One of the major challenges of friendships is figuring out how to maintain them when you live far away from each other. People disperse for jobs and family and love, and the built-in closeness of living all together in a dorm or in a camp cabin or a communal apartment gives way to careful scheduling and g-chat.
But one group of eight best friends has got this situation totally figured out. Forget moving to the same town to be together; these four couples decided to create their own mini-town in Texas, dubbed “Llano Exit Strategy,” so that they could all live just a stone’s throw away from each other.
The couples, who have been besties for 20 years, chose a spot about an hour and a half drive from Austin, Texas, where they spend most of their time for work, and employed 32-year-old architect Matt Garcia to realize their dream. The couples originally considered making one big house, but Garcia decided to use inspiration from the tiny house movement, to allow for separate living quarters for each couple as well as a larger communal space.
He cooked up a plan for four tiny (just 350 square feet!) sleeping cabins in a row, each equipped with roofs that would capture the rainwater in the arid landscape. Each of the cabins has a double bed, a kitchenette, and a private bathroom, and costs about $40,000. Garcia also built a larger, central cabin, about 1,500 square feet, that allows the friends to meet up and relax in a larger area with a kitchen and living room.
The result is a gorgeous bestie getaway that’s connected with the beautiful Texas hill country. “It’s like a Disney movie out here,” Jodi Zipp, one of the besties, told Garden & Gun. “We have hare, bobcat, deer, and all kinds of birds. As we spend more and more time here, we find more and more.”
And bonus for all the besties out there who are looking for something similar: When the couples are away, they rent the compound out to families and groups of friends.