NARRATOR: Five years ago, Julie and Andrew Puckett
were working in the theater industry in Chicago
when they realized that working in the theater industry
just wasn’t providing them with the salaries
they needed to live in Chicago.
JULIE PUCKETT: The cost of living
was so high that Andrew and I both had
to work about 60 hours a week to sort of pay the bills.
NARRATOR: Even though Julie and Andrew
both took on multiple side jobs, they still
weren’t feeling any relief.
JULIE PUCKETT: It was like, we’re so young
and we’re wasting all of the best years of our life cooped
up in an office.
So we decided to look into alternative living situations,
where we wouldn’t be beholden to a landlord or neck deep in rent
or a mortgage or anything like that.
We found this bus.
It was not really our cup of tea aesthetic-wise,
but it was $9000.
And so we were like, we could definitely afford that.
We got all of our savings, which was $10,000.
That’s all we had, literally, all we had in the whole world.
The bus is 30 feet long.
It is seven feet wide, so it’s around the 200 square feet-ish.
We got rid of all of our furniture,
literally every piece of furniture.
I don’t think we kept anything.
It just wasn’t practical.
NARRATOR: The couple spent four months
renovating and building custom furniture for their new home.
JULIE PUCKETT: For electricity and water,
we both have external hookups like an RV-style hookup.
We have a sink.
We have a shower.
It’s pretty typical.
I think people are usually really surprised.
They’re like, you have shower in your bus?
Yes, I live in it.
NARRATOR: While wages in the US have largely remained stagnant,
而食物 汽油 还有住房之类的生活必需品的价格却一直在上升
the cost of basic necessities such as food, gas, and housing
have been increasing leading more and more young people
to seek out creative, affordable, living solutions.
Just search a van life or tiny home on Instagram
and you’ll find growing communities in search
of a simpler way of life.
JULIE PUCKETT: The transition was really hard at first.
For the first six months, adjusting
to being in this tight residence with another person,
you’re just like, you’re in my space all the time.
I’m very controlling about that this has to be done this way,
and this has to be done this way.
And you wipe off the counter when you’re done.
But you can’t be like that here, because you’ll just go crazy.
So you just have to kind of be a lot more
accommodating to each other and understanding.
NARRATOR: Julie and Andrew settled into a campground space
at Stone Mountain Park in Georgia.
Because Andrew also works at the state park,
they get a reduced rate to rent a campsite.
JULIE PUCKETT: We live right next to the lake,
and the mountains are right there.
All of these hiking, outdoor nature trails,
it sort of fulfills this amazing thing in us where we’re like,
this is what we needed.
We don’t have to work as much, because we don’t have
to pay so much money towards rent
and all these other things, which is amazing.
So we’ve gotten to really focus on our personal goals,
our career goals, our relationship
as a married couple.
It’s really great.
And I think that is what I would definitely
offer to people whenever they’re like,
why would you guys want to do that?
I say, there’s so much more to life
than just paying for stuff.
And if you can take some of that time
that you would put towards working
and put it towards stuff that really needs your attention,
so many good things will come from that.
NARRATOR: From living in a bus to living on a tiny boat,
watch this next episode about Louis Bird
as he rowed from California to Hawaii to reconnect
with the memory of his father.