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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Our New Tiny House and Gypsy Farmgirl Plans


Last Saturday afternoon, in less than an hour, Papa Bear and I purchased our next home - a 1971 31' Airstream Travel Trailer. One giant silver piece in my Gypsy Farmgirl plans, complete.

After three+ months of living in two states, splitting my time between our rented 2-acre Little Farm outside of Minneapolis, MN and the 170-acre Big Farm in Ontario, WI, it is nearly time to begin the next phase of my Gypsy Farmgirl journey – leaving the mainland!

At the end of November, Papa Bear will start a leave of absence from his job which will enable us to spend 3 months away this winter. We decided to cross several items off of our collective "Bucket Lists" and head to Hawaii for two months, staying and working at Earthly Delights Farm, a member of the WWOOF program (Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms), in Honaunau, Hawaii, on the western coast of the Big Island.

There we will spend two months helping harvest tropical fruits, nuts and Kona coffee beans in exchange for room and board and a whole new set of farming skills, plus easy access to the Pacific Ocean, surfing (my bucket list), snorkeling (Papa Bear's list) and lots of beautiful Hawaiian sunsets (both of our lists).

We will be returning to the states some time in mid-Feb. (which we realize  be too cold in rural WI to move into our little silver bullet).  Having a "mobile home" will allow us to have a place to live on bare land until we build a permanent, year-round structure, and will allow us the option of escaping our Midwestern winters any time we feel a great need (hopefully on a regular basis!).

We haven't yet figured out exactly where we will park it next summer - hopefully on a little plot of land that we own.  Plans for that are still in the works. I'm sure something will manifest itself, as it always does.

PB's already making plans for refurbishing the 70's interior of our new little home, brightening up the cabinetry and capitalizing on clever storage options to maximize use of the roughly 200 square feet of living space.

I've been drooling over some of the beautiful ideas on the Hoffman Architecture website, where, it seems, this LEED-certified architect has drummed up quite a demand for refurbished Airstream campers and has several more in the works already including one he will be shipping “down unduh” to Australia by the end of the year.

Who says "tiny" can't be practical AND beautiful?

All of this is very exciting for us. Our plans for this have been in the works for several years now (probably in one form or another ever since we met in 2000), as we worked our way through piles and piles of debt, raised a child, sold our duplex and acquired a location independent salary.

We resisted telling folks about it for a long time because of, well, the "lobster-effect."  Some lobsters will try to crawl out of a pot on the stove, but their buddies still in the pot will pull them back in.  If you've seen the movie Revolutionary Road you'll understand what I'm talking about. 

We had no intentions of becoming Frank & April by prematurely discussing our newly hatched plans before they had a chance to grow into something so real and attainable, nobody could pull us back into the pot.

We are at that point now. The leave of absence is approved, the farm in Hawaii is confirmed, the plane tickets are purchased.

There are still a few {major} obstacles we need to overcome however.

Such as, where to put all our stuff when we move out of our house this fall. And what to do with 6 alpacas, 3 spoiled cats and 14 chickens, for three months.

But we are confident that will all come together, just as all of the other details have. Things have a way of working themselves out when you truly believe they can and will.

{Who wants to chicken-sit this December?}

So, what about you? Have you buried your Wildly Improbably Goals  under the piles of clutter in the basement of your comfortable home in suburbia, convincing yourself this is all you ever really wanted to do with your life?

Or are you one of the rare and brave souls who still cling to your dreams of travel and adventure and a life of your own design?  Are you trying to climb out of that pot?  Do you need a boost out?

If so (and I truly hope you are!), here are some of my favorite links and resources to get you thinking and dreaming of your own personal Paradise:

Drop me a line if you find these links helpful, and if you're going to be on the Big Island this winter, please please look us up!



jenlarson said...

I'm so happy for you guys - and just a little bit jealous ;) You've both been working hard towards this, and I'm sure everything's going to fall into place. Reading your blog has really been opening my eyes to all the possibilities out there...we just have to figure out what it is we want! We may be taking a trip to the big island, but it wouldn't be until March or April (for a family wedding) so you'll have to let us know what we won't want to miss while we're there! Thanks again for sharing. I can't wait to see what you do with your new mini-home!

Victoria Strauser said...

Thank you Jen! I know you'll get your little piece of paradise too!!

Jess said...

Fantastic! I'll babysit the alpacas!

Victoria Strauser said...

Yay! :)

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