Some really exciting things going on at the Jones’ house this week!
We made a highly anticipated impulse decision to move forward on a dream we’ve had for a very long time: living tiny, on wheels.
It’s something we’ve been talking about for years, but were never really sure if we’d actually do it. We’ve had debt to pay off, kids to think about, and in general it’s just not something that necessarily sounds “responsible.” But after a long time of dreaming and talking and researching, we took the plunge and bought an airstream. It’s equal parts terrifying and exciting but, ultimately, I think we will be so happy we made this choice.
WHY GO TINY?
The appeal of tiny living hit us around the time I got pregnant with Oliver. We were living in a big, expensive city and started shopping around to see what kind of house we could afford. At the time, I was definitely in the mindset of needing a big house with individual rooms for each member of the family, lots of bathrooms, playrooms, living rooms; the works. I felt like we would all need a lot of space to retreat to and to call our own. But in the city we were living in, the only real option was to live in areas we weren't too excited about.
All of that searching made us realize we didn’t need a big city to make us happy, so we moved to a small town. There were more career opportunities and much cheaper housing costs. We could see a light at the end of the tunnel for being able to purchase a home and have all of our (my) nesting dreams come true. It was at that time I had finally discovered minimalism, realized that maybe some shared bedrooms and one living room would be enough, and got rid of a ton of stuff.
We started on our path of evaluating what was truly important to us and what we really wanted from life.
But then, Ian’s job had us moving around… a lot. Our oldest son got to the point of living in 4 different cities before he was two. We went through a lot of places that we thought were going to be home. We settled in just to tear everything down and settle in again. It became very apparent to us that:
We can’t truly be sure where we’ll ever settle down.
While we love the idea of having a consistent space, the idea of committing to one city is very daunting to us.
I, personally, would love to be able to create a home for my family, but neither of us loves the idea of being stuck in one place long term. We kind of love the adventure of moving around but, being homebodies, we want a home that can come with us where ever we are. A little piece of comfort and familiarity for all of us.
While tiny living may not be for everyone, we have definitely found ourselves living a lifestyle where this really makes sense. And since we’re all in the same room all day every day anyway, why not get rid of the excess and get ourselves something that really works for us?
WHY AN AIRSTREAM?
There are so many different choices when deciding to go tiny. There’s traditional tiny homes, RVs, airstreams, and probably many more that I’m not even thinking of.
We actually started this whole process at a Buffalo Wild Wings. We sat down with each other and decided that it’s time to make this daydream a reality. We need to finally act on one of our big ideas. So we found a company to work with to have a custom tiny home build for us. They were so helpful, budget friendly, and ready to help us create a home that met all of our needs.
We ran into a problem though. Tiny homes are tough to finance. They aren’t defined enough for banks to be comfortable handing out loans. We thought about possibly just taking the time to save up the full amount, but for better or worse, we want this to happen as soon as possible. We also realized that no matter what kind of certification you have on your tiny home, the world just isn’t quite ready. We’re not willing to risk not finding places to park our tiny home. Especially having our two young kids with us. We need the security knowing we’ll have somewhere we can park our home no matter where we go.
So we turned to traditional travel trailers.
We knew we wanted something we can haul, not something with it’s own motor.
We needed something that is easily defined and comes with the assurance of being able to have a safe parking space anywhere we go.
We liked the idea of having something that can be stripped and renovated (in the future) to mold with us as our family grows.
We also knew we wanted something that looked really cool (this is our home after all, aesthetics are going to have some say).
So we decided the iconic, beautiful airstream would be the route we’d take.
HOW WE FOUND OUR AIRSTREAM
This is where the epitome of our impulse comes in. We actually weren’t looking too seriously when we found our airstream. We were simply at the crossroads of “Tiny house OR airstream?” when we decided to look on Airstream Classifieds to see what our options could be when we were finally ready to pull the trigger. To be honest, we actually weren’t planning on buying anything until the end of the year.
Knowing we aren’t extremely handy, we were looking for airstreams that needed minimal work to make our own. We didn't want to have to gut something completely and start over right now. Just simple paint jobs and maybe installing a few shelves. Nothing more. With in 5 minutes of looking, we found two beautiful, RENOVATED airstreams. After some careful consideration (and obviously a pros and cons list), we decided on a 1974 Airstream Sovereign all the way out in Kentucky. The interior was something I would’ve done myself which means it really doesn’t need much work at all. We’ll have to come up with some clever solutions to make it work for a family of 4, but for the most part it is everything we could’ve asked for.
We will be sharing our journey to going tiny. All the purging, the move in, and then life in an airstream! It’s going to be a crazy adventure for us all, but ultimately we are so excited to do something we’ve always dreamed of doing.