I grew up in a middle-class, west Dublin suburb with all the modern comforts of an economic boom. So, when I was 29 and found myself hearing both mine and my fiancée’s parents suggesting that we buy a mobile home, I immediately said, “No way“‘. Then, I opened my mind.
Our landlord had decided to put our rented home up for sale. House prices were highly-inflated, rent rates for other properties in the area had become unaffordable, and the rental market was dominated by substandard accommodation. We had no choice but to consider the mobile home idea.
Let’s not sugarcoat it
I associated the term ‘mobile home’ with socio economic groups and cultural minorities that society wrongly tells us are negative, such as the Irish travelling community, and communities who live in trailers in the USA who are derogatorily referred to as ‘white trash’. Also, I ignorantly thought that people who holiday in mobile homes do so because they can’t afford hotels when they go on holidays (I’ve since learned that many mobile home holidaymakers choose mobile homes because they prefer the experience of the mobile home and not because of affordability).
See a video of the mobile home being delivered on a flatbed truck
Stereotyped cultural connotations aside, the exterior appearance of mobile homes is (subjectively) unattractive, and the interior of rental ones can often be bland and boring. All of these things combine to make us think that we’re all ‘above’ living in a mobile home.
First confront your own misguided perceptions
I’m an alternative kind of person and I’m not afraid of change. I backpacked around the planet solo and I quit my job to start my own business – I’m not afraid to take risks. So I wanted to embrace this experience and challenge society’s, and my own, impressions of mobile home living.
I decided to first confront myself – a confrontation that happened to express itself as an emotional meltdown while sitting at mother-in-law’s kitchen table sobbing the words “I’m going to turn thirty while living in a mobile home – am I failing at life?“. With that thought now expressed and evanished, I was able to proceed with my new adventure. I bought a mobile home, stripped it back, redecorated and refurnished it, put my own stamp on it, fell head over heels in love with it, bursted with pride every moment I thought about it, felt my heart skip a beat every time I drove down the driveway towards it, and ultimately created a living space that I can honestly say is my favourite place I’ve ever lived – and I’ve lived in some real nice places.
Read more about the paint we chose for our mobile home
Then, own it
I don’t hide the fact that I live in a mobile home, I take pride in it. I talk about it openly, even in meetings with clients. The most common reaction I get is “I’d love to be brave enough to do that.”
So if you’re thinking about moving into a mobile home, openly confront your inner negative perceptions, and then openly embrace your new dwelling.
Once you’re happy in yourself, you’ll be well able for the unintentionally offensive remarks that some people will inevitably throw your way.
Whether they’ll admit it or not, pretty much everyone I know held (and some may still hold) similar opinions of mobile homes – that, in a nutshell, they are inferior dwellings. Sitting at a dinner table discussing the prospect of moving into a mobile to save for a house, my uncle said to my cousin, “You and your boyfriend should do that too.” My cousin, without hesitation, said, “No way, I have standards.” Her face then immediately reddened when she realised that she’d said that out loud.
Another uncle once asked me, “How do you like living in a mobile home?“. I told him, “I love it, I’m so happy that I finally have a place that’s mine, with an interior to design the way I want it – I’d be happy if I had to live in it forever to be honest.” His response wasn’t “I’m happy for you.” , it was “You should aspire to more than that.” These relatives don’t mean offence, I know because I used to share these opinions too once.
Someone said to me once after I bought a lotto ticket, “If you win, and start building your house, where would you like to live until it’s built?“. I said “Right here, in the mobile.” Why on Earth would I live anywhere else?
Thank you to our parents
I am so grateful to our parents who actively encouraged us to embrace this adventure, and who facilitated it financially and logistically. This has been one of the most liberating experiences of my life.
You can live this life too
Read my mobile home living FAQ
Find out more about what’s it like to live in a mobile home in my mobile home living FAQ.