A globetrotting couple spent over $60,000 transforming a vintage Airstream trailer into a family-friendly tiny home fully equipped for off-grid living — take a look inside

Courtesy of Hopscotch the Globe

Summary List Placement

  • Kristen and Siya, their two-year-old daughter Kai, and rescue pup Atlas are the roadtripping Canadian family behind popular travel blog and YouTube channel “Hopscotch the Globe.”
  • In 2016, the couple purchased a 31-foot 1976 Airstream trailer named “Luna,” looking to give up their cosy apartment in Toronto in favour of a nomadic lifestyle.
  • Over the course of twelve months, they transformed Luna from a musty 1970s time capsule into a chic, self-contained tiny home for $US54,000 US dollars.
  • Kristen and Siya just completed a second renovation for around $US11,000 so that can they travel off grid around Canada and the US with Kai and Atlas.
  • The two hope to show other families that living and working from the road with kids is possible.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.


Meet Kristen, Siya, Kai, and Atlas, the roadtripping family of four behind the popular travel blog “Hopscotch the Globe.”

Courtesy Hopscotch the GlobeLeft to right: Kristen, Kai, Siya, and Atlas (the pup).

Source: Hopscotch the Globe


Siya and Kristen, high school sweethearts from Ontario, Canada, have been travelling the world, both separately and together, since 2004.

Courtesy Hopscotch the GlobeSiya and Kristen in Greenland.

Source: Hopscotch the Globe


In 2010, Kristen began chronicling her adventures on her blog “Hopscotch the Globe,” and Siya joined her full-time in 2014. They have since gained thousands of followers.

Courtesy Hopscotch the GlobeKristen at the Envision festival in Costa Rica.

Source: Hopscotch the Globe


In July 2017, the couple decided to sell 90% of their belongings and move from their apartment in Toronto into a 1976 Airstream trailer that they named “Luna.”

Courtesy Hopscotch the GlobeView of Luna on the road.

Source: Hopscotch the Globe


Though the pair were seasoned travellers, they had never lived in a trailer and didn’t know what they were getting into. Here is Luna when they picked her up in 2016, filled with 1970s furniture and 40-year-old wiring and insulation.

Courtesy Hopscotch the GlobeView of Luna in 2016.

Source: Hopscotch the Globe


Kristen and Siya soon realised that they couldn’t move in as is. To make Luna suitable for nomadic life, they enlisted more experienced renovators to oversee repairs.

Courtesy Hopscotch the GlobeSiya repairs the floor of Luna.

Source: Hopscotch the Globe


Some twelve months later, Luna was a ghost of her former self. In place of a musty ’70s time capsule was a fully functioning tiny home with a bedroom, bathroom, desk space, kitchen, and living area.

Courtesy Hopscotch the GlobeView of Luna post-renovation looking through the kitchen into the bedroom.

Source: Hopscotch the Globe


Between renovations and the initial purchase, they paid around $US54,000 USD for their home, which they estimate is one third of what they would have paid for a brand new 31-foot Airstream.

Courtesy Hopscotch the GlobeView of Luna post-renovation looking from the kitchen toward the living area.

Source: Hopscotch the Globe


Kristen and Siya loved the financial freedom of living in an Airstream as opposed to an apartment and spent over a year travelling between RV parks and campsites in the US and Canada vlogging about their experiences.

Courtesy Hopscotch the GlobeSiya and Kristen strike poses in Malibu, California.

Source: Hopscotch the Globe


When they learned that their daughter, Kai, would be joining their family, they decided to move back to Canada and raise her in a Swiss-style mountaintop house, but didn’t give up on their dream of living in an Airstream.

Courtesy Hopscotch the GlobeKristen poses amid greenery on Manitoulin Island in Ontario.

Source: Hopscotch the Globe


Since last summer, Kristen and Siya have spent an additional $US11,000 updating and reworking Luna’s existing spaces to make room for their growing family.

Courtesy Hopscotch the GlobeKristen used hand-made, eco-friendly paints during the second renovation.

Source: Hopscotch the Globe


Above their storage area they built a treehouse-themed bunkbed for Kai. Kristen and Siya also invested in an organic mattress and updated most of the products in their Airstream to be eco-friendly, non-toxic, and sustainable.

Courtesy Hopscotch the GlobeLeft: View toward the bed after the first generation. Right: View toward the bed after the second renovation.

Source: Hopscotch the Globe


To make Luna more suitable for off-grid living, they installed solar panels and an AC/DC fridge, which uses less power than their previous AC fridge.

Courtesy Hopscotch the GlobeLeft: View of one half of the kitchen after the second renovation. Right: Close-up of the kitchen accent wall made from salvaged barn wood.

Source: Hopscotch the Globe


To maximise floor and play space for Kai, they cut the dining room table and surrounding benches in half. “It’s a whole new space now,” Siya said.

Courtesy Hopscotch the GlobeView of the living area after the second renovation.

Source: Hopscotch the Globe


The family moved into Luna full-time in July and plan to explore their backyard in Ontario until the US-Canada border reopens.

Courtesy Hopscotch the GlobeKristen and Siya pose with Kai in Killbear Provincial Park, Ontario.

Source: Hopscotch the Globe


Renovating an Airstream didn’t come without challenges, Siya told Business Insider. “It’s almost like building inside of a boat. That’s upside down. It’s a very complicated base to build in,” he said.

Courtesy Hopscotch the GlobeSiya helps Kai feed alpacas in Ontario.

Source: Hopscotch the Globe


But those hurdles were worth it to share their lifestyle with their daughter, he said. “I believe she’s going to get an education that’s very rare. She’s outdoors all the time, interacting with the trees and the plants, learning about different cultures … and appreciating all different types of ways of life,” he told Business Insider.

Courtesy Hopscotch the GlobeSiya carries Kai on his shoulders in Killbear Provincial Park.

Source: Hopscotch the Globe


Kristen and Siya now document their experiences with the goal of inspiring other families to consider a nomadic lifestyle. “It’s possible with children, and it’s actually an incredible thing to do for your children,” Siya told Business Insider.

Courtesy Hopscotch the GlobeSiya, Kristen, and Kai pose with family in Killbear Provincial Park.

Source: Hopscotch the Globe


Kristen also offers an online course, created in partnership with travel bloggers Hey Nadine and Nomadic Matt, on how to make a living creating travel videos. “We want to encourage people to live freely, and that means the freedom to make your own choices to travel where you want to live, how you want to live,” she said.

Courtesy Hopscotch the GlobeSiya and Kristen in Malibu, California.

Source: Hopscotch the Globe, How to Make a Living Creating Travel Videos

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