Diane's story is fascinating - not many of us can say we've lived the adventure that she has and not many of us will ever own as many Airstreams as she has. Diane has been the proud owner of six Airstreams over the last 15 years and number seven will be picked up soon!
Diane, who was home-schooled as a child, is a self-proclaimed gypsy. In her early twenties she lived in a sailboat in St. Tropez in the south of France. She was also a helicopter pilot. But, her carpentry skills and finances were not a match for boat ownership so she sold it and moved across the ocean with her two dogs in tow. That was 15 years ago.
Never having camped or towed a day in her life, but with an adventurous spirit, she purchased her first Airstream - Germaine, a beautiful 1971 Overlander. She hooked Germaine up, towed her new trailer five hours and finally made it to camp. She laughs looking back now at how little she knew about tow vehicles - she made that first venture with a Jeep Grand Cherokee. She also recalls waking up that first night at 3:00 AM because the furnace quit on her. So, she ended up warming her hands on top of the burners; it was March in Quebec and still very chilly. But, she had no choice but to love her because she'd left her condo the day before not even knowing if this life would be for her. But, that was fifteen years ago; she's had so many adventures and made so many memories since then and she's never once regretted it.
In love with her first Overlander, she decided to buy a second. This one was a 1975. Other than a good polishing, she kept the inside original and added some vintage accents. The third Airstream purchase was a brand new 2007 28ft International. She crossed Canada and the Northern States and then had that Airstream shipped to the south of France. There her son was born. She fondly remembers his first steps taken in that 28 foot silver beauty.
Returning to Canada, she bought two Airstreams - a 1995 25ft Excella and and 1995 34ft Classic. She sold both Airstreams and a house on the east coast of Canada last year. They now full time in a 30ft 2010 Flying Cloud on Vancouver Island with 2 adults, a 7 year old boy and a dog.
Diane admits that living in a house was never really meant for her - even when she owned a home, she still lived in her Airstream beside her house. She was just happier in her little nest.
They have a stationary site in an RV park by the beach on Vancouver Island that is rented year round and is used as their home base; but, they travel approximately 6000 miles per year. They've traveled all over the Canadian provinces and Northern States but still have all the southern states to visit. They are looking forward to spending time in their new-to-them 2009 special edition Bambi 16ft DWR. There were only 12 produced. It’s located in Ontario and they plan to pick it up later this spring and take it to Salem, Oregon for the international rally. They’ll use the Bambi to easily access places where they would be less inclined to take the 30ft.
She's downsized a lot over the years but still likes shopping for little trinkets. When she shops, she tries to ask herself two questions: “ Does it have a real purpose?” “Does it make me happy?” Once one of the questions gets a “yes” then she gets it. Every 3 months they go through everything in the Airstream to decide whether it's worth keeping or if it's time to give it away. Her son is learning the same habits with toys. Whenever something has not been used in the last 3 months it is donated. All of her trinkets stay in place when traveling thanks to Velcro. The only thing she needs to move are her plants which get temporarily stored in the shower.
She also enjoys DIY projects, but tries to find lightweight materials for the road. For example, her stone wall in the kitchen is made of thin cut stones that you peel & stick. It was an easy project with materials found at Home Depot. Over the years she has painted, tiled, replaced flooring, upholstery and curtains. She always upgrades faucets and light fixtures.
All of her Airstreams have had different styles depending on her state of mind and she's really enjoyed the variety in her decor. Right now she classifies her style as eclectic, combining mid-century with a western theme. Peek Inside Diana's Airstream and see her 16ft Bambi, the newest addition to her Airstream family .
Love these little Ikea storage pouches in the bathroom.
Check out these cute signs she had made by Weathered and Worn.
Diane, thank you so much for sharing your unique Airstream story. It is inspiring and your trailer is fun and eclectic! We hope you find some fabulous new adventures in that adorable Bambi!