Airstream Life: Am’s Tin Can

This week’s profile is of Arkansas Artist and Airstreamer, Amber Woodrum.

Amber is a photographer, painter, and maker creating from her studio/home, a 1970 International Sovereign called Am’s Tin Can. I’ve been a big fan of her blog and she was gracious enough to answer some questions for Just Live Simple.

After you read the interview make sure you check out her photo gallery for an in-depth tour of the Airstream and be sure to stop by her Etsy shop, Am’s Tin Can Studio, for excellent photography and original works of art.

On what she attributes as her biggest reason to live “unconventionally”…

“After going through a divorce several years ago I returned to school and joined the world of  full-time employment. I found a job I thought was going to finally help me quit stressing over paying the bills. 

However, I was working far too many hours and still in debt. I was stressed out and so very tired of feeling like I was living just to bring home a paycheck. I downsized to a small studio apartment in a neighborhood I loved. 

Then one evening while walking around that neighborhood looking at the adorable houses, I realized that I had a choice to make. I could keep working like I was, maybe someday being able to afford a small house like the ones I was walking past, or I could change my outlook on what was really important and simplify even more in order to have the time to enjoy my life putting more important things first. 

The lower my expenses, the more in control of my daily life I could be. I decided that was the kind of life I truly wanted. I guess to put it simply I wanted to put priority on spiritual matters, creative pursuits, travel, family and friends. I didn’t want to be a slave to my possessions, debts, or secular work. I wanted to quit simply admiring the other people who lived this way and instead become one of them.” 

On her biggest challenge in transitioning to life in the Airstream…

“I think the biggest challenge for me was letting go of my fears of the unexpected and not knowing exactly how things will work out. I had never even spent a night in an RV before moving into my Airstream. The idea was very exciting to me, but I was not 100% certain that I would be able to adjust to it. 

Living in an RV is different from a conventional house in a number of ways, and there was a lot to learn. Additionally, owning my Airstream is a wonderful thing. It is mine, and I am not throwing so much money in rent away every month. 

However, this also means that if things break, there isn’t a landlord to call to fix them. That is a little scary for me since my savings account doesn’t yet have much of a cushion in it.” 

On what she wishes she would have known before starting the whole process…

“I wish I had known how much I would love it. It has been one of the absolute best decisions I have ever made. It has opened my eyes to other opportunities as well and helped me put aside my fears to reach for them too. The only regret I have is that I didn’t do something like this sooner in my life.” 

On Amber’s next big challenge…

“I have a few projects I would like to complete on the Airstream while working to pay it off and put some aside in savings. I am currently working toward establishing myself as an artist and photographer with dreams of that being able to provide at least some of my income. 

I would love to be able to work less hours and from anywhere so that I can have the freedom to take this tin can on the road (will need a tow vehicle) or even to leave her behind while I see some other parts of this planet. 

That being said I guess the big challenge will be keeping my focus and not getting discouraged when my goals don’t fall into place as quickly as I would like. It seems like there are constantly unexpected expenses, etc. that set the progress back. Some days it can seem impossible, but then I remember how far I’ve come already and keep moving forward. I like to think that even if all of my goals don’t work out as I want them too, at least it won’t be because I didn’t give it my best effort.”

Thanks, Amber!

© All Photos Copyright Amber Woodrum 2014

2 Responses to “Airstream Life: Am’s Tin Can

  • Thanks for your lovely words. I never once dreamed when I started on this journey that someone would want to interview me about it. I'm honored that you asked.

  • Great photos and story! I love how pretty and cozy amber's airstream looks, but it's still small and functional. I wish I could make our Europa rv look half that comfortable.

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