Kathleen Morton never understood why people seem to live by the same unwritten rules. As a child, she most enjoyed the sanctuary of her bedroom, where her natural creativity flourished. Like many of us, when she graduated high school and moved into the larger world, Kathleen believed, as her parents encouraged her to, that a traditional education and career path would bring her happiness, money and success in life. Returning home after college, one potential story of her life flashed before her eyes: hanging out with the same friends, doing the same things every day, in a mechanical urban environment and routine. Something inside her knew there was more to life, and called out for the vast, open expanses of nature, which spoke of unlimited possibility. She moved to Colorado, and soon, the city girl who didn’t know how to hike found herself more and more at home in the outdoors. As she spent more time in nature, she began to question the way she lived, and the footprint she was making on the Earth. To live closer to nature, she bought a pop-up camper with her then boyfriend for $1,800. Finding space with a local family, she and her boyfriend made home there anew. They felt the changes of seasons and morning dew directly through the permeable camper walls, and comingled with the local wildlife. Kathleen wondered – finding more financial and personal freedom – why more people didn’t live this way. What began as an experiment with tiny, off-grid living soon revealed itself as a calling, and a new story for Kathleen’s life: to live closely and in flow with nature, minimize her impact on the environment, and tell her story – and those of others making life this way – to show others that this is, in fact possible, and maybe inspire them to do the same. Today, Kathleen lives and wanders through nature in a 1987 Toyota van, together with her dog, Peaches. She has created a blog and podcast where she tells her story and the stories of other van dwellers, and she serves this community by creating monthly #vanlife gatherings around the country, where the growing community of mobile, alternative home explorers can gather on the frontier, support one another in the lifestyle and movement they are pioneering. She talks in this intimate interview about what it’s really like to live and work all over the country in a van, and why – despite the challenges – she feels endlessly fortunate that she is able to live in this way, enjoy the open freedom of her days, and create her own story of her life each day. Enjoy!
For a number of years, the freedom of living a simple and mobile lifestyle called to us. We’ve always loved to travel, and have felt the most free when traveling with very little – be it roadtripping across the States with little more than a few outfits and a cooler, or traveling through Asia for months with only 24L, school-size backpacks. All of these were very temporary living situations, though. When Stephen first approached me about living in an RV, then, I balked pretty hard. I didn’t like the look and feel of RVs, on the inside or outside, and I thought we would feel cramped. Customized tiny homes, on the other hand, felt very exciting, and I could imagine us building one that met all of our needs and joys in a home. Enter #vanlife. Learn all about our Sprinter van conversion build, and especially how we did it with our 1-year old daughter Sofia. Included here is our video tour of the converted van, plus many pics showing the various choices we made. Overall, we LOVE our van and highly recommend it as both an option for living and for long-term travel. If this interests you, and you have questions about the video or the post, please feel free to comment! We will write back and help you as much as we possibly can. Thanks!
Often we accept things we’ve been taught or told, until one day something strikes us as being a bit “off”, and we begin to ask questions. For Ross Lukeman, that something was the traditional story we’ve been taught about home ownership and freedom. That is, if you own a home, you have achieved the American Dream. It struck Ross as strange that people buy homes, believing this story, then design the rest of their lives around paying for that home – staying in jobs they don’t like to pay a mortgage, putting off the things they really want to do, and living that way sometimes for the rest of their lives. He also found it strange that he never learned about any types of “alternative” dwellings in architecture school, only the mainstream ways of building and making a home. So Ross began probing a question that gets to the very heart of how we live and enjoy our lives: What other types of homes are possible, and, specifically, what type of home will maximize a person’s experience of freedom? He created a website dedicated to this question, and traveled across the country interviewing people building and living in all kinds of homes he hadn’t learned about in school: strawbale homes, earthships, and even, vans. As it tends to happen when a person follows their natural interest, a calling emerged for Ross. What he found in his search was that the type of home that will create the greatest freedom depends actually on the individual – and what’s most exciting and expansive for them, specifically. For Ross, what quickly became the most exciting was #vanlife. He started living in his own van, and now he helps people do that – online course, van builds. This is how we learned of him, his van conversion resources that are online (see shownotes for links to all of Ross’ resources). If you’ve ever wanted to live more simply, build your own home, explore another way of living, this episode is for you. Enjoy!
2017 was the year we created Ownstream, a new platform to amplify the message that every person can live their highest truth, joy, and excitement. To that end, the Ownstream Podcast features the stories of people doing just this–following their own resonance and using it as direction to pave new and dynamic paradigms for limitless living that are open to everyone. This episode pulls together the best of our 2017 episodes, aiming both to reveal the inner beliefs and experiences of those blazing their own unique paths, and to feature a number of specific topical paradigm shifts covered on the podcast this year. Specifically, this “Best of” episode features: the belief systems and transformational turning points of our guests, and the following new paradigms: tiny/mobile living; health and healing through diet; alternative education; entrepreneurship; redefining work as following your calling or excitement; and the new financial world of cryptocurrency. We also include reflections from our guests on the joy of living in one’s true calling and service to the world. It is tremendous what can change in a year when you refuse anymore to listen to the prescriptions of others, and begin to surround yourself only with the voices and energy of those who resonate, and who will tune you to your own highest frequency. You may find an entirely different you at the end. Or one that has been there all the time, just waiting… yearning.. leaping inside to be expressed. It is possible for everyone to do this, and a gift we intend to give with this Best of 2017 episode. Our hope is that you will find someone and something in this episode that resonates, and that will call you to move further in the direction of your own great truth, joy, and calling. What else is there, really, to do with this life? Enjoy!
