We’ve been living in the Airstream for almost two and a half years. Years, people! Some days it seems like so much time has passed and other days it feels like no time has passed at all. One thing is for certain: we’ve adapted well to living in just 188 square feet. We know how to declutter. We know when problems arise, we can solve them. And I know it seems strange to outsiders, but the Airstream truly feels like home.
In terms of upkeep, the trailer has held up pretty well. We’ve had some bumps along the way. (See: our leaky hot water heater.) We need to repaint when it warms up a bit. (See how our paint has held up.) But overall, the Airstream has allowed us to save money to travel and to build up an emergency fund. We’ve been to Austin, took a roadtrip to Florida, Charleston, Memphis, Portland and most recently we went to Iceland! And most importantly, we’ve built up an emergency savings and another savings account. And I know it sounds cryptic, but we’re trying to decide what to do with our other savings account. What a wonderful problem to have!
Let me explain a bit: at this point we’re getting the itch again. The itch to do something different. The itch to be brave. And if we’re being honest, we don’t know if we want to live in the Airstream forever. It’s wonderful and our home, but is it our forever home? We don’t know. We’d love to have some land of our own one day. (I want animals! And a big place to grow our own food!) We’re also really interested in other alternative dwellings, like tiny houses, cordwood cabins and shipping container homes. And we love to travel! So much so that we bought a van to convert into a super tiny home. We aren’t moving out of the Airstream yet, but maybe. One day. Sometime.
Are we indecisive and insane? Maybe. I truly don’t know what the future will bring, but I am excited to find out.
We’ve been living in the Airstream for a year and a half now. Whuuuuutttt. Some days it feels as if we’ve lived there forever and other days it feels like we just moved in yesterday. But that’s what life is like, am I right? We’ve now got our routines down and our lives seem very “normal” for living in 188 square feet.
I do have to admit, old man winter is not my favorite person right now. Staying warm in an Airstream can be a challenge. (Read more about how we stay warm here.) When it’s cold outside, I just want to hibernate, but it is so important for my sanity to get out and go places and do things. The struggle is real.
We did get a blessed glimpse of spring this past weekend and I feel renewed. I’m so ready for working in my garden and long hikes in the woods and cooking on our fire pit! All that snow was pretty, but I’m ready for you, spring.
Are you seeing glimpses of spring in your neck of the woods? Let me know in the comments!
That Socrates was one smart feller.
Happy Tuesday, ya’ll!
For the next installment in The Small Life, we’ve got Travis and Jenna of The Eco Travelers. Travis and Jenna bought and moved into their Airstream in July 2014. They aren’t traveling yet, but they leave for Minnesota on November 28th and will be on the road for at least a year. I’m so excited to follow their journey. Take it away, Travis and Jenna…
We owned a house for three years and loved making it our own. But we didn’t like the ongoing battle of what appliance will break next or who’s going to mow this jungle we call a yard. So we decided to sell and go tiny. We sold all of our furniture, got rid of the majority of our belongings, and bought a 1967 Airstream Globetrotter.
We went small because there was less stress, more time, and way more freedom. We are taking our Airstream, Luna on the road to see the country and experience all she has to offer.
Living small for us is about living with intention. When we buy things they have a real purpose, or many purposes. We called ourselves The Eco Travelers because we live it: we buy organic and local food, we shop consignment, and we live in less than 125 square feet.
Thanks, Eco Travelers! If you want to hear more about Travis and Jenna’s adventures, you can follow them through a host of services:
Instagram: The EcoTravelers (Instagram)
Happy Monday everyone! Today I am happy to announce a new feature on the blog entitled, drum roll, please, “The Small Life.” “The Small Life” will feature people from across the globe that live a small life in an Airstream, a bus, a van, a tiny house or other unconventional spaces. The first feature is from Todd. Todd is taking an unimaginably difficult time in his life and is turning it around with small living. Take it away Todd. – Melanie
Not quite a year ago, my life was turned upside down when my wife and I decided to part ways. Homeless with only a few changes of clothes and my dog, Wyatt, we started sleeping on the floor of my friends architecture studio. It wasn’t too bad; dry and warm. It was a good place to sort through emotions, let the proverbial dust settle and plot my next move.
After a couple of months, with the unconditional love and support of family, I decided to set out and find an Airstream to move in. Fortunately, one turned up in Florida and within a couple weeks I was towing it back to the mountains of Asheville.
