When Kristin Hanes was laid off from her job back in 2016, she knew that she couldn’t afford to keep paying $1500 per month on rent in San Francisco. Her boyfriend Tom had just invested in a 1972 sailboat in desperate need of a complete restoration. Despite the fact that it had no stove, bathroom, heat or running water, the couple decided to make it their home, slowly transforming it into a vessel that would allow them to see the world. They now spend their time between the boat and a van, something that has taught them to value a different way of life.
“It was rustic living and challenging at first while Tom installed the systems [we would] need. During this time, I stored all of my belongings in the trunk of a tiny sedan, so decided I needed a van. I found a 1994 Chevy Astro with only 56,000 miles, which became my second tiny home. My bedroom, my living room, my work desk. I spent countless hours there, building a blog called The Wayward Home, meant to teach other people how to live tiny and simply as well,” Kristin told Lonely Planet.
The blog supported Krisin’s new life, and she now spends her time creating content that she hopes will connect with other people looking to make the shift to alternative living. Posts include “7 campervan bed ideas to kickstart your conversion”, “how vanlife breathed life into my elderly cat” and “how to pick the best tiny house trailer for your build." The site also has gear guides and resources for all types of builds.
When it comes to travel, so far Kristin and Tom have explored all over California in the van, and are getting ready to sail down the coast to Mexico. They have spent time anchored in San Francisco Bay and ultimately would like to sail around the world.
“Through living tiny, I've learned a lot. I've learned to distance myself from possessions and from consumerism. Even though all my clothes fit in packing cubes in my van, I am still going through them regularly to donate to Goodwill. I think very hard about buying something, about where I'll store it and if I truly need it. I've learned to be exceptionally thankful for the small things, things people take for granted on a daily basis.”
Kristin said that she is also passionate about letting people know that there is a support system and a community that will offer advice and inspiration when it comes to tiny home living.
More information is available on Kristin’s blog.