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Nomadic Photographer Lives, Works & Travels in Teardrop Trailer

So many of us perform the duties and live the lives that’s expected of us: kids that conform to the rules at home and school, or the responsible parent that works hard at a boring day job to provide for their kids. But there’s probably also many of us that harbour fantastical inklings of dropping everything to travel and to pursue our true passions. Yet, it’s likely that many of us won’t make the plunge, probably because we fear change and the prospect of the unknown.

But change — and uncertainty — can be good. For American freelance photographer Mandy Lea, change came in the guise of a teardrop trailer that she calls her home — a mobile place of belonging that she feels connected to as she travels the country, snapping incredible images of nature. For the last two years, she’s been a full-time solo “teardropper”, visiting some of the most majestic spots one could imagine.

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Ferry Boat for Sale in Brooklyn, NY

Yankee Ferry is definitely a home with a history. Built in 1907, it’s the oldest existing Ellis Island Ferry.

It started as a passenger steamer ferrying people between Portland, Maine and the Casco Bay Islands and went on to serve in both world wars.

It was restored in the 1990s and bought by Richard and Victoria Mackenzie-Childs in 2003. Since then the designer duo have made it their home. And now it could be yours…

Key details:

  • 147 feet in length, a 29-foot beam, eight-foot draft with a steel hull
  • First deck workroom/creative space
  • Second deck with a ballroom with a stage and banquet table
  • Docked at the Henry Street Pier in Red Hook, Brooklyn
  • $1.25 million
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Tiny House Features $500 DIY Elevator Bed Built with Free Plans



The ethos of doing-it-yourself in a resourceful, space-saving way is at the root of the tiny house movement. That said, one of the most amazing things about the tiny house world is observing the immense creative variety within the constraints of these small spaces, all attempting to answer the perennial question, “How can one make the most of a couple hundred square feet?”

These space-maximizing strategies are relevant to many of us, so it’s always enjoyable to come across new ideas, such as the ones implemented in this elegant small dwelling by Alaskan self-taught carpenter, blogger, mom and free-DIY-plans extraordinaire Ana White. Together with her husband Jacob, Ana created a surprisingly spacious 24-foot-long tiny house for a client that is jam-packed with clever, transforming furniture ideas and an affordable DIY “elevator bed”.

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Surfing During Paleolithic Times

…Wanna see our pictures on the cover
Wanna buy five copies for our mothers
Wanna see my smilin’ face
On the cover of the Rollin’ Stone

People of a certain, um, age will remember the song from the early ’70s by Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show.

Well, I finally made it on a cover, 61 (ulp!) years later in the just-out copy of The Surfer’s Journal. I was wearing a shorty wetsuit from the Dive ’N Surf shop in La Jolla (pre-O’Neill). You sent them your measurements and they sent you the cut-out pieces and a bottle of Black Magic glue and some tape. You’d glue together pieces, glue tape over seams. Early wetsuits didn’t have nylon lining, so you’d rub cornstarch on your body so as to be able to slip the suit on. Underneath it I was wearing on old-fashioned wool bathing suit. A 9-foot Velzy balsa wood board. (This was just before foam.)

This was about a 6-to-8-foot drop to the water (at Steamer Lane), there was a ledge, and we did this when the tide was right in order to stay dry. We’d wait for a wave to hit the cliff, then jump as the backwash flowed outward.

Before wetsuits there wasn’t much of a crowd problem. I remember a foggy morning, 6 to 8 feet at the Lane, four of us out. Ah, me.

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Couple Travels with Off-Grid School Bus



The growth of the tiny house movement in recent years has reignited interest in the idea of living a simpler lifestyle. It has also revived enthusiasm for small spaces of all kinds — a soothing antidote to the wretched excess of the McMansion era. Beyond building lovely tiny houses, some are also renovating school buses into stylish homes on wheels. It’s hardly a new thing, but one major advantage that school bus-based tiny homes have over “conventional” tiny homes is that they are much more mobile — and also much cheaper than a high-end tiny house.

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Builder on the Move

My partner and I restored an old bread oven in northern Drôme, France, that was damaged by the rain and the time, extended it to make a small bedroom for a guesthouse. The idea was to create a room for lovers, close to the woods and far from the road.

The special design with bottles is inspired from the wind and a feather because the guest house is called the Feathers Inn. Most of the building materials were repurposed (tiles, bottles, door, wood), or found on site (earth, stones).

The design is inspired by the local style of building with stones on the base and earth on the top, but adapted with a contemporary touch.

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Life in an 82 sq. ft. Apartment



Japan is famous throughout the world for it’s high population, cramped living conditions and downsized architecture. Even by Japanese standards though, this tiny Tokyo apartment is a lot smaller than usual. At only 8 square meters (82 square feet) this simple home is so small that it’s occupant Emma is able to reach out and touch both walls. Thankfully, some clever design elements allows the micro apartment to be a very functional and cosy home.

Despite the narrow, almost hall-like shape, this apartment’s height prevents the space from feeling too confined. Lofty windows at the end of the studio space allow an abundance of light to flow into the room and a small balcony even brings a touch of the outdoors into the home.

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Living Off the Grid in Paradise



Warrick Mitchell lives deep in one of the world’s most remote locations: Fiordland, New Zealand. His home in the country’s oldest national park is nestled in a vast wildness accessible only by boat or airplane, a four day’s walk from the nearest road. Life in isolation can be hard, but surrounded by breathtaking, pristine natural beauty, plentiful wildlife and a small but tight-knit community that is always willing to lend a hand, Mitchell would have it no other way.

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