What’s the secret I wish someone would’ve told me decades ago?
If we start small, we can create our dream home almost instantaneously.
As children, we can play house in a tent. As teenagers, we can upgrade to a customized van. As twenty-somethings, we can convert a bus or buy a pod or build a THOW* from recycled materials. By middle-age we can move into a lovely RV, or design our own build-from-scratch tiny home. Etc.
All of these homes are affordable. And by taking care with how we craft the interiors, all of these homes can be beautiful.
By beautiful, I’m not just talking about what we can see. Beauty is how we feel, from the inside out, When we feel beautiful, we feel confident, empowered, and joyful.
Owning our home – with no rent, no mortgage, no loans, no debt – is beautiful.
Carefully choosing things to fill our home, and selecting only the Best Somethings: items that are [multi-]functional, long-lasting, and gorgeous, means beauty times three. Or four.
My tiny home is filled with over a hundred hand-crafted items, one-of-a-kind pieces collected from artisans all over the world. Every piece reminds me of the person who made it, and where I was when I chose it.
Beyond all these artistic pieces, my home contains hundreds of other more utilitarian items; items I spent hundreds of hours researching before I purchased them.
*Tiny Home on Wheels
At twenty-five feet long and eight feet wide, this bus/tiny home might seem small relative to the redwood trees.
Well, it is, and it isn’t.
Known as “The Champion,” (*) the bus was converted into a tiny home in less than one week (tight schedule, long story) before traveling to the Northern California coastline to glamp on a rocky beach…then in the redwoods…ultimately settling among oak and madrone woodlands along the Russian River.
Totaling 120 square feet, this mobile home contains an entire life: the space, equipment, plants, and furnishings for a scientist-poet who teaches year-round at San José State University. Plus a dog! And a harp!
Upcycling a shuttle bus isn’t nearly as hard as you might think. Once all the seats and fittings are pulled out and a new floor installed, you can do just about anything – floor to ceiling – with an electric screwdriver, elbow grease, and a pragmatic imagination. [Read on for the backstory]
With everything held in place using bungie cords, magnets, super glue, bolts, screws, and carefully engineered placement, the Champion is home to a terrific assortment of goodies essential to glamping: cushy lounge areas, handcrafted decor, high-end appliances, and an overall ambience of natural luxury.
Even more important, the Champion glamping lifestyle is carbon neutral. In other words, all of the systems created within the Champion are designed to have the lowest possible negative impact on the environment.
Although the ethos of glamping involves glamor and luxury, it isn’t just about having it all without caring about the (economic, social, or environmental) price. True glamping is about conservation, sustainability, and ethical responsibility: ensuring we take exquisite care of the natural beauty and wildness we choose to inhabit.
(*) The name is derived from its make and model: a Ford E450 Champion Challenger
What is essential to living with beauty and love?
An open and inquisitive spirit.
A commitment to integrity.
A desire to always do better.