by Steph Sarff

Swapping stability for mobility

Four years ago, the idea of buying an Airstream and taking their lives on the road was a fantasy that mostly lived inside Alex and Pru’s heads. But after saving with Simple and getting serious about their Goals, they’re set to start traveling around the country with their dog, Sudo in January.
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It all started with a video on Vimeo. Alex stumbled upon “Tomorrow Somewhere New” and found himself watching it over and over again. He couldn’t shake the idea of hitting the road and experiencing life on wheels and on the go.

At the time, he and his partner, Pru, were looking to buy a house in Los Angeles. It just felt like the next logical step for them, along with having kids.

But the more he watched the video, and the more research he did about people living and working in unconventional ways, the idea to leave the “rat race” behind became more appealing.

So he decided to show Pru the video. They watched it multiple times and went to an Airstream dealer the next day. But that was four years ago.

Getting serious about the swap

They kept talking about buying the Airstream, and a truck to pull it, but consistently found other ways to spend their money. The dream they once had seemed to be getting tossed aside for other things and possessions that weren’t making them any happier.

So after taking a hard look at their finances and realizing that this was something they really wanted to do, they buckled down. They agreed to save in two stages while still paying rent and covering other monthly costs. First they’d save for the truck and second, the Airstream.

To get started, they set a Truck Goal for $10,000 in their Shared Account. They both have direct deposit with Simple, so when they’d get paid, they’d each transfer money over into the Shared Goal. Soon enough, they were actually seeing progress!

After about six months, they ended up saving $7,000 – a bit shy of their plan but enough to buy what they wanted. They traded in their car for $13,000 and checked off “truck” from their to-purchase list.

With the truck paid off, they were able to focus on the grandest cost of them all; the Airstream. Their mission was to save 20% for a down payment, which would be about $20,000 and no small feat.

They set up another Goal and decided they’d each contribute as much as they could each paycheck. They knew that number would fluctuate each month, and a Shared Goal allowed them that flexibility. They’d both manually move money over on payday, and throughout the month as often as possible. Having it in a Shared Goal gave them both access to their progress, and kept them both accountable for contributing.

Pretty soon, the Goal was actually growing. They vowed to not touch the money for anything other than the Airstream, and their willpower was paying off.

Makin’ plans to make money

While they saved, they began to think about how they’d continue working. The intention was never to go on a vacation, but to truly live their lives in a more relaxed and adventurous way. But that still included working to make some money.

Alex is a software engineer and his company had been wildly supportive of his plan. They have a solid remote culture, so they were more than OK with him taking his gig on the road, especially since he’d been employed there for awhile.

Pru’s story is a little different. She’d been teaching AP Physics and Math at a high school, and needed to find another job that would allow her to live the remote lifestyle she dreamed of. She made the difficult decision to leave and become an online tutor, where her schedule and geographical location could be more flexible.

With their jobs lined up and ready to go, all they needed to do was focus on making their Goal come to life.

A dream becomes reality

After saving for more than four years (with one full year of solid dedication), they finally purchased the Airstream of their dreams. Although the process was sometimes grueling and disheartening, Alex said the payoff has been more than worth it.

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They moved out of their apartment this past August and sold all of their stuff. They’re now in the Airstream full time with Sudo, their Bernese Mountain Dog, and have gone on several “shakedown” trips already while using Pru’s parent’s backyard as their home base. They’re excited to officially hit the road in January for at least a full year and probably much longer.

They’ve been hard at work practicing towing and reversing their long rig by visiting Joshua Tree, the beaches of Malibu and Ventura, and Denver, CO. The transition to being an online tutor has been easier than Pru expected too, and she’s started doing live video conferences with students.

Where to next?

The plans they’re making are flexible, but they want to follow the weather. They’ll explore the big cities and towns no one’s heard of. They’ll drive slowly around the country visiting destinations they’ve always wanted to see. During the week, they’ll park at places with wifi but on the weekends, they look forward to taking some breaks from technology.

Sudo can’t wait to explore all life has to offer off-leash. He’s already become a big fan of Joshua Tree, and is stoked to accompany his parents on their trip around the country. He’s also agreed to let us follow along, which we’re ridiculously excited about. For now though, he’s watching YouTube videos with his parents to learn how people (and their pets) live on the road.

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You’ll be seeing more from all of them starting in January, once they’re officially living that Airstream life. Happy exploring you three. We can’t wait to follow along on your adventures!

You can follow their adventures here and here, and we’ll be posting along the way too. First stop, Austin. And after that, who knows?

Start saving for an Airstream
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