Digital Nomad Trades San Francisco Condo for VanLife

Kirsten Dirksen visits Eric Kennedy, tours his off-grid Mercedes Sprinter Van, and learns how and why he chose VanLife over traditional housing.

For many, the lower living costs of living in a van are one of the major draws. I don’t think this was the case for Eric. For Eric freedom, quality of life, and a quiet place to work with lots of fresh air seem to be what drove him to VanLife.

It’s a good reminder that while this kind of extreme downsizing comes with many trade-offs, it also comes with many benefits that are not easily replaced by traditional dwellings or work spaces.

Eric moves with the seasons. In the summer you might find in the Pacific Northwest, in the winter, the Southwest. He always has an open-air workspace instead of a stuffy cubical. He chooses the view and he works and plays when he chooses.

His computer and internet connection keeps him connected to work and an income. His wheels take him anywhere he feels like going.

Image and video by Kirsten Dirksen. Be sure to follow her Faircompanies YouTube Channel, and you can find all her videos at To learn more about Eric, visit

Do You Dream of Living Debt Free in the Desert?

Kirsten Dirksen visited John Wells at The Field Lab in the middle of nowhere, Texas. The nearest stoplight is 160 miles away from John’s place, and he prefers it that way. This video tour with Kirsten was made a few years ago, but John is still living happily debt-free in the desert.

Get a feel for the peace and quiet by subscribing to The Field Lab YouTube Channel. For more great videos like this, subscribe to Kirsten Dirksen’s YouTube Channel.


Live Like Robinson Crusoe

Have you ever dreamed of living on a tropical island in a treehouse like Robinson Crusoe? It’s a dream many of us have imagined. Kristie Wolfe bought land in Hawaii sight-unseen for just $8,000. A year later, with the help of her mother, she built her bamboo treehouse. It took two months and $11,000 to build initially. Now the home is available to rent on

See more photos of the treehouse on Kristie’s Instagram. Photo by Kristie.

Kirsten Dirksen toured the house with Kristie back in 2014 (video below). For more great tiny house tour videos follow Kirsten on YouTube.

Here’s what the house looks like as a vacation rental (video below). To see how the house was built visit Kristie’s Channel on YouTube.

Inspired by this house? Go for a visit and consider building one yourself.

Berlin Architect’s Microhome

This little rocket ship shaped tiny house has a footprint of only 4 square meters (43 square feet); but it’s tall with three levels that are accessed by a climbing wall. It’s the home of architect Jan Körbes. It was made from a grain silo and a wide variety of reclaimed materials. The total living space of this microhome is 13 square meters (140 square feet) and was built for about $27,000. To see more great videos like this visit Kirsten Dirksen’s YouTube Channel.

Designer Ryan Frank’s Off-Grid Tiny Home is Built like an Upside-Down Boat.

Designer Ryan Frank wanted a semi-mobile home for a small plot in a “sensitive area”. He thought about yurts and domes, but settled for an open source design he found online” – Kirsten Dirksen of Fair Companies

See more videos like this on the Fair Companies YouTube Channel.

The house is built like a boat, just upside-down. The lightweight bow shaped frame is covered on the interior with wood boards. The exterior is a simple canvas cover like a yurt. The walls are insulated with sheep’s wool. This combination of materials makes for an extremely breathable house which keeps it dry and comfortable in the humid climate.