Life with WeaselMouth

Photography by Leah DeAngelis
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Have you ever wished you could just leave everything behind and take off to experience life unfettered by possessions and the daily grind? It can be done. A life changing Mexican vacation was the impetus for Tiffani and Deke Waters to revamp their lifestyle. Experiencing minimalism and a slower pace in Mexico made the meaningful things in life jump out at them. They decided they wanted to live authentically and joyfully on a daily basis, not just on vacation. So they figured out a way to make that happen, sold all their stuff, and bought a shiny Airstream. Now they reside in a 180 square ft portable abode they call WeaselMouth.

Their lifestyle consists of traveling around the US with their dog Lucy.  Kayaking, snowshoeing, and hiking are all readily available to them in an ever-changing setting of their choice.  When they’re on the road, they can work via Internet right from the Airstream. For the time being, they’ve settled near Seattle on Whidbey Island where Tiffani helps caretake the land they live on and works for a video game company while Deke commutes to work for Microsoft.  The variety of outdoor activities available to them in the Pacific Northwest was a big draw for sticking around.

An inside joke between the couple, WeaselMouth is code for the grimace one makes when frustrated, looking like an angry weasel simultaneously cute and badass.  These two are definitely badasses; it takes a whole lot of gumption to live your dream. If you want to be inspired and entertained, visit their website , WeaselMouth to read about their adventures.

How did your Mexico trip impact your decision to downsize and change your lifestyle?
When we went to Mexico, we stayed on an island with no cars and really unstable utilities, and after a week we realized people were super happy every day with very little. We thought how could they be so happy with no espresso machine and no car? Then we realized they were happy because they didn’t have an espresso machine or a car. It made us really take a look at what made us happy.

Three years later is it still making sense?
It makes perfect sense. We can't imagine living differently.  Our plan is to live in our Airstream indefinitely.

What is the most common reaction you get from people regarding your lifestyle?
Usually it's “ That's so cool!”  Once in a while we get “Oh, that must suck.” But those people just don't get it.

How remote can you get, are you tied to having to be near plugs and hook-ups?
We're definitely not tied to having hook ups. We have solar panels and a large fresh water tank, so we can go days without having to plug in.

What has been your biggest challenge?
Our biggest challenge has been camping in cold weather. You really need to monitor your systems and make sure you have enough water because your hose will likely freeze if you keep it hooked up to a water source and make sure you have enough propane to run your furnace for heat. Once we were at a park where the power had been knocked out for 10 days, so we had to go into town and get a generator. It was a rough 10 days!

Does it get scary during storms? Do you feel secure?
The only time we've felt unsafe during storms was in Texas in the spring, tornado season. We signed up for emergency storm alerts on our phone and we were constantly woken up every night for weeks over 100 alerts at one point. Honestly, there wasn't really anything we could've done; we're never going to be able to out run a tornado!

Why Whidbey Island for now?
When we moved to Seattle, we started exploring different areas of western Washington and just loved Whidbey Island. We started coming up here more and more and were fortunate to land an invitation to park on a friend's 40 acres in Langley.

What has been your favorite WA adventure?
Snowshoeing has been great for a few reasons, It's typically not showing were we live, so it's more magical and special when you get up to the mountain and see all the snow. We appreciate it more. And in the backcountry, it's so unspoiled and beautiful and quiet. And it's so open! Sometimes being in a small space makes you long for wide-open spaces.

What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about living in an Airstream?
Research and reach out to people that are doing it. We love to help others by answering questions, and even inviting people over to check out our Airstream. Deke has also gone with a few people to look at used Airstreams. It's really hard to ask the right questions sometimes, so he's a good person to have as a wingman. Airstreamers are a super helpful group, so reach out!

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