3 months into Airstream Living: Farewell, Southport!

We experienced just about every emotion during our first three months of Airstream living. The first week was a novelty. Everything was new and exciting. We were distracted with settling in, playing with all of our new appliances, eating off new dishware, sitting on new furniture, sleeping in a new place. We’d giggle when we’d bump into one another or hit our head on something. The second week started to feel more real. It was no longer funny to slam into each other while passing in the trailer. Hitting our head on stuff became really (really) annoying. Turning over in the night and hitting our elbows or knees on the one of three walls encasing the bed was getting old. Stepping out of our tiny shower and knocking our head on the shower rod was also delightful. It started to sink in that we completely missed the mark on our sofa and didn’t make it deep enough to get comfortable on. We also realized that we only built one work area…yet there were two of us working remotely from the Airstream. Overall we thought we had made a huge mistake. We were arguing non-stop and finding it nearly impossible to adjust to our new, tiny home. We contemplated quitting all of this and going back to a “normal” life. We started staying at hotels a night or two every couple of weeks. We looked forward to it. It sort of reset and centered us to be back in a normal sized living space. Then something unexpected happened. One night during one of our hotel stays I remember coming back to the Airstream to grab our laundry detergent. Everything hit me in that moment. I sat on the sofa and watched our twinkly LED lights that had come on at dusk with the timer. A warm, inviting glow filled the trailer and soft, filtered moonlight poured in through the windows. Everything felt right. I didn’t want to go back to the hotel that night or ever again. We both came to realization that night that Mavis felt more like a home than anything ever had. We laid in our big king-sized bed at the hotel and talked about how much we missed Mavis and her tiny cozy bedroom. In the coming weeks we got into a rhythm. It was as if we had a choreographed way of navigating the trailer and existing in the same small space together. We would marvel over and over again at the fact that we built a fully functioning house for a fraction of what we paid for one of our cars. Isn’t a house just a place to come back to at the end of each day to eat, shower and sleep? Why does it need to be so big? And you certainly can’t pick your house up and move it when you want a change of scenery. We started to feel like we discovered this huge, earth-shattering life hack that a lot of you already know about. We are happier than ever. And we are proud to be in the house-on-wheels club. 🙂

Tomorrow morning we leave the beautiful town of Southport, North Carolina. It’s been an absolute adventure getting to know such a wonderful town. We’ve never lived in a place where the people are so warm and kind. There’s always a lot of smiles, hellos and door holding. A real old-fashioned charm that I didn’t even know still existed. My dad refers to Southport as a modern day Mayberry. That’s a good way to describe it. We’d see the same familiar faces over and over around town, at the coffee shop and the post office. Something we never had coming from metro Atlanta. We’ll miss you, Southport! But someday, we shall meet again. 😉

Next stop: Atlanta. We are heading back to my folks house tomorrow to correct some of our design flaws. We are converting to one full-sized bed, adding a 2nd office space and installing a new inverter. Oh and giving Mavis a full mechanical overhaul. Next, we plan to meander out west. Stay tuned!

Sheena is a free-spirited adventurer who designed and renovated a 1975 Airstream in 2016 and travels the US with her husband and mohawk-sportin’ poodle. She’s a business owner, self-taught carpenter, blogger, yogi, professional photographer and a lover of the outdoors and healthy living.

6 Comment

  1. Love this! Thanks for sharing the good and the bad. We are getting ready to embark on Airstream life as well. We have to be out of our apartment by the end of May. We’ve been following your journey on insta and can’t wait to join the “house on wheels” club =)

    Safe travels on your way back to Atlanta. Can’t wait to see the upgrades you guys make!

    1. Thank you!! Oh yay, love hearing about others going down this path! Congrats and welcome to the club! ha!

  2. Oh my gosh! I appreciate your honesty- many lessons in this post. I really want to redo ours as well, so it is more comfy!

    1. Yes! I’m happy all is well in the end but thought everyone should know that hey, it’s an adjustment for sure! 😀

  3. Do you go to laundry mats? How do you feel about it if so?

    1. Honestly, for the first while we were scared of laundromats so we rented a hotel room every two weeks to wash clothes at their facilities. Then we decided to check reviews online of nearby laundromats, picked one and were pleasantly surprised. It wasn’t scary or dirty or anything! Ha! And we were in and out in an hour – laundromat machines are much more efficient than hotel machines! I’d say just to read reviews before going to one. They vary a LOT.

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