Living in the middle of nowhere is pretty damn cool

Published April 24, 2017   Posted in In Retirement

I kid you people not – it was about 2pm on a Thursday afternoon and I was sittin’ on the john taking care of some business when I glanced up and noticed my view out of our Airstream’s bedroom window. It was beautiful, and I told myself that I had to blog about this.

And so, here I am. Blogging. About my view atop our composting john. Aren’t you glad that you read this stuff? TSR is top-notch stuff.

My view out of our bedroom window perched atop our John.

Living in an Airstream (or any RV) out on the open road is more than just “living small”. While our 200 square foot abode definitely qualifies us as small livers, we aren’t just doing this for the environmental impact or bragging rights. This is about seeing this damn country of ours. Hitting the road and calling *anywhere* home. Not just for a couple weeks out of the year. Or the summer. This is a full-time gig.

We get a new backyard every time we move. Last night, we had tumbleweed-swept mountains with random wildflowers surrounding our home, and tonight, we’re nestled atop a desert cliff with a 300-foot sheer drop about 20 yards behind us. Red rocks hug our East/West horizon. A warm and gentle breeze flirts with our awning’s fabric and cools the inside of our rig.

Outside, it’s like we’re on vacation.

Last night’s view from our camping spot somewhere in Arizona.

This ain’t no vacation

But, we aren’t on vacation. Inside, it’s our home. Our dogs are with us. My computer equipment and kick-ass curved flat panel monitor gets fed from our solar system. Our couch with our familiar pillows and comfy blankets is there and ready to support our butts. Our bed waits in the back with sheets that our legs know well.

Inside, it’s normal – business as usual. It is familiar territory anywhere we happen to be geographically. Regardless of where we are, inside the Airstream is always the same. No hotel room bed like you probably get on a vacation. No overpriced meals. It’s our own stuff, all the time!

The outside is where we get to play around and have fun, see the sights, relocate at a moment’s notice. The inside is home.

We are far from experts, but we love this new lifestyle thus far. Our goal for this year is to take it slow and enjoy the experience. Far too often, people go gang-busters their first year of full-time travel because they want to see and do…everything. We are resisting the temptation to follow suit. The last thing we want is to burn ourselves out right after we start.

There is a lot to see, but the faster we go, the less of it we get to see.

How’s this “no work” thing going?

We are cliff-dwellers for the weekend!

Freaking amazing. I feel like I’m the early retirement fanboy who can’t possibly fathom anything but sheer ecstasy with retiring early. Maybe I am wearing rose-colored goggles, but even if I am, who the hell cares? We’re happy little clams doing what we do. People do travel and work full-time jobs, but I don’t think I could do it. That constant leash around my neck would quickly affect our lifestyle. The places we go. Remote work requires Internet access and connectivity – not to mention so much of your time.

I retired in December. My wife retired at the end of March. We live 100% off of our Ally savings account and whatever we happen to bring in through side income – which is generally in the $500 to $1,000 / month range. The more income we generate through our passion projects, the less we withdrawal from Ally.

That’s us keeping things simple once again. Neither one of us has any interest in maintaining a complex financial life.

We get up whenever we want (which generally coincides with our dog’s sleeping habits). We go about our business during the day. Hike. Chores. Walk / play with the dogs. Our lunches have become our largest meals of the day because we now have more time to cook during the day. Smaller dinners help to reduce the food prep at night and also helps minimize our caloric intake right before bed.

Charlie beneath the Nevada sunset

It’s windy as hell today, so I am catching up on some work. Like writing this blog post, video editing and a few Rockstar Finance enhancements. It’s nice to be able to flip on my office productivity switch whenever I damn well feel like it. This morning, we toured the Valley of Fire State Park.

Unbelievable. And, can I get an amen?

Valley of Fire State Park

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49 responses to “Living in the middle of nowhere is pretty damn cool”

  1. J. Money says:

    You had me at “john”

    • Steve says:

      Ha! There is something about toilets that’s just so darn attention-grabbing, isn’t there? 😉

      • DadsDollarsDebts says:

        In our hectic lifestyles the Jon gives us a moment of silence…that is before the cell phone crept into our lives.

        Looks amazing. I just sent this post to my wife because RV living (particularly Airstream living) is my dream. I figure we can do it in 10 years… at the ripe age of 46. Thanks for sharing your adventures.

        • Steve says:

          You are very welcome, and thanks for reading Dads. Hope our lifestyle inspires you guys to get out here too and see this wonderful country of ours. 🙂

  2. The pics that you take are breath taking. Even the picture from the “john” is awesome. Keep up the awesome “retirement work.”

  3. Amy Blacklock says:

    Amen!! Beautiful…well except maybe the ‘john’ part. HA! Love that you are having such an awesome time. Keep it going!

  4. Amen! Glad you’re loving the new lifestyle. Part of me is jealous, a pretty big part at the moment…but maybe someday we’ll have that experience as well. Even if it isn’t permanent, doing something like that for a year or two would be pretty awesome. And I’m sure those solar panels are rocking right now in that Nevada sun. Mine have sure been soaking it in lately!

