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Our Airstream Dream - The “Can-Life” (pt 1)

As we become more tech-dependent we as humans crave being closer to nature. And if we can’t be in it, we choose materials in our homes that remind us of nature. We are seeing design trends toward bringing the outdoors in. Using plants as decor items and a rising culture of “van-lifers” who minimize their possessions, maximize their tiny homes on wheels and go on the road to just to be free in the great outdoors.

My obsession with the Airstream came long before anyone knew of #vanlife or #tinyhome. It all started with Matthew McConaughey in 2008 with an article written about his Silver Bullet for Architectural Digest. It was so cool and retro. It was the smallest coziest space to live in just so your freedom could be boundless! And I promise you I thought less about the boundlessness and much much more about opportunities to use cozy bedding, and chic cabinets and oh! the white paint!!

In recent years I (seriously) scoured the internet for hours searching for “the one.” My restoration ideas were endless much to the despondency of my family who took me to the Mega Airstream dealership in Tampa, Florida hoping to entice me with “reliable tires” and “new gas lines!” No, absolutely not. I was having a vintage gal. Come hell-or-high water.

I bought the books. I read the blogs. I connected with Airstreamers through social media. Brad and I could do this! (The "I" turned to "we" of course. If you've read my “DIY-Painted Floors” blog you know that my ideas are Brad’s least favorite thing and that it usually involves work, mess or necessary assistance.) I (we) were going to seek to restore a vintage Airstream! People do it all the time right?! (Insert eye roll)

Yeah no. I came to the very harsh reality that this far exceeded my ability and my skill set the minute the discussion got real. My come-to-Jesus moment was the logistics behind taking out every rivet on the inside to inspect the frame and then having to put it back together. We are talking thousands of rivets. I needed something that was reliable and safe where I could put my actual skill sets to good use.

During my birthday party, 3 drinks in, I jumped on the last 10 seconds of a “buy now” on eBay. Correct. eBay. I had only ever purchased shoes on eBay and now I was officially the owner of a 1977 Airstream Safari who lived in Saskatoon and had been loving restored by people far more qualified than I. While lovely inside and safe outside, I was able to concentrate on making the interior my own.

You can imagine the mired of problems that can arise with buying a large purchase on eBay. How was I getting my gal across the country? (We live in Labrador) We had no time off to go and retrieve her, oh and the fact that neither of us has ever towed a camper. Ever. Was of concern also.

Where there is (my) a will there’s a way! 2 Weeks later she arrived in all her tin can glory on a flatbed where I ugly cried the entire day and then started putting my dreams to action. With a lot of trust in each other, help from friends and family and a ton of elbow grease, she is everything I ever wanted. Brad and I hit the open road with our cozy tiny home behind in July!

Putting plans to action. And maybe some napping.

I would be lying if I told you the need to be one with nature was the reason I bought my 1977 Airstream Safari but admittedly, it certainly has been the best consultation prize.

Part 2 next week! See what we've done with all those pillows and more!

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Awesome read! I want one!

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