A long time ago I read a quote from who I thought was Mark Twain.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
I recently discovered that Mark Twain didn’t actually say this. It’s one of those commonly misattributed quotes due to the lack of background research that comes along with the internet. However, I have found myself living by this quote once I could fully understand what it meant. No, I don’t sail. Boats actually kind of freak me out. But I do believe in being free, in every sense of the word.
My love, Dan, nearly died about three years ago. He was in a terrible motorcycle accident that left him in the hospital for months. While this terrible accident happened, I was in college. I had no idea what I was doing there. Not only was I constantly getting lost in all of the brick buildings that looked exactly the same, but I was lost up top. In my noggin. All of my energy was being poured into a school that I had no end game for, my boyfriend had nearly died and was laid out in bed, and I had this annoying itch inside of me that had been hibernating for eighteen years. That’s when our brains started going crazy.
Once Dan was out of the hospital and feeling better physically, the endless discussions and brainstorming began. He found a new meaning for life due to his accident and I just needed to live freely. We pondered a long list of possible adventures and then we struck gold. Mentally, of course. An Airstream was the perfect option. We decided we would adventure across the country with a tiny house on wheels right behind us.
I grew up in a small house in an even smaller town and the only Airstream dealership in New England was three minutes from my house. I remember dreaming about owning my own “silver bullet” when I was probably too young to be planning my future. I wanted a shiny house on wheels and that was my goal. So when Dan and I realized that could actually happen, I was pretty ecstatic. We found our 30 foot 2006 Airstream classic in May of 2014. It wasn’t the vintage trailer of my dreams, but it was in perfect condition and wasn’t going to leave us stranded in the middle of nowhere on our year long adventure. Everything worked and that was key for us.
We spent a little over a year on the road. Our adventures started in New England and went south, to the southern most point of Florida. Then across the bottom of the country, through Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, etc. We spent about four months traveling the entire west coastline. San Diego to Seattle. The last leg of the trip was spent in the good old west. We did most of our hiking, wildlife viewing, and boon docking in Wyoming, Montana, and Colorado. Then we started our final descent home, spending an unexpected week or so in the middle-of-nowhere Kansas with a blown motor. That was fun…
We still have a lot more to see in this beautiful country but we have definitely developed some favorites. The entire California coastline will blow your mind. I could spend years traveling up and down it! There are so many secret spots that let you clear your mind and feel free. Telluride, Colorado is the most wonderful little town in this country. I can’t wait to have a vacation house there some day. Oh! Big Bend National Park in southern Texas. This place is the outdoorsy persons dream! Hiking trails for days, incredible view points, tons of wildlife and not a lot of people because there’s so much land!
The trailer is small. I’m not going to lie. But once we had a few weeks of full time RVing behind us, we realized how simple the transition was. We had begun to let go of the need to consume materialistic things and everything became simpler. We had just what we needed and we were so dang happy. The lack of space didn’t get on our nerves, as crazy as that sounds. We weren’t working, so we didn’t need our separate spaces and if we needed some time to ourselves, the world was our playground. We always had somewhere to clear our heads. The Airstream began to feel like home immediately because of the decorating we did. We brought our favorites pieces of art, knick knacks, books, blankets, etc. We love all things vintage and rustic and the Airstream definitely shows that. It’s so cozy and warm. We love it.
After getting in some time at home after the trip, we decided on California for the winter months. We drove out here in January 2016 and have been here since. We have both found jobs that allow us to work remotely and they have made Santa Cruz, California a pretty incredible experience. I write for a blog and typically dedicate three days a week for long work hours at the picnic table. Dan does photo and video production for a corporate client in Boston. If he’s not traveling for a shoot, he’s working 9-5 at the dinette. Our weekends are for adventuring. We have a Tepui roof top tent that allows us to leave our trailer parked comfortably at our RV park in the redwoods while we explore the endless beautiful locations surrounding Santa Cruz.
I’ve got a secret too- we’re downsizing! We just bought a 1988 Dodge class B camper van and we’re in the process of remodeling it. We’re going from 175 sq. ft. to close to 80 sq. ft. We’re crazy, I know. However, after living in a 30 foot trailer for two years, we realized how little we actually need. The camper van has just about everything the airstream has but the compact size will allow us to go places the Airstream could never fit. We love it and we’re so excited to start traveling full-time again.
Thanks for reading, everyone! I have loved sharing my adventures with you. It’s like I get to live them again! Make sure you come back to Scouted Home for more stories as well as photos of our new adventure mobile.
I’ll be back!