The exciting tale of the ClickClackGorilla begins with a daring escape from a cubicle life in the U.S. and ends with a life of traveling with a band, Dumpster diving, and living in a rescued caravan in a wagenplatz in Germany. The Gorilla is Nicolette Stewart, an ex-pat writer, proud gleaner and soon-to-be mother who blogs about her unconventional life while trying to live that life with more freedom and environmental consciousness.
Her home in Germany (which she shares with her partner, “The Beard”, who also has his own trailer) is a caravan which was formerly parked on a farm. The 60-year-old wooden wagon, known as a Bauwagen in German, was on the farm for at least 20 years and the owners of the farm gave it to Nicolette for free if she hauled it out herself.
She proceeded to fix and decorate the wagon over a the course of a year with about 900 Euros and many trips to the Dumpster for furniture, lighting, kitchenware, bedding and even food. Her wagon, affectionately called the trash house, is parked in a wagenplatz, an intentional community in which people live together on a piece of land in a variety of wheeled dwellings.
Her tiny house contains a woodstove, a bed, a desk and shelves for books and a closet for clothes. The wagon does not have running water and Nicollete cooks in an outdoor summer kitchen or a communal kitchen in the wagenplatz. The bathroom and shower is also communal.
The birth of her baby may have Nicolette getting a larger wagon, but she intends to stay in the wagenplatz because of the opportunity for instant community.
“I can’t imagine a better place to raise a child. It’s the “it takes a village” principle in living color,” she said. “There’s space to play outdoors. There are seventeen different people to talk to and learn from. It’s not any smaller than most of the apartments I’ve lived in. And we have a hell of a lot more money then we would if we had to pay a normal rent. I can’t think of a single reason to leave, no longer being attached to the luxury of having running water within arm’s reach at all times.”
Photos Courtesy of Nicolette Stewart/ClickClackGorilla