Living in the middle of nowhere is pretty damn cool

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    Living in the middle of nowhere is pretty damn cool

    People think that living in the middle of nowhere is lame but I disagree. Read my story about retiring early, traveling the country, and living on the road.

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    Living in the middle of nowhere is pretty damn cool

    It was about 2 p.m. on a Thursday afternoon. I was sittin’ on the John, taking care of some business, when I glanced up and noticed my view out of our Airstream’s 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 you read this stuff? TSR is top-notch stuff.

    View out of RV window in the middle of nowhere
    My view out of our bedroom window

    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. Tonight, we’re nestled atop a desert cliff with a 300-foot 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. The nearest town (a small town with little more than a coffee shop and a post office) is miles away. The closest big city is a few hours down the interstate.

    Light pollution and smog don’t exist here; just thinking of them feels like remembering something from a past life.

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    Airstream RV camper on a dirt road
    Last night’s view from our camping spot somewhere in Arizona

    This ain’t no vacation

    Our life feels like a camping trip, but don’t get it confused:

    We aren’t on vacation — this is our real life.

    Our Airstream is our home.

    Our dogs are with us. My computer equipment and kick-ass curved monitor is solar powered. 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 business as usual. Regardless of where we are, the inside of the Airstream is always the same. No stiff hotel bed like you’d 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 the year is to take it slow and enjoy the experience. Far too often, people go gangbusters in 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. We retired early and walked away from city life because we didn’t want to work anymore, so why would we treat our new life like a job?

    How’s this “no work” thing going?

    Airstream RV parked on a cliff in Arizona
    We are cliff-dwellers for the weekend!

    Not working is freaking amazing.

    No more deadlines. No more pain-in-the-ass commutes. No more 60-hour workweeks or late nights in the office.

    I feel like I’m the early retirement fanboy who feels nothing 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.

    Related: Financial independence and early retirement for beginners

    Some people travel while working full-time jobs, but I don’t think I could do it. That leash around my neck would quickly affect our lifestyle. We wouldn’t be able to go wherever we want. Remote work requires cell phone service and Internet access, 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 $1000/month range. The more income we generate through our passion projects, the less we withdraw 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 dogs’ 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 afternoon. Smaller dinners reduce food prep at night and also help to minimize our caloric intake before bed.

    Valley of Fire State Park in Arizona
    Valley of Fire State Park

    It’s windy as hell today, so I am doing some writing. After this, I’m going to edit a video for a side project I’m working on. It’s nice to be able to flip on my productivity switch whenever I damn well feel like it.

    This morning, we toured the Valley of Fire State Park. Tomorrow, we’ll be in the Sandia Mountains of New Mexico, Arches National Park in Utah, or wherever we decide to go.

    Unbelievable. Can I get an amen?

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    Steve Adcock
    Steve is a 38-year-old early retiree who writes about the intersection of happiness and financial independence. Steve is a regular contributor to MarketWatch, CNBC, and The Ladders. He lives full-time in his 30' Airstream Classic and travels the country with his wife Courtney and two rescued dogs.

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