2017 hasn't gone exactly as planned.
In January, Allison and I packed up and moved to California. We were unbelievably lucky to have been offered a free place to stay and we leaned on it pretty heavily, leaving our jobs to pursue freelance without the pressing concern of how we’d make rent every month. We were convinced before we ever left that Ventura was our new home base. We were going to use our time there to focus on professional growth, to work on personal projects, and to develop big-picture goals for ourselves as individuals and as a team. I soft launched a new blog, Peak Season, with the intent of using Southern California as a hub. I was insistent on gathering stories, exploring different landscapes, and capturing the essence of the places we visited in photos and writing. And Allison finally had the time and clarity to pour into Merit, a studio front for her web design services.
We departed Ventura in early January to spend 40 days touring the Coastal and Rocky Mountain Ranges. We made it all the way to Revelstoke, BC before getting some unfortunate news about our housing situation: we had to be out by the end of March. We hadn’t left Dallas with a contingency plan or even much of a savings account, so the news incited a slow-burning panic. We were still 3 weeks from the anticipated end of our trip, but we decided to split the difference and head home early to rethink our long-term plans.
When we finally arrived in the right headspace to start thinking about our next move, we lobbed out all sorts of ideas before landing on one that made sense. Could we stay with a relative? Could we live in a van? Could we just squat in this house until the new tenants had us legally removed? No, maybe, and probably not. Living in a van was the most appealing since we had a long list of cities we wished we could live in but not enough income for rent. But living in a van isn’t sustainable in the long term, at least not for us. While I would have jumped at the chance, Allison’s plan-oriented brain offered a 5 year fix instead of my 1-year bandaid: a travel trailer.
The hunt for our Airstream was not easy. In fact, we didn't even start by looking for Airstreams. We spun the wheels for a couple of weeks looking at dime-a-dozen travel trailers before realizing just how short the lifespan of a generic pull-behind really is. When we started looking for an Airstream, we decided we’d be comfortable stripping it all the way down to bare bones and starting from scratch, but even the ones that need work seem to sell faster than you can get to them or not at all. It took weeks and weeks of non-stop searching, getting this close to having the perfect trailer, and something happening that kept us from buying, before we ended up at the Roanoke Regional Airport. That's where Robert kept his stripped down 1970 Airstream Overlander that he had listed for sale on Craigslist.
When we showed up to take a look, we were the first of three buyers that were supposed to be by that day. We talked to Robert and his friend Kenny for what seemed like hours (we were sold on the trailer once we saw it, but they were incredibly friendly and very talkative) and finally sealed the deal with a handshake and a single dollar bill. This was pretty atypical for people selling Airstreams. Usually it’s cash in hand or no deal, but Robert and Kenny gave us the extra time we needed to get money from the bank and we picked up the trailer and all the parts and pieces the next day with cash.
It was a long journey to get to this point. Leaving California was hard and the search for a trailer led to a lot of days feeling unaccomplished and surprisingly hopeless, but all the frustrations, upsets, and struggles led us to this 47 year old tin can that we’ll soon get to call home.
Peak Season is on hold during the renovation. A project of this size takes up a lot of time and energy and priority is on having everything done by the end of summer, but Peak Season will be back up and running with a fresh face and new stories at some point. In the meantime, I’ll be documenting as much of the renovation process as possible on Instagram.