By Ambassador Laura Killingbeck

I’ve lived most of my adult life in tiny spaces. Tiny houses, tiny tents, tiny boats. In Costa Rica, I lived for many years in a one-room, open-air, off-grid cabin in the jungle. In Colombia, I lived in a garden shed in downtown Bogotá. I lived here and there on some sailboats. Once, I spent a season in a refurbished chicken coop. And if you count the nights I’ve spent in my tent it would add up to several years. 

Right now I’m typing this essay from a folding desk in my current 16-foot microdwelling in Massachusetts. Out the window a herd of cows swish their tails and stick their noses in the grass. I can hear their hooves crunching through the bushes while birds flit and sing overhead.

I’ve chosen this lifestyle and I’ve also been very lucky. Tiny life means less things, and less things mean more mobility. If you can stuff your belongings in a sack, you can move more quickly through the world. (Or still very slowly, depending on your preference!) Either way, you gain the luxury of motion.

Over the last fifteen years, I’ve intertwined tiny life with long bike trips. I love packing up my tent and a few pieces of clothes, hopping on the saddle, and pedaling away. Sometimes I fly or drive somewhere and bike home. Other times I leave right from my front door. There’s a special magic in leaving and coming back again. The flow and simplicity of daily life on a bike makes me feel more fully human. 

I love the Kona Sutra ULTD because it can take me anywhere I want to go. It can handle long tours on gravel or dirt. It’s also comfortable for daily commutes on pavement. This combination of versatility and mobility always leads to new adventures. 

This spring, I sat down with Kona Ambassador James J. Joiner and chatted about long bike rides, tiny life, and strange beginnings. You can listen to this conversation on the Kona Cogcast.