A Recap of Our Summer

Good Morning friends, family, and tiny house enthusiasts. I just realized it has been way too long since I’ve updated you on our tiny life. This summer has been one for the books. After a crazy and successful last semester of college, Hunter and I set out for Australia and New Zealand for a month long backpacking trip.

It was the trip of a life time. Everyday felt like a week packed with adventure and crossing experiences off of our bucket list. Ultimately, the trip taught us about our strengths and weaknesses, brought us together, and gave us enough memories to last a lifetime.

In New Zealand, we rented a mini van turned camper van and lived out of it for 10 days as we traveled all the way from Queenstown to Auckland. The experience was amazing and I loved having the ability to move and make plans on the go. It also affirmed one of my reasons for keeping the bus stationary.

A lot of people have asked me whether we plan on travelling the world with the bus. The answer is no. Although we do plan on travelling and living a freedom lifestyle the bus will be stationary in our small Illinois town. This is for a few reasons:

  1. The idea of having to figure out the logistics of where to park every night and being responsible for a huge bus all the time everywhere we go is not the most appealing. I’d much rather jump into our Honda CRV (more about that later) and hit the road.
  2. I started a new job in June and I travel A TON. To the point that when I get home I’m okay relaxing and enjoying being home for a while. I don’t need a mobile house, I just need something that will stay constant while I move from place to place.
  3. #PorchLife, as in, I am planning to put the coolest porch on this house once we finish everything so we can enjoy being outside when the weather is nice. Heck, if it isn’t mobile I might even consider a wrap around porch. Options ya know…

When we got back from Australia in June we had a lot of work to do on the bus and other projects before I went back to work. Goal one was to find a place to live, because after college I had moved everything back into my parents and left the country with no housing plan for when I returned. Hunter and I knew it was time to consolidate households for simplicity’s sake when I went back to working full time.

Luckily, we found a perfect rental house mid way between both of our jobs on the first try. It was such a relief not spending weeks trying to find a place and we’ve been really content in the new house so far. The house was a downsize for both of us which is a necessary transition before moving into the bus next summer. We’ve gotten rid of a lot of clutter and plan on keeping our stuff minimal from this point forward.

We also started focusing on our waste consumption and management. I’m really excited to tell you all I bought a backyard composter on Amazon Prime Day and it has been the best $80 spent to avert our organic food waste from the trash bin. After recycling and composting, our weekly trash is about the size of a grocery bag. #SustainabilityGoals

So now onto our projects…

Right before we left for Australia, Hunter rescued a Honda CRV from a field. He bought the little CRV with a blown engine for $200. When we returned he spent most of June working on the CRV and putting a new engine in and all of a sudden voila! We have a new SUV that is so much more functional than Hunters old car. We are constantly hauling materials for the tiny house every weekend and with the CRV we can load it up and not have to worry if it gets dirty or scuffed up. 20245867_10209727336325494_6878932488777667587_n

We’ve nicknamed the CRV “Kiwi” because in typical Hunter and Carmen fashion, we picked up car parts in New Zealand to make our CRV a Kiwi model.

With traveling and the CRV project the bus was on a standstill for the beginning of the summer. In the last 3 weeks, we started working again and I am proud to say the new roof extension is secured in place and we were able to place the windows in and make a “back door” that leads to the roof. The plan is to build a platform on the back part of the bus roof that can be used as a yoga deck or hang out spot. IMG_5952

Now that summer is ending and life is slowing down a bit, we are hoping to continue the momentum on the bus this year. It’s been a crazy few months, but I sometimes have to pinch myself when I look at how far we’ve come on our goals, on our relationship, and on this bus.

Until next time,




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