Story 35 | Homesteaders

Natasha and Brett (@tincanhomestead & @sugarhousehomestead)


"Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity."  - John Muir

Not too long ago, Brett, a Seattle native, and Natasha, who grew up in the Canadian Rockies, were living in an awesome apartment near the beach in West Seattle.  In the past decade, due to companies like Amazon, Seattle has become a major boomtown.  Seattle is the third fastest growing city in America.  As a result, the cost of renting has spiked dramatically.  For people like Brett (a teacher) and Natasha (an artist) affording a place to live has become increasingly difficult; buying a home, seemingly impossible (the median price of houses in Seattle has ballooned by 54%).  The ever-expanding city pressing down on them, Natasha and Brett becoming bored with the monotony of work, began daydreaming of traveling the world.  It was time to reform their life together.


Hit the road Natasha and Brett...  No more 9 to 5 routine.  No more giving all of their hard earned money to greedy landlords.  They bought a VW bus then took a year off in search of adventure, traveling from Seattle across Canada to Newfoundland eventually crisscrossing the United States.   ...and don'tcha look back.

Six months of van life inspired the couple to live tiny.  So they purchased a 31 foot, 1971 Airstream trailer.  "You really don't need that much space to live well," says Brett.

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The completely gutted trailer: an old, moldy, abandoned shell, a perfect blank canvas for Natasha and Brett to put their creative minds to work tackling new challenges and tasks together.  After living in a 40 square foot VW bus, the 200 square foot Airstream trailer must feel luxurious.  They've certainly managed to make it look that way.

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The stylish, design-minded, renovations are chronicled in their book, "Tin Can Homestead: The Art Of Airstream Living" by Natasha Lawyer.  Available in May, 2018.  For more info on the book go to:

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Recently the couple has relocated their newly renovated home to 11 acres that they purchased in Vermont.  There they've built a pottery studio/business (@sugarhouseceramicco).

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For more on Brett and Natasha's reformed lives follow them at: (@tincanhomestead)

David Walden