Sharon Pieniak is living the ultimate road trip. In 2007, she realized that her work had become truly location-independent after having established a successful graphic design business and taken her work on many vacations. So, she purchased a new 20’ Airstream travel trailer and hit the road. She has been living, working and traveling in it since.
Her aim was to spend her free time satisfying her insatiable wanderlust and photographing the beauty of America. Initially an experiment in nomadic living, it has become a way of life for her now that she finds hard to beat. “I feel much more connected with the art of living now,” she says, “It’s nice, because wherever I go, I’m at home, and my neighbors are usually some of the nicest people around.” Her small home on wheels allows Sharon and her dog Harley to explore a continuous trail of new and beautiful places and brings a greater portion of the world into their everyday life.
The 20’ Airstream is just the right size for this solo woman and her dog. “I hardly know I’m pulling it,” she says, “and it’s much better on gas mileage than most other travel trailers. It’s really a breeze to tow and because it’s small, I can often get into some of the more rustic campsites. I love this model for the large galley with tons of counter space, storage and double sinks. I love that the bathroom and kitchen are on one end, and the lounging areas are on the other. I love that I have a real separate shower, not a wet bath…and I especially love the huge windows next to the dinette and the panoramic windows that surround the bed. The distance from the bed to the bathroom door is about five steps. One more step and you are at the kitchen sink.”
In the beginning, she admits it was a little daunting not knowing about plumbing, electrical systems, or anything related to a house on wheels. Now it’s old hat. She couldn’t dream of a better way to live, and feels her choice of small-space-living is a good way to de-clutter life, not just by minimizing the meaningless stuff that has a way of locking people down, but also by experiencing new places and people. She can’t help but live in the moment and enjoy life. She’s been at it for almost four years now (with no intention of stopping soon) and feels like she has only just begun to tap into the beauty our continent has to offer.
From the very beginning, Sharon has been documenting her travels on her personally-designed website www.TheSilverSnail.com. Not your standard blog, it’s a continuing graphic narrative of the places she visits, illustrated with stunning photographs. “I’m not trying to sell a product or advertising,” Sharon states. “If I am trying to sell anything, it is to embrace life and its beauty, enjoy yourself, and keep discovering. Now more than ever, technology is allowing us to explore the art of living creatively and living well.” And having a small house on wheels is just the thing to make it possible.