Downsizing into an Airstream
Posted on May 06 2019
LESS IS MORE, BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY, LESS IS LESS.
MY STORY OF DOWNSIZING INTO AN AIRSTREAM
I get a lot of questions about downsizing into an Airstream. Airstream life is the most wanderlust types of lifestyles out there. I often get asked how my husband and I came to the decision and how we prepared for it was something that was equal parts impulse and equal parts planned. The story of us living in a beautiful airstream is far from linear and makes it a really hard story to retell with detail. We didn’t wake up one day and say “We want to make our own rules. Screw everything, lets live in an airstream!” There were a lot of things that happened, coupled with good timing, and a team effort between Craig and I to make this all a reality. I wanna share some of that with those who are wondering how to make it a reality for them.
DOWNSIZING INTO AN AIRSTREAM
This post isn’t going to be a “how-to downsize” or even a post about Mavis herself (you can learn more about Mavis the Airstream here). This just how Craig and I meandered our way to the minimized life we have now.
I think the start of this whole downsizing thing started by accident. At some point in 2016 I had decided I was going to buy no new clothes for the remainder of that year and all of 2017. It was a challenge I put on myself to see how much closet space I could gain and money I could save. I thought it was going to be the hardest thing in the world.
But like any new diet, after two weeks passed, the cravings were gone and I had no problems avoiding any and all apparel shops. In fact, I started purging a lot of clothes. Somewhere in this process, there was a mental shift for me and I realized that I was happier with having less.
Making the change from 1000 square feet to 200 square feet.
I stopped frivolously spending, and became more thoughtful with where I spent my hard earned dollars. My husband and I made a pact that we would devote our income to experiences over things.
Craig and I live in the San Jose area, home of Silicon Valley which is situated in the greater Bay Area. We are surrounded by every tech giant and start up you can imagine- Google, Facebook, Apple, Salesforce, Uber, Airbnb, Tesla... I can go on. What this means is that you have a lot of very intelligent and talented people who make a ton of money, and not enough housing to go around. Hello inflated housing market! Our dream of owning a home was not only moving further away as prices continue to soar, but our desire to keep pouring all of our money into a home we were never in because we worked so much just didn’t make sense, and it certainly didn’t align with our philosophy of putting our money into experiences over stuff.
The straw that broke the camels back was due to an health scare my mom had at home. I knew I wanted to be closer to my aging parents without having to actually move in with them.
We thought about building in-laws quarters and looking at other housing options, but the idea of living in an Airstream just seemed like the perfect next step. My husband and I love to travel. We had grown accustomed to living out of our little 15ft RV (appropriately named our WIENERbago) for weeks at a time. The thrill of being able to hook our home up to a vehicle and take off and make home wherever we wanted was incredibly appealing.
Once we started looking seriously at Airstreams we could restore and build, I began to Marie Kondo the hell out of my life (and note, this was a good year before the Netflix special). I was driving home from Palm Springs and played the audio book the whole ride home. The second I walked through the front door, I began saying my thank you’s and goodbye’s to all my items as I began to toss them into donation piles. Strangely it was a much easier process than I had anticipated. I was thoughtful in what I kept and even more so in what I removed from my life. I didn’t get rid of everything, but managed to rid 15 years of crap I had stored and littered my condo with.
It has now been about a year of living full time in Mavis. Do I love it? Yes. Do I have any regrets? Just one...that we didn't do it sooner. This sort of lifestyle is not for everyone. I don't encourage you to sell all your belongings and buy an RV and live that life filled with Wanderlust and living on the road. I know that I have a partner who was as excited to live this life of less with me and that makes the experience of downsizing something we can enjoy together.
If you want to learn more, or have specific questions about my Airstream adventure, or about Mavis the Airstream, please drop a comment below with your question!
And lastly, don't forget that if you want to travel like a bobo posse pro, be sure to get my Wanderlust Passport to track and chronicle all your adventures near and far!
Hugs & High Fives,