Dreams really do come true (even if it takes 20 years!). Brian and Sabrina have been dreaming of full-time travel for a very long time. When their children were much younger they owned a few pop ups, a hard sided trailer and spent about a month in 1999 traveling in a 36 foot RV - they caught the traveling bug bad. They decided to take a year off and become full-timers. But, due to an accident and unforeseen circumstances, their dream of being on the road quickly faded. Flash forward twenty years.....over a glass of wine or two, these empty nesters decided it was time for a "radical sabbatical." They left their jobs and put their house on the market - selling most of what they owned in a few days.
They started their Airstream search at a dealership, but quickly became disheartened by the fierce sticker shock they experienced when looking at new trailers. But, it was all worth it when they found a very well cared for 2013 International Serenity in Littleton, Colorado. They were smitten with her - and thank goodness, because they had driven all the way from Austin, Texas to see her! This Traveling Zen Den is named Jizo (Gee-zo). In Japan Jizō is the protector and patron of women, children and travelers! He's the littlest big hearted monk and is quite beloved for serving those who suffer, need extra protection while traveling & want to experience or offer others joyful living.
Sabrina challenged herself to take some of the basic principles of Feng Shui and the Kon-Marie method to personalize their moving home. The Serenity was the perfect blank canvas for her to add amazing and playful boho-gypsy colors - think "pops of color!" She has created a lovely balance - providing an environment that is both playful and has a mix of empty spaces for the eye and spirit to rest.
Come on in. Let's take a look.......
In the dining area, they used a small hand woven rug from World Market for the table runner and used a table runner to recover their Container Store folding storage ottoman. They use the ottoman to store breakable items on travel days. Boho vintage rugs from Rugs USA are spread throughout. Sabrina made most of the pillow covers, curtain tie-backs and lamp deco from quilts and fabric she purchased on Etsy. She has curated accessories from thrift stores and looks forward to "thrifting" on the road. The galvanized letters above the dinette cabinets were purchased at Hobby Lobby. The fox represents Sabrina's dad, who passed three years ago; he was quite the trickster. The Cheshire Cat was a gift from her mom that makes her smile.
In the living area, an acrylic ledge from the Container Store was placed above the TV to “float” family photos, and provide a spot for little goodies they find along the way that spark joy! Brian and Sabrina take turns coming up with sayings for the felt board. This quote, by Linda Hogan, is about honoring and resourcing our ancestors. The ledge below (four dollars at IKEA!) serves as an end table and can hold a beverage and acts as a phone charging station. They changed out the cabinetry handles throughout; they purchased them at IKEA for about $6 a pair (17 in total). The fridge needed to be magnetized. Where else would they put their collection of travel magnets? So, they purchased a magnetic board & used 3M Velcro to install.
BIG changes were made in the kitchen! They were not thrilled with the shiny burnt orange walls so they found a cool solution! Creative Coverings, Removable Temporary Paint by Con-Tact Brand is available through Amazon ($19 for 30 sq ft). They found the smaller wall, by the entryway door, was much easier to put on than the kitchen walls because of the required curved cut. They made patterns or templates for both. They totally love the matte finish and final results. It completely brightens up the boho vibe of the space! Another large magnetic board with tiny mesh bins for pens, spices and catch-alls was installed. The little magnets are Sabrina's latest creations, hand painted owls and Jizo. She has been collecting pebbles and stones from river beds and sandy beaches as they travel and then painting these little Jizos - giving away and leaving behind a few where ever they go in the hopes that they will make someone smile! When a few people requested to purchase them she began selling them. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org if you're interested.
Pillows, pillows and more pillows - most were handmade by Sabrina and the others were purchased through Etsy. She liked making the easy tie backs out of quilt fabric and added a handmade boho dream catcher to both sides of the bed. Thankfully the first owners upgraded the queen mattress. They call it their sweet dreams bed! Little Jizos painted on a found piece of driftwood hang above the window beside two hand cut tin birds gracefully taking flight. The map photo, from hobby lobby, that hangs at the foot of the bed is for planning, dreaming and noting accomplishments. They'll be using a thin red Washi tape to delineate where they’ve been and where they're going. Nighty night Sabrina and Brian!
Brian and Sabrina have been "rehearsing" for full-time travel which they will begin in February, 2018. They will be charting a four-leaf clover path over the USA following friendly weather. They will return to Austin, Texas to check on family every 3-4 months thinking their tour will take about a year. Upon each return they will see if they want to continue their journey. They are looking forward to feeling connected and enjoying fellow RV traveling buffs; you can follow them at instagram.com/travelingzenden.
If you'd like to learn more about the process Sabrina and Brian used to minimize their belongings, you can read the book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. And, to gain a greater understanding of Feng Shui which in Chinese means "wind and water," look for Sabrina's favorite book called Practical Feng Shui: Arrange and decorate your home to promote health, wellbeing and joy.
Thank you both for sharing the Zen Den with the Airstream community. Sweet dreams and a year of amazing adventures Sabrina and Brian!