    • Steve says:

      We’re so thankful that we went the solar panel route. Makes things so much easier and quieter during the day. Whenever there’s sun, we’re chargin’. 🙂

  5. Simply gorgeous pictures and it sounds like your having a blast. It’s enough to make us working stiffs who only get four weeks a year jealous. Someday we’ll do something similar with a less permanent pop up trailer…

    • Steve says:

      Ain’t nothing wrong with a popup. In fact, you can fit those things in far more places than we can fit our rig. That’s an advantage for sure.

  6. Can’t wait to poo in the desert. That is all 🙂

  7. mrspickypincher says:

    Ooooohhh, damn I’m jealous. That’s the life. 🙂 There’s nothing like waking up every morning with nature on your front step. This is the freedom that’s so, so worth it. 🙂

    • Steve says:

      Thanks Mrs. Picky Pincher. We’re definitely getting used to this lifestyle very, very quickly. Not sure if that’s a good thing or not! 😉

  8. That’s so awesome, but the best part is that you can enjoy the quiet of nowhere for a few months, but then if you want your city fix, just go drive there and plop down for awhile! The best of both worlds. I also love how you are ‘off grid’ with the compost toilet and solar. That is so freeing. I’m glad to hear you are not rushing either.

    • Steve says:

      That’s very true, Primal. In fact, we left Valley of Fire a couple days early because the wind was so bad. We gotta park somewhere, after all. Whether it’s in Nevada or Utah, it just doesn’t matter. 🙂

  9. brian503 says:

    Sounds like the making of a weekly post, thoughts from the john…. Love the scenery!

  10. Arrgo says:

    Taking your time to really enjoy it is the way to go. Hard to do if you only have a week vacation from work. Since my layoff last year I’ve only been doing my part time side gig which I’ve done for years. I dont know at this point if I could go back to being boxed in by a full time day job again. Its not so much about working but more about the time commitment. ..With terrain like that, keep your eye out for the Road runner and Wyle E Coyote 😉

    • Steve says:

      Ha! We’ve seen a lot of roadrunners, but no coyotes yet. And in regards to taking it slow, totally. There’s no rush out here. 🙂

  11. Retire by 40 says:

    Wow, beautiful pictures. I’m glad to hear you’re loving early retirement. It’s really cool that your wife is on board 100%. You can have all kind of fun adventures together. My wife isn’t quite on board yet, but hopefully she’ll retire soon. Enjoy!

  12. We leave for our first “more than a week” trip tomorrow – and we’re super-excited. Reading about your adventures just gets us more and more geared up for it! 🙂

  13. Mr. Tako says:

    Beautiful pictures as always Steve! I confess to never having blogged on the toilet. You’ve got the advantage there….especially when it comes to the view!

  14. Now I’m sad. I don’t have a window in the bathroom of my RV…

  15. Mrs. BITA says:

    Keep those pictures coming. I love how you have married the familiar with the strange: you keep your home the same but change your backyard view whenever you damn well please.

  16. Smiling from ear to ear. Can’t wait to join you in a year….love your updates! Live Life!

  17. Caren says:

    AMEN! OMG, think this is such an intriguing lifestyle! Here’s my concern – camp grounds. It looks like you guys have all the space you can want where you are, but do you ever find yourself camped so close to your neighbors you can hear their snoring at night? This is my fear, but otherwise I think this lifestyle would be so wild to try out!

    • Steve says:

      Hey Caren – not yet, but some campgrounds do pack you in so tight that it’s tough to breathe. We definitely try to avoid those. It ain’t worth the cost in our opinion. We’d much rather be out in the middle of nowhere with as much space as we can handle.

  18. paulandrews says:

    My future mother in law wants to do something very similar to this. I both want to send her this link (for her benefit) and don’t (for fear that she’ll end up living in my backyard…) Lol, but this was a great read, really cool to see how a lot of your blogging is subsidized by the sun!

    • Steve says:

      Ha! Thanks, Paul – I definitely understand your conundrum! And the sun has been so perfect thus far…it helps that we’re staying out in the West this year, too. So much sun out this way.

  19. Love the pictures! And I’m glad to hear that early retirement has been a comfortable adjustment so far. I’ve read before about people who retire and then don’t know what to do with themselves. It sounds like you don’t have that problem at all!

  20. Miss Mazuma says:

    Awesome!! Having your home on wheels has so many wonderful considerations I never thought of…view from the john being one of them! Have you missed anything a foundation gives that your wheels can’t? What comes to mind first is a grocery store for fresh fruit and veg. I know you have a sweet potato habit bar none to others but fruit is far more perishable (I know you can drive to a store)…I’m just curious how your diet is making the adjustment. Any changes?

    • Steve says:

      No changes thus far. Our fridge runs on propane so we can keep things cool pretty much indefinitely. We’ll find grocery stores somewhere around where we happen to be to pick things up every couple of days. For the most part, no real changes. The stores themselves have changed, but we’re primarily eating the same. 🙂

  21. I wouldn’t mind waking up to those views every morning.

  22. colinashby says:

    The photos are killer. It’s relaxing just looking at them! I love slow travel.

  23. ReachingTheCrest says:

    That silver of the air stream really shines against the desert colors. very cool.

  24. Ben says:

    Hi Steve,

    Awesome view.

    It’s great to have a spouse who are of the same FI views as you. I have yet to find the right one with the same view as I.

    It’s very likely that I will embark on the FI solo.


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