Why We Chose to Live in an Airstream Full Time

The tiny house movement is slowly taking over mainstream millennial living. What used to be our parent’s vacation getaway is now an option for a permanent dwelling… mortgage free! Nowadays, with so many wheeled-houses to choose from, it’s easy to find the right one for you: tiny houses, fifth wheels, teardrops, Airstreams, RVs, pop-ups, take your pick.

We picked up a 31ft 1976 Aistream Sovereign Land Yacht for $13,000 CAD (cheaper than a year of rent in Toronto). Airstreams are the Cadillac of trailer living; brand new, these aluminum apartments go for up to $160k! Our frugal budget is $40k, which leaves us $27k to upgrade 1976 to 2016. As the gutting begins, the problems pop up like kernels on the stove. What did we get ourselves into? We aren’t renovators, trades-people, and we don’t know squat about trailers. Despite all the questions we have, we aren’t questioning our new lifestyle choice.

First step was packing up all of our stuff!

The first step was packing up all our stuff!

Renovating an Airstream_Downsizing2We had A LOT of stuff.

Our Airstream (she is currently nameless) needs to be retrofitted to our lifestyle: a mobile office, charming home and functional studio space for filming YouTube videos. As travel videographers, we spend half our time on planes, in hotels and going on wild adventures (I’m currently writing this on a flight to Thailand). Kristen and I have explored the world on foot, camel back, motorcycles, flippers and hot air balloons. Now we want to explore Canada and US with a windshield and a snail shell. How often did we wish we had new neighbours or a different yard? Now, those changes are literally a turn-key away.

Renovating an Airstream_Washroom Before2


Renovating an Airstream_Washroom BeforeThe bathroom before any renovations.

Renovating an Airstream_Kitchen Before2 Renovating an Airstream_Kitchen Before

Renovating an Airstream_Living Room Before

“Live wel” might have to go.

This new lifestyle is a long-term plan. We want this “sardine can” to be our dream home. It will be a space to grow our businesses, a vessel to travel with friends and a home to start a family. Surprisingly, tons of people are raising and home schooling one, two, three and even four kids in the same size trailer as ours. Kids are natural born explorers, making up daring tales of escapades and mystery. Remember when your parents’ living room carpet turned into lava? Now put your childhood imagination in the Red Woods forest of California or watching the Northern Lights in Yukon. Road trips have all the ingredients to cook up creativity.

Renovating an Airstream_3

Wow! Big changes happening!

Renovating an Airstream_2 Renovating an Airstream Repairing Floors Renovating an Airstream Gutting

Hard at work on our new home!

This exciting new lifestyle change doesn’t come without worry. Even now the thought of crashing at families and friends houses until our airstream is renovated is a little daunting. I haven’t actually realized that we are “homeless” until this moment. Woah! Yes, it’s a radical change from our cozy apartment on a subway line in Toronto. Yes, I have concerns about unknown issues that will arise on the road. Yet, I have never felt more free in my life.  

Siya Zarrabi began his travel lifestyle at the age of 16, embarking on a four month solo trip to Paraguay. Since then, he has filled passports with stamps of foreign borders.



  1. Colleen Dempster
    May 30, 2017 / 3:48 pm

    Hi Kristen and Siya,

    I heard about your B/vlogging of your Airstream Reno experience through my friend Essa Bowser (wife of Andrew Huang). I’m glad I checked out your channel! You guys are awesome!

    My husband and I just bought a 1971 Airstream Soverign Land Yacht. Same lay out but mirror image. She is sitting in our driveway half gutted, and we are going through the same experience of finding nasty surprises in the walls and such. It will be a long process to restore it, and we too plan to travel our beautiful country/continent with it for the next many years!

    i look forward to your next update. Keep it real!


    • May 31, 2017 / 11:10 pm

      Hi Colleen. It’s so nice to hear from you. I love Essa and Andrew. They are solid people. The renovation process sure has been a journey but she’s almost done! We pick her up the first week of July and I cannot wait. That’s SO exciting you have an Airstream as well. Are you planning on living in it full time? Maybe we’ll meet on the road 🙂

  2. Darryl
    May 16, 2017 / 3:32 am

    Thanks for sharing, I love the videos! What was the outcome of your airstream dreams?

  3. September 14, 2016 / 2:47 pm

    Nice road trips…

    • September 15, 2016 / 8:23 am

      Yeah! We’re definitely looking forward to some amazing road trips in our new home!

  4. August 28, 2016 / 5:38 pm

    You guys! This is awesome. I love your enthusiasm in your video. I can’t wait to follow you on your adventures!

  5. August 22, 2016 / 12:52 pm

    guys, I’m officially really really jealous.

  6. MissForest
    August 22, 2016 / 9:29 am

    Check this out: http://remembertoexplore.com
    My friends traveling the US for a long time now with their 2 kids in a caravan.

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