Nomad’s Downsizing Journey, from 250 to 54 Square Feet - Tiny House Blog

Nomad’s Downsizing Journey, from 250 to 54 Square Feet

What happens when you are addicted to tiny living? You can’t stop building and converting new structures. That’s what happened to Richard Ward. His remarkable downsizing journey began with a 250 sq. ft. tiny house. From there, it created a stealth car camper. Then ultimately he built and moved into 50 sq. ft. micro-house, or custom camper, depending on how you look at it.

Above all, Richard loves traveling. Downsizing to the extreme, in short, gave him the opportunity to travel full-time as a digital nomad.

Richard is an artist and graphic designer. During the build of his first tiny house on wheels, named Terraform One, he discovered his love for tiny house design. However, his original intention with his design was to build an affordable home, the first he’s ever owned. Further, instead of paying a 30-year mortgage, he decided to invest in himself, his business and his passions. This led him to ultimately kickstart a new business, Terraform Tiny Homes. And right around that time is when we first met him, Spring 2016 in Dallas, Texas.

“Terraform started as an attempt to live a sustainable life financially, emotionally, and environmentally…Whether you’re looking to design a complete tiny house, need some advice on simplifying, or want to convert your car for an amazing road trip, Terraform Tiny Homes is here to help.”

Terraform One

Just months after moving into “Terraform One”, he converted his Honda Element into a stealth camper. The plan was to travel the country, in search of a new place to call home and a place to park his tiny home. Through his five-month road trip, he fell in love with nomadic living. As a result, he decided that he wanted a home on wheels that would allow him to travel more freely.

That’s when Richard started his next build. He upsized from the Element into a relatively luxurious 54 sq. ft. off-grid micro-house. It combines the best of tiny house living and car camping. At 6’ wide, 10’ long and less than 9’ high, it can easily be towed by most small SUVs and fit in virtually any driveway. When we ran into Richard for the second time, he had just finished “Terraform 3”, and he was itching to hit the road. And yes, he ultimately had to upgrade tow vehicles, due the Element’s 1,500 lbs. towing capacity.

Richard on the Pacific Crest Trail

Through all of his simple living experience, Richard has become a minimalist travel guru who loves intimately experiencing new places and people. He’s downsized again. Currently he’s hiking the Pacific Crest Trail with a backpack—over 1,000 miles traveled by foot so far.

Richard proves that home is wherever you make it.

“They say if you don’t work hard…you’ll end up living in a van down by the river. Well, I have two profitable businesses and still ended up living under a bridge by the river.”— Richard Ward, Terraform Tiny Homes

Follow his adventures on YouTube, Instagram and Facebook—available here.


by Alexis Stephens, Tiny House Blog contributor

My partner, Christian and I are traveling tiny house dwellers. Together we’ve been on the road three and a half years for our documentary and community education project, Tiny House Expedition. We live, breathe, dream the tiny home community every day. This is our life and our true passion. We are very grateful to be able to experience this inspiring movement in such an intimate way and to be able to share our exploration with all of you.

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