. Life is full of clutter. People make their lives busy with a constant list of stuff to do. Stuff to buy. Stuff to fill the little voids in your life. A realization struck, that has been a barrier to really digging deep into our truest selves.

tiny home photos

Tiny home owners Tina and Carleigh smile in front of a set of plugs that power their “baby” happy.

The bigger question became, what would life look like if we were truly living the way we wanted to? So we would dream. And dream. And dream. Following this, were some conversations about a life and what was important to us. All this led to one glorious day when a bus was born.


On St. Patrick’s day of 2015, our dream kind of became a reality. We bought a school bus and naturally we named her Happy! Happy entered our lives and we’ve been working with a friend to convert her into a tiny home ever since.

She is a babe of a bus let me tell ya! The idea is that by moving into Happy and creating this space we are able to (1) live simply and (2) make more time for the people and things we love in our lives. Things like: relationships with self, each other, and the world around us. Lastly, number (3) we can experience life in a deeper way. What better way that to figure that out than by living in a bus with the love of your life? Not bad, eh?

To us, our bus Happy is a symbol of what we are seeking at this point in our lives. That is to say, we seek adventure, simplicity, and a whole lot of love. We plan to stay in Nashville for a few months to work out any kinks once she’s done. Then, hopefully we’ll hit the open road to whatever city we decide to land in next.

It’s been a wild adventure kind of stepping into this space of unknown. Especially learning how to live in a bus. We are super pumped for this adventure and it’s been really cool to have so much support from friends, family, strangers, and of course good ole JV’s!

Carleigh served as a Jesuit Volunteer in Los Angeles, CA in 2013. Follow her adventures with Happy on Instagram @happy_thebus. Cheers to living with less, and loving with more! 🙂



Transformative experiences like Careleigh and Tina meeting during their service year and discovering that for them, simple living means building a tiny home and making space leads to lives that are transformed for good.

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