To which my reply is usually answering the question with another question: Why not? Around these parts, living in a camper tends to put you in a group with an unbecoming name; or either you’re lazy, of which I am far from. Reminds me of a fairly local town on the Eastern Shore with access to the Intercoastal Waterway. Sailboat capital of the world, as I call it, of which many live on their sailboats full-time and have for years. Blowboaters are what the locals call them. Why? Why the degradation of living differently?
It is a good question though, and one I have heard often over time. If not directly asked to me, it is asked of my friends. There are several reasons I live in a camper but nobody has ever asked if or why I like to live in one. Most just assume what they wish to assume and I just happen to hear about the crazy Airstream lady. As for me, who in their right mind wouldn’t enjoy the adventure? Expenses are relatively minimal and you can learn quite a lot about yourself when you live in a small space.
You see, there are things in life I want to do. My bucket list, of sorts. One of those things was to maybe live on a sailboat for a while but alas, I am no sailor although learning how to would be an adventure and something I might try. But living tiny has been a part of my plans for almost 20 years. Getting ride of junk and clutter and things that aren’t needed or necessary to still live a fulfilling life. Could living in a camper achieve that? At 51, a grown kiddo and no obligations as far as ‘significant other’ relationships go, I can do this exactly as I want, or at least to the best of my ability. Call it selfish but I’m learning that “lack of” is much better than more of. And happier that way, too. I don’t have to keep up with the Jones’. I don’t need a new living room suit or dining room suit every other year, or new carpet or a different light fixture just because I want one. Honestly, I don’t know too many on the Eastern Shore with that mentality.
I didn’t know for sure if I could do it but I was sure willing to learn. So, as luck or destiny would have it, Gypsy ~ The Airstream entered into my life almost two years ago. Three months later, I was living in her full-time and loved it. Of course, getting everything I thought I needed to survive was not going to work so I made some rather drastic changes in life and lifestyle to decide what were the important ‘things’ to keep and what could be let go. Not an easy task as I entered the new way of life with more stuff than I actually needed.
Since storage is a premium luxury, most things are multi-purpose and if not, you have to decide on its usefulness in your tiny living adventure. Many people have closets crammed full of clothes and shoes that they keep for whatever reason, hoping they’ll fit back into them one day. Not a luxury in a camper. Everything has a purpose, even clothes and shoes. Summer sundresses and flip flops are the exception to the rule as they are the daily choice of hot weather clothing and doesn’t take up much room. Winter is another story. Bulky is the name of the game and everything really does need to serve a purpose because storage is so limited. Layer, layer, layer. They make good, quality clothes for layering without all the bulkiness. When I need high quality items that last almost a lifetime, that’s what I purchase. They will and do last a long time. Nothing you have now is worthless or useless. It all has a purpose and usually more than one.
Kitchen supplies must have more than one use, if possible. Otherwise, you’ll be overrun by things you have no room for. Culling through the kitchen takes a little guts, especially if you’re one of those that enjoys cooking as much as I do but I have become an expert at using one pot and one pan.
Not only do I have no more than what I need, I have no more than what I want. Everything has a place and it stays in it’s place until needed. Minimalist living is a way of life and one I hope to continue for the rest of mine. I see no reason to change that because I believe it would only complicate the simplicity of being a minimalist and complicate life again after working so hard to keep it simple.
As far as others that are lucky enough to live in campers or sailboats, I must say the one’s I know are far from ignorant. I personally know of four college professors that have or continue to live in a camper, sailboat or both. One of those was a family of five, living on a sailboat, raising three children that were homeschooled at they traveled the world. Today, that family is extremely educated, earned some tough degrees and succeeded in the financial end of life. White trash? Bloatboaters? I think not. I’d say they all had the idea and I, for one, am lucky that way back when, each of them instilled in me the want and need for tiny living and a minimalist view of how to survive in an ‘I want this” world.