As we pause here at the end of 2017, we look back on the year that was and the amazing events that have transpired for us as we have lived by one simple maxim: follow your excitement. We recently relistened to the first episode of the Ownstream Podcast, recorded nearly one year ago. We were blown away by how much of what we intended for 2017 came true for us. From Theresa quitting her job, to us traveling the west in a converted Dodge Sprinter van to actively building community…it’s all in here. In this episode, we cover our 2017 journey through the theme of “follow your excitement”. We also briefly discuss some recent negative media surrounding Bentinho Massaro. Given our attendance at 3 of his events, our implementation of his powerful teaching and our intimate interaction with his worldwide community, we feel called to share our perspective on this young spiritual teacher. Mostly, our aim with this episode is to inspire you to consider 2018 as the year when your take a bold leap forward into your own excitement. As we discuss, our experience is that the universe has all types of surprises and miracles in store if you do. It only awaits your first empowered step. Are you ready? Enjoy!
So, what is it like living in a van for 3 months? Where did we go and what did we learn? Where are we off to next. And, how did our 1-year old daughter handle the #vanlife lifestyle? (amazingly well, but there’s more) We’re back in San Diego for a few weeks and are excited to share what we have learned thus far and hopefully inspire you to take a bold leap out of the mainstream path and create something uniquely your own. We have found that by following our highest excitement (often with no idea what awaits us down the path) that we are profoundly provided for, are supported in every way, and are called further and further into deeper union with our true “Self”. Indeed, what started as a journey into nature and the wild with the aim to cut all ties to our old lifestyle and inquire more deeply into how we truly wanted to live (a notion we call “repatterning”) evolved into a powerful spiritual adventure bringing us into greater connection with each other and, most importantly, to our selves. Now, after this wonderful time on the road, we are more clear than ever on how to serve, and are being steered towards a breathtaking future that we could not have possibly dreamed of prior to our van life journey. Ultimately, we have found remarkable clarity by leaping into the unknown and trust more than ever before, that the universe truly has our back…and yours too. Enjoy!
What happens when you decide to change EVERYTHING about your life? What fears and other challenges arise, and how do you deal with them? This forms the bulk of this podcast episode, where we as co-hosts (Theresa & Stephen) delve into the inner reality of making massive changes in life and how we are successfully managing these challenges and maintaining peace, joy & love through the process. Also, we discuss our general route through the western US from late July ’17 thru Oct ’17 (& beyond) and how you can connect with us in person along the way! This episode was a bit scary for us, as we delve into the intimacies of our inner (and outer) journey. We hope you will listen with an open mind, and see a bit of yourself in our challenges and triumphs. Enjoy!
So, what’s it like living full-time in a van? Scan the hashtag #vanlife on Instagram, and prepare to ooh and aah and the majesty of the earth through the eyes of van dwellers worldwide. You would probably stumble across some of the breathtaking imagery of professional photographer Andy Austin, who for the past year has lived full-time in his 2006 Dodge Sprinter 2500. Traveling throughout the west, and mostly back and forth across his beloved home state of Montana, Andy has built quite the following online and has amassed some amazing stories from his time on the road. We discuss many specifics, namely how does he: eat, poop, sleep, work, relax and make coffee? Where does he park at night? What are some of his favorite places to boondock? What are some of his favorite memories from the last year? What challenges has he stared down and gotten through? We discuss all facets of #vanlife with the very candid, eloquent and adventurous Andy Austin in this episode of the Ownstream Podcast. Enjoy!
A very quick episode this week, as we’ve just returned from Sedona and our truly amazing 2-day seminar with Bentinho Massaro. The aptly named “How To Realize Endless Bliss” retreat was held in two parts – a 5-day session & a 2-day session. We attended the weekend, 2-day event. In short, it was remarkable and anyone who has even the faintest interest in spirituality, and truly waking up, owes it to themselves to become familiar with Bentinho and his teaching. What specifically did we learn and what was the experience like? And, what does Bentinho have planned next and how can you get involved?
Mobile living is becoming more and more popular, as is evidenced by the rise of the tiny house on wheels, people living in RV’s and the #vanlife movement (just check Instagram). So, why did we recently purchase our own 2005 Dodge Sprinter van to convert into a movable home? What is our plan for designing the interior, and where do we plan to travel? And, most importantly, what are we searching for through this project and, as important, what are we leaving behind? This episode of the Ownstream Podcast features co-founders Stephen and Theresa discussing the project, including how we manifested the perfect van for us and why now is the perfect time for us to join the #vanlife lifestyle. Enjoy!