Don’t wait to do something. If you are able to do it now, do it.
As part of our developing Solo Female Traveler eBook, which will offer stories and advice from well-known Instagram female travelers, we are featuring an interview with Stacey of @tincanadventure. Find out how she started her journey, how she supports herself and what advice she has for you to start your adventure!
Why did you choose this lifestyle?
I’ve worked remotely in San Diego for the last 8 years so when I started to see people working and living full time from the road, I thought I had the perfect setup to be able to do that as well. I’ve always struggled with staying put and I love trying something new and changing things up so the concept of being able to have a new view out my window and a new place to explore was very appealing to me.
How did you start this journey?
Once I got the Airstream, it took me 4 months to sell everything and move into it. I didn’t have a plan, I just knew I wanted to go from San Diego to Tofino, BC and surf along the way.
What do you love about it?
I love the flexibility it allows in where I can be. When I want to surf and be close to the ocean, I go there. When I need trees and mountains, I can go there. I also love that I can have my home with me wherever I go. No matter where you go, it always feels like home. And the best part, you have everything with you! I hate packing for flights now because I have gotten so accustomed to just having everything with me.
What do you hate about it?
I hate the planning aspect of it. This lifestyle, unfortunately, as free as it seems, takes a lot of planning and sorting things out. That part I definitely do not like. Even having to map out how to get somewhere every time you get in the truck. You forget how mindless things become when you live in one place and know how to get around everywhere.
What were the challenges you faced to get where you are today? Do you still face these challenges or are there new ones?
Oh the challenges! Well for me, planning is a huge challenge. I hate planning and I am not good at it. Part of the reason I was drawn to this lifestyle was to just hit the road and go. But having a 25’ trailer, means you have to either be in a campground or boondocking. So all of that takes a lot of planning and sorting out. Plus maintaining a full time job and wanting to explore where I am at, I find it challenging to balance my time in a healthy way. I have definitely gotten better at planning or at least figuring out where I want to be, and making sure I am there for at least a week instead of having to bop around and move spots as that takes up a lot of time and just becomes exhausting. Work/life balance is still something I am working on. Working remotely and not going into an office means work just always seems to be there. So making sure I try to stick to “office hours” has been key in allowing me to truly disconnect and enjoy the whole reason I hit the road in the first place.
Do you feel being female RV’ers/travelers poses a different scenario than being a male RV’er/traveler
Honestly, I don’t think so. I grew up with a dad who always told me I could do anything my brother could do and was the first to put me on the boys baseball team instead of the girls softball team. So for me it has never been something I question or see differently being a female. I get asked a lot if I feel safe and honestly I do. And if anything, I think people are more keen to help me or check in on me because I am a female and they feel concerned, but I don’t ever feel concerned for myself, haha. I love when I’m driving down the highway and someone passing me gives me a honk and a fist pump to cheer me on. It feels good to know there are people cheering you on and excited to see a female pulling a trailer. But I think in general it’s similar. Doing anything solo is challenging.
Who are your biggest supporters for this lifestyle?
Definitely my parents. They actually gifted me the Airstream as a Christmas gift as a way to help me see my dream come true. They are always there for me to listen when I have down days and cheer me on when things are challenging. But I think all around, everyone in my life has been super supportive. It just made sense to everyone when I told them that I was doing this. They were all stoked and excited for me. I’ve been able to park outside of lots of friends and family members homes and that has been one of the best things about being mobile. I stay pretty well connected to friends and family so they have all been a great support system. I think when you do anything on your own, it is always helpful to have a support system in place.
If you could do it all again, would you?
100%. Definitely would do it again and again and again. I have zero regrets and only great things to say about this journey!
Is there anything you would change?
There really isn’t anything I would change. Sometimes I wish I didn’t have a job to tend to but having that job has also given me structure and a sense of purpose/connection to something when everything else in my life feels a bit all over the place.
Do you need to have a lot of money to do this?
I don’t think you do. It’s just like when you live in sticks and bricks. Don’t live above your means and you can find ways to save money by staying put and boondocking. Obviously the upfront costs are going to be high if you have to buy a truck and rig but with anything, it’s possible, you just have to figure out what’s going to work for you.
How do you support yourself while on the road?
I run a digital media company. We provide social media strategy and content for companies. I also am a photographer. Which my photo gigs kind of help guide where I go which definitely helps keep me grounded.
What would be your advice to those women who are looking to begin their journey as a solo female RV’er?
Don’t wait to do something. If you are able to do it now, do it. Even if it is short trips or weekend trips, if you want to get out and adventure more, don’t let anything hold you back.
What is the longest amount of time you have spent continuously on the road?
I have been on the road full time now for 2 years and 3 months. I stay in places longer now but when I first got on the road, I was actively moving and traveling, the first 1.5 years. Then I started picking places to spend more time in and try to stay in places for a month or so now.
Any tips, tricks or hacks that you may be able to offer those who are just starting out?
First and foremost, if you are thinking about doing this, just do it. Don’t put a lot of thought or planning into it because it will just hold you back. Jump in and figure it out along the way.
Don’t try to do everything and don’t be hard on yourself! It’s all a learning process that’s best taken slow.
Stay connected to friends and family!
Utilize technology and apps to help make life easier! I would not know what to do without AllStays (campgrounds around me app), Campendium (for finding great boondocking spots), Waze (maps/directions that will tell you when things are in the road which is great to know when you are pulling a trailer!), Amazon (yes, you can order and have things shipped to local lockers which are typically located in 711’s or Whole Foods), Connect with fellow nomads who are also in a similar place as you via Instagram or YouTube.
Is there one story that sticks out in your mind that makes the experience and journey all worth it?
I have a few for sure.
When my parents and I drove the Airstream from Ohio to San Diego when I first got it and none of us had ever pulled a trailer before… lots of memories on that trip!
Taking my mom and grandma to Maine from Ohio will forever be one of my favorite trips.
Meeting new people/strangers who have since become great friends.
And just in general, spending quality time with people I love and care about has truly made everything worth it. I have enjoyed the surf spots I got to hit or the mountains I got to snowboard but truly the moments spent just sitting in the Airstream or parked outside someone home stick with me the most.
Can someone message you if they have any questions about starting the RV/Van life?
Yes! I am always happy to help answer any and all questions someone may have!
You can follow and connect with Stacey of @tincanadventure via her Instagram channel.