Matt and I married about a year after graduating college. We had grown up together and were in love our whole lives. Just kidding, we started dating in college and I had a crush on Matt when I was in high school…but I digress.
Immediately after we were married in 2010, Matt was transferred to Kansas City by his company. We moved to KC after our honeymoon and started renting an apartment. I soon found employment at a wonderful Church and we started living life as a married couple.
We shared a common desire for DIY (Do It Yourself) projects but living in an apartment didn’t leave us with much room. To fill the void we watched a lot of HGTV and DIY Network on TV to inspire us. Around the same time we stumbled upon a great blog, The Long Long Honeymoon. This couple lives and travels in an Airstream… at this point we fell in love with all that is Airstream!
We started thinking about how much fun an Airstream ‘project’ would be. We could combine our DIY skills with a classic American icon. We didn’t have much experience with anything RV related (Michelle’s grandmother had one when she was little). In fact, our only real recent camping experiences had been in a tent… but we had a feeling we would love RV’ing (a real bed, TV, running water, oh the luxury!).
We searched Craigslist and eBay for Airstreams and even looked at a few we saw for sale on the side of the interstate on trips to see family in Texas.
After a couple of months of researching we knew what we wanted in our future Airstream. The exterior needed to be in good shape (no big dents or broken windows). We thought we wanted a 27’ trailer but couldn’t locate one, so we turned our interest to the numerous 31’ Airstreams listed on the web. Also, we definitely wanted one with a floor plan locating the bath in the center of the Airstream so that a single bed could fit in the rear (not separate twins as many Airstreams featured).
Finally we found our Airstream on eBay about 8 hours away in Illinois. Once we bought it, I remember thinking wow we are really living our dream out now!
We picked up the Luxe Land Yacht and towed it to an RV lot south of KC. The nice owner let us work on it there. We replaced the whole floor in the RV lot, stripped the clear coat off, and removed all the cabinets and inner skins from the Airstream.
About the time we bought the Airstream we also bought a cute house. We had to decide if we wanted to renew our rent or buy a house and we decided to add the home renovation to our plate. We bought a bank owned property in a super cute neighborhood. We spent all of our extra time renovating the house and the Airstream. Our nice neighbors never complained about all of our noise and construction. After living in the house for about 8 months we welcomed the Airstream home – to the side of the house – so that we could finish its renovation.
At this point we really went to town finishing the Airstream. We rewired the electrical, sanded and painted the inner skins, installed lighting, cabinets, counters, shower, couch, queen size bed, and it our spare time we polished the exterior.
We were living a normal life with jobs and a house but really wanted more of an adventure. We listened to other full time RV’ers through the Living the RV Dream podcast and thought the lifestyle sounded so awesome. We wanted to travel but how can you travel full time in your 20’s? Well, if you don’t have a mortgage that helps so we put our house up for sale.
We were scared to plan too much of our Airstream adventure in case the house didn’t sell or it took a really long time but, things lined up and the house sold quickly. I gave my notice at work and we had a moving sale where we sold all of our furniture.
On May 1, 2013 we left Kansas City and headed west. The purpose of this trip is ever changing but is most certainly about living life with no regrets. We kept telling ourselves that we would never regret leaving normal life for a year or so to travel in an Airstream together in our 20’s but would probably look back with sadness if we didn’t do it. Yes we walked away from regular paychecks but we also walked away from monthly mortgage, electricity, water, and property tax bills.
Using the Airstream as our home sounded like it would be so adventurous, self-sufficient and cool. So far I still feel like it’s all of those things. I have a huge sense of freedom and possibility.
Meeting so many other RV’ers (full time or not) has helped me see that we’re not that unique but I still think there are so many people who don’t know about the magic of traveling in an RV if even for a weekend.
So far I’d say that selling the house and living in less than 200 sq ft of Airstream is a beautiful life. We have seen stunning places in America, lived more simply, experienced nature and spent lots of time together.
Life is short, why not take an adventure?