Thursday, October 09, 2014

The Airstream Dream

Photo Credit

Like everyone else on the Internet, I'm obsessed with the tiny house movement. I've ogled the photos, shared the infographics, pared down all my worldly belongings, and already started the process by renting a (slightly) smaller home. A few weeks ago, after a particularly depressing night spent calculating our various debts and interest rates, Nathan and I realized the answer to both our financial woes and our desire to have the smallest footprint possible: an Airstream trailer. 

Here's the thing: I want to own a home, because landlords (even the great ones!) are kind of a drag. Nathan and I are DIY, can't-leave-well-enough-alone people, especially when it comes to our immediate surroundings, and tempering these urges as renters is a constant battle. On the other hand, why am I stressing about paying off credit card and student loan debt, just so I can take on more of the same? I think this brilliant Onion headline speaks for itself: 


Exactly. Which is why we've decided to buy an old Airstream trailer with actual cash that we have actually saved up, take a few years to renovate and rebuild it, and then move into it as our permanent residence. No mortgage. The freedom to pick up and move whenever we want. And a lifestyle that forces us to cut away anything we don't absolutely need, freeing us to focus on what matters. It's the perfect solution. 

Right now we're still in the daydreaming stage. We obviously have a lot to learn and a long road ahead of us, but that's okay. The very beginning is actually my favorite stage, because it's all about inspiration, motivation, and pretty photos. If you think living in an Airstream trailer sounds terrible - small and cramped and uncomfortable - check out some of the photos I've been pinning like crazy and see if your mind isn't changed. (Click photos for original links.) 


One of the reasons we've settled on an Airstream, in particular, is because we both love the curved ceilings. They're architecturally interesting, and when committing to such a small space, you better make sure you like looking at it. I also love the idea of hidden drawers for storage, like under this adorable couch. 


Personally, I've never understood the allure of having a giant master bedroom. I spend very little time my bedroom, and that little time is spent in the actual bed. So a room just big enough for a nest of blankets and pillows - and maybe a dog - sounds ideal. 


This kitchen appears to have more counter space than our current house, so that would be a pleasant adjustment. Even though I've gone minimalist in many areas of my life, my kitchenware is still a little excessive. Luckily, we have a few years before I need to make any difficult decisions. 


I love all the different kinds of wood in this one. It's probably the least "modern" of the trailers I've pinned, and I think that's why I like it. It looks so cozy! 


If I could just buy the Airstream above and move in right now, I would. 


I like Airstreams that have the bedroom at one curved end, and a dining nook at the other. Couch and kitchen go in the middle. This Airstream is probably the prettiest one of all - click the photo and it will take you to a full tour, but beware: it might make you want to throw away all your treasured belongings and move into an Airstream trailer, too. That's okay with me. We can be neighbors. 

As I've said, this is a dream that's still a long way off (it will be at least two years before we can buy a trailer, and then who knows how long it will take us to renovate it) but having a goal, even one so far off, feels good, motivating and exciting - a far cry from how I usually feel when I think about our financial future, which is how I know it's a good choice for us. 

Do you think you could live in an Airstream trailer or a tiny home? Have you lived in one before? How small is too small? Where will I put my KitchenAid mixer?  (F and M, I know you have and don't worry - I'll be emailing you a thousand questions when the time comes!) In the meantime I'll keep pinning my heart out and slowly paying off debt. 

11 comments:

  1. I love the tiny house movement too. I probably will never be in a legit tiny house just simply because I'm about to have my third kid and will have many years of hosting holidays and what not but we live in a below average small house and I'm really really big into minimalism. I feel like you have to be these days with kids or else your whole house will be taken over by toys.

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    1. Living in a tiny house with children seems like a whole other ballgame, one I am not sure I could play. And it's totally possible to live in the spirit of a "tiny house" without actually being tiny. I'm happy with how we've managed to pare down and live simply so far - it's definitely a process!

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  2. you can definitely pick our brains about trailer life all you want. I can imagine this working out great for you two!

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    1. Oh, I will! Probably won't be for a year or two, though. Stay tuned!

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  3. We're in the in between stage except we let go of the apartment too so we can travel and save for the tiny house future. I don't want anything too small (our apartment was 530sq and that was small enough) but I do love arched ceilings. I've been looking at arched cabins for when I have land and a small rv for travel later. Either way I fell in love with the simplicity of it all.

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    1. Do you live on the road right now? I am very intrigued!

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  4. I am geeking out so much while reading this. My husband and I have been living in an '83 Airstream for about 5 months now! We're hoping to stay in it until we've saved enough to buy a piece of land and build a tiny cabin. It's a learning experience (and we're still fixing some things while living in it, making it extra adventurous), but we love it so far.

    You also seem to have pinned one of my favorite Airstreams - the one with the blue glass tile in the bathroom. When I found that one online last year, it motivated me to put glass mosaic tile in our Airstream shower.

    I can't wait to hear more as you progress toward your goal! And keep checking Airstream listings from time to time as you're saving... We thought we were still a year or so away from having enough money, but we suddenly found one right in our price range on eBay. You never know! Best of luck to you!

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    1. Thanks so much for this encouraging comment! I am about to go stalk and subscribe to your blog right now. :)

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  5. What an awesome adventure - and it's great you both have the same dream. Having a caravan is on my bucket list, but for holidays rather than living in full time ;)

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    1. Yes, having the same dream is definitely convenient. And PS: congrats on baby #2! <3

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  6. I couldn't handle that small of a space but I do buy and have a lot less lately. But now baby stuff takes up so much room.

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