They Quit Their Jobs to Live in a Cargo Trailer and Travel


Kelly, Curitss and their dogs Sawyer and Doug. (Photo: Pay Gas, Not Rent)

An Alaska couple is proving that you don’t need to win the lottery to quit your job and travel the world.

On May 31, 2015 Curtiss O'Rorke Stedman and Kelly Tousley left their careers, sold nearly everything they owned, and set out on a road trip through North America.

Even better, the couple chose to avoid paying rent by converting a 98-square-foot utility trailer into a tiny home.

The couple, both 27, started a blog called “Pay Gas, Not Rent,” to chronicle their adventures on the road. Previously, O’Rorke Stedman was a high school English teacher and Tousely worked in social services. They say the lives they were living before were not fulfilling.

Related: I Quit My Job and Built a Tiny House So I Could Travel


Want to avoid paying rent? Take your home on the road with you. (Photo: Pay Gas, Not Rent)

“After four years of being ‘professional adults,’ we realized we wanted more out of life,” they wrote on their blog. “We’re proving we can spend the same amount of money (if not less) traveling across North America, than paying rent in one location.”

As for their digs, the couple looked into purchasing an RV or camper, but there was nothing available in Juneau. They considered building their own tiny home, but didn’t feel like they had the knowledge to build a sturdy custom frame. They even considered traveling in a van, but preferred to have an option where their living space was separate from their vehicle.

Having exhausted their options, they were forced to get creative. After buying a utility trailer for $4,750, they set out to make it a home.

"We spent the longest time building the layout and figuring out how exactly we wanted it to fit our needs,” they told Business Insider. “We mapped it out in our living room with bar stools and ratchet straps to really get an idea of what it would be like to live inside this thing.”

Related: My Midlife Crisis: I Bought a Teeny Weeny Trailer to Travel the U.S.


The tiny trailer comes with a small kitchen, bathroom, and convertible bed. (Photo: Pay Gas, Not Rent)

The trailer is equipped with electricity, a shower, sink, cabinets, and a toilet. The entire thing is powered by a solar generator.

When it comes to making money, O'Rorke Stedman is musician who does two to four paid shows a week. Tousley contributes by taking odd jobs here and there. They keep a full breakdown of their spending on their blog.

So far, their journey has taken the couple across the country several times. But alas, the party can’t last forever.

“We’ve agreed that come summer I should start looking for a job so that we can build up savings again and do the adult things,” said Tousley.

Still, even after they get jobs and start paying rent again, O'Rorke Stedman tells the Business Insider they will always seek adventure.

“Doesn’t look like the traveling for either of us is going to stop.”

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