An important message from ViolentlyCurly

I’ve been sitting on this announcement for a little while because I really wanted to make sure this is what we wanted before I spoke it aloud to the world… but I believe it is now time to let you all in on our plans.  After much thought and consideration, my husband and I have decided we want to downsize our lives and live full-time in a converted bus or similar vehicle.  This is a massive step in a much tinier direction, but we truly believe this is the best and most sensible and enjoyable path our lives can take.

I’ve been holding onto big dreams for a very long time.  If you’ve gotten to know me through my various social medias, you’ll know how inspired I am by nature.  When I was nine, my parents packed up the car and we took a massive cross country road trip, from Michigan to Oregon and back.  I fell in love with the vast and gorgeous variety of landscapes the trip showed us.  I’ve always imagined myself living a modest life off the land, surrounded with green and natural beauty; city life has always seemed too busy and wasteful and pointlessly monotonous to me.  I’ve always been a free spirit who covets the space and freedom to do my own thing.  I wanted to be able to dive into my creative passions, to learn some homesteading practices and be better to the earth, to lay in my yard and soak up the sun in the nude if I pleased.

Before my husband and I got married, we spoke of moving west, buying a house on a plot of land and settling down to start a family. As you may know, we did in fact make my childhood dream of moving to Oregon come true.  We’ve been living here for 6 years and it has been one of the most adventurous and personally developing experiences of our lives.  This was a change we needed to make, to grow and find ourselves and I would never go back in time and do it differently.  We did grow and learn and one of those lessons was that loved ones we’ve held dear for so long need to be a more frequent part of our lives.  2,230 miles was just too far and loneliness has started to become a regular fixture of our lives.  Last year, we officially started planning to move back to Michigan.

However, the housing market in the United States has had a steady and steep increase that makes these dreams of ours really out of reach.  Not only that, but the unfolding of the last few years here in the US has caused great anxieties.  Between a global pandemic, civil unrest, the uprooting of rights, frighteningly high temperatures, natural disasters, and the death of our close friend and best man of our wedding, I’ve been having to keep a continuous conscious effort to keep my chin up.  I’ve felt the frantic need to escape, to focus on what really matters; watching our money drain into rent on a meh apartment that’s the cheapest in the area while we look at houses online priced beyond what we could earn in a lifetime had started to become bleak.  My husband worked 10 hard years on the graveyard shift and we were hardly any better off than we started.  I had to quit working for others and carve out a new career for myself because my chronic pain made me unable to keep up with the intense grind that is expected of those in the modern workplace.  The feelings of powerlessness and confinement that has been growing inside me has made me question our goals which, to a certain degree, reflected the classic but increasingly unobtainable American dream.  

Then, over a vacation visiting family and friends in Michigan this summer, my mom made a groundbreaking remark.  “What if your dad and I bought a house on a plot that was bigger than we needed, and you and your hubs got an RV and drove back home and parked it on that extra space, living in it until you could afford to build a house there.”  My brain short circuited for a couple seconds… rebooting, stand by.  What a magnificent idea.  And the more my husband and I discussed it and tweaked it and researched it, the more we realized how much the mobile tiny home lifestyle appeals to and suits our goals.  

We discovered you can build multiple tiny homes for less than the cost of a very mediocre house in America. We found that many people have made their bus conversions entirely self sufficient and run their lives and appliances off of solar power alone.  We found that we could literally build exactly the space we need for all the things we love, while shedding these burdens and stresses at the same time, all without financial crippling us.

If we make this change to a more compact and mobile lifestyle, we could actually focus on the things that make us happy now, instead of working endlessly in the hopes it leads to happiness in the future.  From a converted bus, we could see all of what North America has to show us.  With a home on wheels, I could experience the wildlife and adventure of the nature I so adore while still having a warm comfortable place to heal and manage my chronic pain in.  With a smaller more affordable lifestyle, my husband could stop working so incredibly hard, slow down and soak in some the daylight he has missed for a decade.  He’d have the time and energy to focus on his incredible art and story telling, a huge part of what I fell in love with when we met and a part of him that has withered with the backlash of working nights for so long.  With the freedom of mobility, we won’t find ourself financially bound to a state passing laws we fundamentally disagree with.  If we choose, each day could be a new adventure.  By sacrificing material things and the space to hold it, our future could be a long series of just beautiful places and beautiful people.  And after these incredibly difficult few years, we really need that right now.

As I mentioned before and you likely already know, I have created a beloved and very fun fulfilling career through my art and my online streams.  I’m sure many of you reading this are wondering how a mobile tiny home will affect that, but don’t worry.  This is the beauty of converting your vehicle yourself, you get to build it out for exactly what you need.  There is still a lot of research ahead of us, but it is our intention to outfit this bus of ours with everything we would need to create art and content on the road.  From what I’ve found out so far, it is possible to have mobilized internet in your RV, so we’ll be working to set it up so I can livestream when I can, and when I can’t I can film content to be uploaded when we regain connection again.  My whole life, all I’ve wanted to do was make a comfortable living just being myself and creating my art and I know living tiny will help make this our reality.

Now, a bus conversion is no light undertaking, it is going to take anywhere from 6 to 24 months of hard effort, physical and mental.  From what I’ve researched so far, a bus conversion can be accomplished from anywhere from 15k to 150k, depending on a vast number of variables, including material, acquisition and the cost of your level of lifestyle. As we are looking to be boondock ready so we can see all the beautiful places with as much self sufficiency as we can, we will need lots of solar power to run our devices for creating art, editing video and live streaming, on top of our home appliances.  I’m still in the early stages of information gathering, but I’m estimating the build to cost around 60k to cover our creative, wellness and occupational needs.

As we do not have 60k, we will be knuckling down and saving money for this build.   Building this bus will be a many step process.  We currently live in a small apartment with very limited parking space, so there is a lot to figure out before we even purchase our vehicle.  While we research and organize these things, we shall be in purging and saving mode. We will be slowly selling and donating our accumulated items until we are left with the essentials.  In order to create some extra income, I will be trying some new things on my livestreams like adding more frequent ticket shows and focusing on non-stream purchasable content.  My discord server will be the best place to stay up to date on those things.  I will also be revamping my gift and donation sites to reflect these goals; if you’d like to contribute to help us reach it more quickly, see the support page.

I know this is a big change and how it might seem a bit crazy or scary, but so was moving across the continental US and we managed that just fine.  The possibilities of happiness, adventure and affordability that this bus will bring us far outweighs any apprehension I may harbor thinking about the labor heavy path ahead.  I know we can do this, I believe in us and I hope you believe in us too.  I cannot wait to start this amazing adventure!

Yours, ViolentlyCurly