“Once in a Lifetime” Talking Heads….
“And you may find yourself
Living in a shotgun shack”
“And you may find yourself
In another part of the world”
“And you may find yourself
Behind the wheel of a large automobile”
“And you may find yourself in a beautiful house
With a beautiful wife” (or husband, or partner, or self and dog in my case. )
And you may ask yourself, well
How did I get here?
I get so many private messages from folks asking me to display the insides of my Airstream. “What does it look like?” they ask. I’m guessing they really want to see it as a clue into what is this life choice like. What is it like to “live the dream?” As anyone who has ever sold a house knows, photography of the house sells a fantasy of a better life, greener grasses. One can look at the professional photos taken and say “This is not my beautiful house! In downsizing I went in search of a more beautiful house and life. I think the gift of this pandemic is it slowed me down and helped me appreciate I had found it, instead of listening to my inner citic who liked to point out that it did not always look like the magazine photoshoot you see all over instagram, perfect and dreamy. I learned to stop comparing myself to every other Airstreamer. We all do it differently, and things like a pandemic can alter how you do things too. I am getting better at accepting what is. When one lives in an Airstream, it will look lived in. Whatever package that picture comes in actually is dreamy and picturesque. Where we all are in life, is exactly where we are supposed to be.
In my Airstream interiors, you’ll find a bunch of colorful over stuffed baskets filled with sstationary and cards for inspiration, paints, brushes and canvases, as well as my camera and lighting equiptment, tons of industry magazines and book collections from my various book clubs. I climb off the end of my bed rather than walk on the sides so that I can keep my keyboard and get lost in the joys of creating music, something I do with headphones on in total privacy thus avoiding the snow bird jam sessions in the parks until I feel more confident with my skills. The other side of the bed has baskets of all of my favorite shoes… which are the one thing I have difficulty downsizing. Since I was young, I have always loved shoes. If I’m lucky you’ll come for a visit when I have actually made my bed and not just a heaped up pile of my favorite Peruvian blanket, down comforter and pile of pillows with a pile of some of my weeks choices for outfits folded neatly on the end of the bed unless toppled to the floor by the dog. Yes, I tend to leave out a few outfit choices so I don’t have to dig through the small closets as much. And I’d say 1/3 of the time their is a pile of dirty dishes, 1/3 a pile of drying clean dishes and the 1/3 I’ll share with you is when the counter is perfectly cleaned off and staged to look amazing. Yes it is a bit messy which mirrors life. Life is a bit messy, whether you stay in a sticks in bricks home or roll down the road to the next stop. I love that you follow me, but seeing the actual visuals of some parts of my Airstream interiors will depend on just how cluttered it is in the moment. Something, only my dog and I get to see.
Living full time in my trailer has taught me lessons that spill over into all areas of my life. Learning to accept my current life just as it and not expect things to be perfect, has made me a much happier person. I have learned self acceptance in all arenas, including accepting right where I’m at in my process of being an artist. Most artists know, we are our worst critics. I love some of my works. I can’t wait to paint over some pieces. I sometimes think I am finding my style. Other times I choose to break out of it and therefore think I’m still discovering it. I ebb and flow from being a good business person to watching other flourish and thinking I’m not so good at it. But then I get up the next day, maybe get a delivery of fresh paints in the mail, take a breath and start all over. It has all helped me slowly build myself as an artist and build my business too. Soon I will make the jump and open websites where folks can support me and go home with some of my creations with the click of a button.
When we see these magazine photoshoots of all of our favorite Airstream travelers we get to dream through them. What we really want is to see the interiors of another life, different choices, grass on the other side. It’s funny, even living fulltime in an Airstream I still love looking at my sister solo travelers magazine views of their lives. And yes, I still appreciate the beauty of the stand still homes you all live in. It keeps the possibilities open, the choices endless and the dreams alive. There are no right or wrong choices, only choices. I realized I am not alone in living a life that is not as photo ready as one would think with a quick look.
We all go through imperfect love lives and relationship failures or lessons. We all learn how to navigate loneliness when traveling solo, worry about our personal health or the health of loved ones and its possible impact on our ability to travel, or hustle to make ends meet . We all work on our confidence in our skills at doing what is needed to live like this. As a solo sister traveling I learned that guys are not born with an inherent ability to deal with tools and engines, but rather have to learn, just like I am.
Like the sticks and bricks folks there is a huge range of how much income we live on from those of us who have kept our large land locked homes, art studios, rental properties, along with their multiple Airstreams, or those of us who own memberships in Airstream parks and their equivalents, to those of us who have gotten quite savy at making a small income stretch by downsizing our need for physical possessions as well as exploring a variety of parking options like National Forests, private land, Hip Camp as well as parking on BLM lands and other options, thus living very frugally.
There are those of us who have a magazine life of grand adventure, daring and courageously going where some of us only dream of going, but also those of us who in reality maybe move about within a state, or crop things out of our amazing photos that tells on us that we actually don’t head too far out into the crazy wilderness. And there are those of us who truly are incredibly brave adventurers, but we still have to deal with the ups and downs of life in other arenas, just like everyone else. I realized for myself I don’t need to traverse the steep mountain slopes, even if I have sown myself I can. It’s the bravery of those who do that inspires me. It inspires me to be brave in other ways like putting my art out and asking people to spend money on it.
As Streamers and Fulltimers we have gotten the art of finding employment from the road, either out of necessity, out of the desire for some extra cash, or out of a wish to continue to share the gifts we have with others. For some of us it is simply just because its fun to bring in a few extra bucks to splurge on that latest industry gadget. And sometimes its just fun, like me learning how to make a little cash being a bartender, or devote myself to full time volunteer in campaign organizing in an area with high need during the elections. We might do a littel work here or there, but its not work in the form of the standard American way, where we give our souls to our jobs, define ourselves by which rung of the ladder we are on, and abandon our families, friends and most importantly ourselves to make everyone else happy. The work we do now, if any is work that we take away something and its typically humble and small and not a significant percentage of the time we spend on the road.
As you can see there is an overlap between the visual interiors of our rigs and the interior souls of this lifestyle. For each individual, it is just that individual. The best way is to know what your interiors would be like is to jump in and see for yourself as you travel down the road. There is no right or wrong way to do it. You can always go back to sticks and bricks, get another job, change your mind or whatever. It all is what it is. It all is a part of the interiors of Airstream Life, RV Life, Nomad Life, or just life in general.
I hope you enjoyed another tiny peak into my interiors. I thank you if you are still following me, especially after long break (dealing with pandemic and 2020 in general). Well… I’m back! We only have one more month until 2021. Let’s enjoy it like it’s all we’ve got, while being safe of course. Thanks for sticking with me!
4 thoughts on “Reflecting on Interiors – Not A Magazine Photoshoot”
An honest, heartfelt, beautiful, wonderful life. Inside and out. Proud of you.
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Thank you Joella!
Nice to hear from you and love reading about your life. Stay safe. Xo
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Thanks! You stay safe too!🙂