Nefelibata – My Current Home, a 200 Square Foot Airstream
“Cloud Walker” One who lives in the clouds of their own imagination or dreams or one who does not obey the conventions of society, literature, or art. WBCCI #11418Nefelibata is my loving name for my current Tiny House, my 2018 Airstream Globetrotter. Her name sums up the direction that minimalism and living tiny has taken me. And “Beast” is her sister, my Dodge Ram 2500 4×4 Diesel Truck who transports Nefelibata through time and space. I don’t know why I called her Beast. It’s just the name that came to me. Maybe it had something to do with me slaying the dragons on my journey. “Dragons” being my fears, embracing the unknown and moving forward into a space that seemed scary but in reality turned out to be amazing, and full of strength, beauty and joy.
“Why did you do this?”, was the awesome question I was asked. Why would anyone do this? Why would anyone choose to live full time in one of the crazy teeny tiny houses?
I’ll briefly tell you my why, here and hopefully my why will unfold more, as I share more stories, as well as some of the lessons I’ve learned along the way in The Tiny Adventures of ElisaMG.
You know at social gatherings when well meaning folks look at you puzzled and start asking inappropriate questions and sharing unsolicited advice? You know the type! Like, have you found anyone interesting? “There has to be someone who would be just perfect for you! You are an amazing, beautiful, smart girl!” I didn’t want to wait to live my life, just because I had not found that person they all thought I should be with. I figured carving out a different kind of lifestyle that acknowledged some of the realities that go with being single and, looking at my options for taking care of myself were important to me.
Everyone thinks everyone wants to make a bunch of money, buy a big house with a picket fence, get married, have kids and live the life! Arriving in California after landing that great job made me think I might just get to do that. As my income went up my opportunities went up and hey, we live in America my materialism went up. It crept up on me slowly. I didn’t really see the enormity of it until now looking back. Although my job involved me in things I was passionate about, it was very demanding and it was just me so I quickly learned I needed a pool guy, a gardener, and a cleaning lady to help maintain the house, as well as a good chiropractor, massage therapist, sometimes physical therapist and a traditional therapist to maintain me. Stress! Stress was costing me a lot of money and taking from me my precious time. Anyhow, I eventually saw the toll this lifestyle was taking up on me and I decided I needed my life back. I needed to know I could walk away from my job whenever I wanted and be fine with the finances I had.
I wanted to dive fully into a life that I had avoided because traditionally it is looked down upon, undervalued… a life exploring the arts. For me, that meant I had to live on less money, therefore… downsize. Thus began my journey from my lovely home, to a snazzy apartment in the arts district of downtown Pomona which I’ll tell you more about later when sharing what it was like to get rid of stuff, to the home I am currently living in, a 2018 Airstream Globetrotter.
My Airstream is a 200 square foot RV in the most glam and gorgeous of RV Parks. I share a beautiful view of the lake with million dollar mansions. My costs are still not down to what they could be living this life, but I’m taking baby steps. I have cut my costs to a third of what they used to be. I can get up and go whenever I want a new view! I live in a gorgeous, stress reducing wilderness but I’m seconds from several main freeways and not far from city life. And I’m in a safe space to explore and learn all of the technical and systems involved in operating my Airstream.
Yes, I was tired of working crazy hours to earn the money I needed to live the lifestyle I was living and still not have enough money, or things. I had plenty of things but they somehow always fell short of brining me true joy. I was super passionate about the work I did, however I knew I could take the work on the road with me and do it in a different way and get more satisfaction from it without the paycheck. I craved to be more in control of my time. I realized I didn’t even really know my immediate neighbors, who had been my neighbors for the last five years. I had dreams of following all kinds of artistic endeavors that I was daily letting go unfulfilled? In my journey so far letting go of things and living smaller has forced me to reassess my values, and ask what brings me lasting sense of well being. It’s not about getting rid of belongings and never shopping again. Its about refocusing on what is truly important to me. It has been about decluttering all of the mess in my life that did not bring me joy.
As Joshua Fields Millburn puts it “Love people use things. The opposite never works.”