camping

Why We LOVE Van Life

Why We LOVE Van Life

Matt and I have been talking a lot lately about vans, and what we’d like in a vehicle if we ever “moved up” from our little tiny Honda Element micro-camper. 

For the past 2 years we’ve had the awesome experience of traveling around the country (41 states, baby!) in our customized-by-us Honda Element. It has been awesome!!

We lived in the van/Element for one month, and then two months, and then four months - plus smaller little one-month trips in between. We’ve spent about 50% of our time over the past 2 years in the Element micro-camper.

Vermont and Maine Adventure: Small houses and Design/Build Inspiration

Vermont and Maine Adventure: Small houses and Design/Build Inspiration

Hello there, friend! I'm happy to say Matt and I made it back from our Vermont/Maine trip, where we ate a ton of maple creemees (sometimes 2 in one day) and lots of blueberries.

I graduated from college last Sunday with a degree in Sustainable Design + Build. So now it's "official". A lot of people ask me if I feel relieved or like I can now just relax for a bit but that's not really my style! Mostly I'm just excited that there aren't any more little nagging things left to do admin-wise and that the degree is in my hand. I didn't think it would be an important moment for me, to get that piece of paper, but it was definitely nice to be recognized for all the projects I've been doing!

Dave Sellers, the famous architect/designer and my dear friend, was the commencement speaker at the ceremony. He gave a really great speech that instead of making us graduating students feel like it was time to just relax and take a break, we really need to get to work on our full potential! At least that's how I felt. So the day we got back from the trip I started writing another big thing. I can't wait to share it with you soon.

Explaining Tiny Houses to High School Students

Yesterday Matt and I made our long awaited return to the amazing Anne Richards School in Austin, Texas. You might remember our visit last year, where we were brought in to teach the all-girls engineering class for 2 weeks, as they were doing the first COMET Camper-inspired curriculum, Project  Ventura. The girls had to design an eco-friendly trailer to be used by the school community.

This year, the girls of the Anne Richards School have a bigger budget and a bigger project: to turn a huge Airstream trailer into a teacher's lounge powered by solar panels. We are so excited to be in Austin again hanging out with these amazing high school girls. Their passion and innovation is incredible. I keep telling them how lucky they are to be restoring vintage trailers as a school project! I think they realize the importance of the project and the opportunity it creates.

So yesterday Matt and I gave the class our introduction to Tiny Houses. I'm used to giving this presentation to groups of older people - people living on their own already, and people with jobs and kids. But giving the presentation to high school students was totally different! They could see the COMET lifestyle (either in a trailer or tiny house) as a way out of their parent's house, or as an alternative to expensive college dorm housing. We heard many of the girls exclaiming "I have to rethink my whole life now!!", which was awesome!

Trailer Babes: Interview with Sarah Mueller of TowLola

I found Sarah’s blog TowLola recently and knew that I wanted to share a fellow female trailer babes’ story with you. I emailed Sarah about being camper pals and to tell her how rad she is, and we got to talking about rallies, vintage trailer life, the hassles of towing, trying to become writers, and what it’s like to be a woman nomad in America. She said she was inspired by my COMET to look for a vintage trailer as her adventure-mobile, and I was so flattered! I asked Sarah a few questions about her decision to travel in a vintage trailer and her life with Lola, her 1960’s Fan camper. You can read the interview below. I hope this badass, amazing lady inspires you to get out there and do something awesome, even if that means just saying”Fuck it!” and taking the leap!

 

ME: What inspired you to buy a camper and hit the road?

SARAH:    I'd been living in a 3-bedroom house for about 4 years, working full-time in a day job I hated while I struggled to write and make art in my spare time. I'd always had this fantasy of just being able to "pick up and go."  I saved money for a long time, thinking I'd need it, but having no real plans. When my long-time boyfriend and I decided it was time to sell the house, I sat down in front of him at a pub and blurted "I'm going to buy a BUS." He and I are both explorers by nature, so he just nodded and smiled and asked how he could help. The bus idea went through several iterations (bus, van, housetruck, camper) and I shopped around for a rig for about 4 months. I spent nearly all of my free time on Craigslist. Finally, after moving in with my parents and being generally miserable and thinking it would never happen, I stumbled upon Lola. She was cheap and ready to hit the road, and resided in Elkhart, IN. The idea of towing anything terrified me, but by this point I was so desperate that I drove up and bought her before anybody else could. It took another three months to gather supplies, outfit the Jeep, and sell all my belongings. It wasn't any one thing that led me to my adventure, I guess. Simply the realities of my life combined with a desire to "get out there."