How do you raise a family on the road? This is a question I get asked often from families curious about how it's possible. Tiffany and her husband Jacob have been traveling in their Airstream for a while, but it wasn't until recently that they moved into it full time and took their jobs on the road. I wanted to find out from them what it was like to live in a 30-foot Airstream Flying Cloud and how their children were adapting to the lifestyle.
We are Jacob and Tiffany, and we hit the road in our Airstream in late March. We set out with the intention of living more simply, making memories as a family, and being more intentional with our faith. For the past year, we've been traveling the U.S. in our Airstream.
What was life like before you moved into the Airstream?
Before we left, one of our biggest frustrations was how much time we spent cleaning the house at the end of each day. After parenting and working, this was time we wanted to be together. But instead, we were caught up taking care of our home and the things we’d accumulated. Our time and energy was being sucked toward our stuff, when that wasn’t what we really wanted.
Downsizing and getting rid of unnecessary things is helping us refocus on what we care about most. We lived in what we thought was our dream home and we had plenty of space, but we had no idea how much that would impact our time.
Why did you decide to travel full time?
We had dreamed for a while about a longer RV trip, and things slowly escalated into fully living on the road. We wanted to try a simpler, more minimalist life for a season. We wanted to be more intentional with our time and challenge ourselves.
What's it like to raise a family on the road?
It's both challenging and rewarding. There are some things that are harder than living in a house, but most of what we run into while parenting is similar to what we'd be dealing with at home.
On the upside, we have the opportunity to make some incredible memories with our kids. Our 3-year-old is soaking up experiences and information. We joke that life on the road is an amazing preschool. We're also closer as a family since traveling. We spend more quality time together, and even the two little ones are bonding more.
Why live this way?
It feels amazing. Selling just about everything—we can’t fit a ton in our Airstream—has been so freeing. We spend a lot more time experiencing things with our kids and connecting as a family/couple. There is more time to just breathe, which is nice.
What’s surprised you about this lifestyle?
Before we left, our biggest fear was how two kids, 3 and almost 1, would sleep in such close quarters. We were dreading the first couple weeks honestly. But they’ve done really well. We have our nights, of course, but they’ve done amazing. They’re actually adapting to road life really quickly.
What’s the biggest challenge?
We laughed out loud at this, because just today, my husband, Jacob, spent almost two hours trying to find propane for our tanks. Meanwhile, I was at home trying desperately to figure out the convection microwave. So all that said, the biggest challenge is being complete newbies and having lots to learn.
Do you have any words of advice for people looking to simplify their lives?
1. If you haven’t used/appreciated it in the last year, sell it. Why waste space on something you aren’t using? We’ve been able to sell a lot of used things as well to help pay for things we actually need.
2. Think about the things that matter most and make those your motivation. It’s easy to get distracted by new and shiny things, but when we stepped back and realized what we really wanted, it gave us the drive to make a change. We craved quality family time and having experiences together, and we realized the main thing holding us back was our stuff.
3. Purge and re-purge. While prepping for RV life, we went through our house several times to get rid of unnecessary things only to find that when we moved into the Airstream, we had to do so a couple more times.
Follow Jacob & Tiffany of Our Family Adventures
Produced & edited by Kathleen Morton.
Photos courtesy of Tiffany Blaze.