Getting the Airstream, I hope is only the first step of many to creating a new life for Wyatt and I. As a result of moving into 153 sqft, most of my worldly possessions needed to go. After much thought, I realized that it was just stuff. Sentimental items are merely items that remind of us a specific memory. I will always have the memory, which takes up less space than the stuff. Clothes are still being widdled down to only the bare essentials. If its not my most favorite thing to wear or if I haven’t worn it in the last month, it gets donated. Even new stuff gets intense scrutiny; does buying this thing move me in the direction of getting me on the road full time, does this limit me financially from exploring, traveling and creating new adventures, is this something that I simply want? Only items that facilitate adventure and create epic memories, makes the cut into 153 sqft.
By no means am I free of “stuff”, but I’m getting down to the essentials and a couple more rounds of purging, and I will be there. Free of most clutter, allowing my mind to focus on just being.
Ironically, soon after I got the Airstream, the one thing I did want to buy was a t-shirt that exemplified the spirit of the Airstream. Unfortunately, I found none. With the help of my sister, we set out to design our own t-shirt and so “Itinerant Shirts” was born. I don’t have any grand visions of getting rich, but rather spreading and sharing the itinerant spirit with others. I hope to release new editions every so often show casing other’s art. The first edition is available on Etsy under itinerant shirts. I should mention that I’ve only had 1 sale and that was from my sister. No worries, if they don’t sell, every single one that I made is in the exact size and color that I would want to wear.
Hope my verbal “snap shot” gives you an idea of why I’m living small….to allow focus on what really matters, just being.
-Todd and Wyatt
If you want to submit your own Small Life, email me asmalllifemelanie @ gmail dot com.
I took a little break from my Love Weekends posts this week to spend a little bit of unplugged time with my family. We did watch a lot of Mountain Men together though. We were bonding over our shared dislike of Eustace who lives in the mountains of our state.
Anyway, I thought it might be fun to start showing you all everyday pictures of the ‘ol Airstream. You’ve seen the glamour shots and if you’re anything like me, you’ve stumbled upon oodles of over-stylized, “glamping” shots of Airstreams and campers online. And you know what? Those pictures aren’t even close to real. I got 3 mosquito bites just sitting in the house today. That picture above, yeah, that’s the current state of my bathroom. The humidity in the Airstream is so bad that we constantly run a dehumidifier and to be quite frank, with all the rain we’ve had our septic system is backing up. It ain’t pretty.
Did I mention that our air conditioning broke? It’s been a mild summer, but these past couple of weeks have been in the 90s and this gigantic floor air-conditioning unit keeps our house at a cool 81 degrees. Sweaty. We’re planning on a permanent fix for the roof-top air-conditioning but we want to get a proper (inexpensive) replacement which could take time.
And don’t even get me started on dishes! My sink usually looks like this. I have day dreams of dishwashing machines.
But it’s not all bad. We went to BJ’s this weekend (with my mom’s membership) and stocked up. George and I spent our entire food allowance for the month, but we also spent a good 15 minutes talking about how a fully stocked pantry and fridge made us feel rich. Our pantry is disorganized and none of our cups match, but we have food in our bellies and in our home.
It’s not a perfect life. It’s not “Pinterest-worthy.” But it’s a good one.
Do you like seeing more “real” pictures of our life? Let me know in the comments!
So maybe Airstream Week has ended up being Airstream two weeks. Or week and a half. Oh well. Ya’ll aren’t sick of it yet, are you? I got a lot of questions about the Airstream and our life and I wanted to answer some of them here. So here goes.
1. Do you really live in the Airstream… like all the time?
Yep! We live in the Airstream in the stifling heat of summer and the bone chilling cold of winter. In case of an emergency (like a hurricane), we’ll go to a relative’s house nearby. But other than that, we’re in it the whole time!
2. Are you parked or do you travel?
Right now we are parked in order to save money. We would love to travel with the Airstream one day.
3. Where are you parked?
We are parked on land owned by my husband’s family. It is a beautiful farmed and wooded plot. We stay on the land in exchange for chores.
4. Where do you do laundry?
We have very gracious relatives who let us do laundry at their house in exchange for chores around the house.
5. How much did your Airstream cost?
Our Airstream was $5,000 and we spent about $1,000 on fixing her up. Read more about our buying story here.
6. How long did it take you to fix up the Airstream?
It took about 2 months of intense work.
7. How can I live this life?
This life isn’t for the faint of heart. It isn’t easy, but it is rewarding. 90 percent of living this way is deciding that you want it and sticking with it.
What questions have you been dying to ask? Ask me in the comments!