Someone asked me if we saw any tiny houses when we were there. Yes, we did. "What do they call them?" my friend asked. "They call them houses," I answered.
And that's the truth. Houses come in many sizes in Greece, as they do here. But, in general, the scale is more modest in both mainland Greece and Crete. When we checked into one AirBnB apartment, the host apologized for the size of the space and told us that he understood Americans preferred larger spaces. When we said his apartment was bigger than our house, he was dumbstruck.
Perhaps because the homes we saw in Greece were more compact, they made better use of space than most of the homes and apartments we've lived in here the States. How? Here are a few thoughts:
No wasted space. We saw few, if any, hallways and few oversized rooms. Spaces appropriately fit their function—a place to sit, a place to eat, a place to sleep. Bathrooms, for example. We had to get used to the just-big-enough-to-do-what-you-need-to-do-here proportions. Tiny sinks were the norm and vanities were few and far between. Many bathrooms were "wet," eliminating the need for separate shower space.
Cooking and eating. Kitchens, in general, were not separate rooms, and dining happened at one table. Fridges were smaller. We found everything we needed—plates, utensils, pots, etc—but there wasn't excess. There simply wasn't room for it, and it made it easier to find things.
Outdoor living. Every place we stayed, there was an outdoor space attached. A couple times we had roof decks, micro balconies in others and ground floor patios in the rest. When you drink coffee, eat meals and socialize outside, you don't need as much indoor space. (Of course, this is only practical year-round in temperate climates.) Outdoor living in Greece includes public spaces: parks, cafes, beaches, benches....
One tiny living space we didn't see: houses on wheels. I suspect it's easier to build a small living space in Greece than most of the United States. Here, building codes require minimum dwelling sizes. We did see a fair share of camper vans; perhaps, they're the Greek equivalent of THOWs.
And now we're back. Spring arrived the month we were away from the tiny house. The intense green of the new leaves and the wildflower blooms provided a wonderful welcome home. It reminded us that as much as we enjoy our on-the-road adventures, we are magnificently fortunate to have this tiny homestead.