Epic downsize: My wife and I met a fellow camper the other night who left his Atlanta condo, bought an inexpensive travel trailer, and hit the road out to Tucson, AZ to enjoy the warm weather and outdoor space. It was an amazing lifestyle change.
On our way to the pool one evening with towels in hand, he grabbed our attention and motioned us over. He is a man in his 30s – a traveling nurse. “Is that your Airstream down there?”, he asked. Indeed it was, and we answered in the affirmative. He expressed his interest in getting one in the future and revealed how much of a lifestyle change he just went through.
He is a traveling nurse and can work from anywhere in the country. He chose Tucson Arizona due to the extremely low cost of living, wonderful springtime weather and lots and lots of outdoor space. He certainly didn’t get that in his downtown Atlanta condo.
Especially outdoor space. He “outgrew” his condo, he said. He was used to a relatively normal life in the big city, a condo full of stuff and a daily routine of work.
Now, he lives in a very small camper with his dog and can be found reading an Arizona travel book poolside in the middle of the day.
A green tarp covers the space behind his camper. Surrounding the perimeter of the tarp is a string of small lights that helps to illuminate the little outdoor kitchen he built for himself, which consists of simple items acquired cheaply from estate sales. He always wanted an outdoor kitchen.
This guy represents perfectly the freedom of choice in this country. He left his cushy surroundings in a comfortable downtown condo and now calls a small camper – without even a bathroom – home.
Amid huge million dollar motorhomes with marble floors and granite countertops, king-size beds and full refrigerators, outdoor televisions and motorcycles, ATVs and other pricey toys parked alongside these huge rigs in this campground, here’s a guy living in a 50 sqft camper worth all of a couple grand. The green tarp out back probably doubles his personal space.
It’s question time: Could you leave your cushy downtown condo or home in the suburbs to adopt a simple-living lifestyle, traveling the country in a small camper? Or perhaps a better question – what would need to happen before you commit to such a radical change in your lifestyle?
Could you do this? What would make you do this?
Steve is a 37-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 with the country with his wife Courtney and two rescued dogs.