You ready for this before and after? Woop woop! Let's do this! I've been so excited to share!
We took a video touring our new camper the day after we bought our 2009 Casita Spirit Deluxe Travel Trailer. You'll see my excitement!
We had just come from five months living out of a campervan (ahem, minivan) in New Zealand. The bed served many purposes: bed, couch, kitchen counter, and as the kitchen table many days.
Living Tiny in New Zealand
Our campervan bathroom situation? Public showers and campsite drop toilets. Yuck! After five months of this-- you'd be this excited about your own bathroom, too!
The bathroom logistics aside, campervanning New Zealand changed our lives. So much so, I wrote a book for other travelers on how to do it: How to Buy a Campervan in New Zealand.
Our lifestyle was on the move every day seeing NZ's beautiful sites. We were living tiny, with only what we needed, and the outdoors became our extended living space. By being pushed outside, we saw the southern lights and an eclipse at random! We loved it and we were hooked.
When we returned to the US, we wanted to continue this nomadic lifestyle-- as long as I had my own toilet and shower. I was firm on this and stood my ground against Adam's "truck stop shower" solution.
The arguments over the bathroom situation were real! You can watch how it went down on our episode of HGTV's Tiny House Hunters as Backpackers Go Tiny here.
Okay, you ready to see the before and after? Here we go!
Here's a tour of our 2009 Casita Spirit Deluxe Travel Trailer the day after we bought her. Welcome to Bernadette! Her name comes from being lovelier and classier than Bernie our NZ campervan.
Now, nine months later... a few things have changed!
After: Camper Turned Glamper
Check her out!
What Really Happened Between Before & After?
1. Bed Space
We initially thought we'd use both tables a lot. Since making the bed for the first time (by collapsing the big table down), the table's never been back. It's too much effort. So, we keep the big table down as our bed and couch, and use the little side table for all the meals, working, and craft making.
2. Tow Vehicle
We're towing our Casita with our 2002 Ford Explorer. Her name's Shugs, because for her condition (200,000+ miles and she's on her fourth transmission) she's been super sweet to us.
3. Making Her Our Cozy Home
My mom came to the rescue. How was I going to turn carpeted walls and faux wood cabinets into our home? Well, we did a lot of brainstorming, crafting and shoppin' til we were droppin' together! Thank you, Mom!
My study guide? Glamping with Mary Jane. It was gifted to us from our friends, the Thompson's. I read this book front to back.
Gosh! It was so nice to be validated that what I really want is okay. To live nomadically, but still feel like a lady with my own toilet, shower and decorative pillows and bunting!
I gave roughing it a valid go. On our #nuventures, we've lived in a tent for five months; a minivan for five months; and we backpacked for six months. We did everything as low budget as we could to keep traveling. Many of you even hosted us on our journey. Thank you!
In our camper, we can travel in comfort and we have everything we need.
Now, that we have our own space in the world, we can host folks. Aw, she's not too tiny.
Please come on over! You're always welcome and we'd love to have you!
4. A Change from "Experiment" to "This Feels Right"
When we first bought our camper, we knew this was an experiment. We had no idea if this was the right lifestyle for us or even the right size camper. We're living in about 100 square feet.
Our tentative plan was to live a year living this lifestyle. If it didn't work, we were ready to adjust and make a change. Honestly, we had no idea what we were doing (emptying tanks, getting water, how to get electricity), but we were curious and excited (obviously).
After nine months of living in Bernadette, she's our home. We've even started planning what Year 2 will look like traveling and living in her.
Through just going for it and experimenting, we figured out we love this lifestyle!
Cheers to more glamping #nuventures! Come on over and join in!