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  • Writer's pictureNgoc X Doan

We Packed Everything Into a Tiny Home

Updated: May 21, 2020

Mark and I have been getting a lot of questions from friends and families about our trip and #tinyHome. I will be writing weekly summaries of our trip for our families, friends, and anyone who is interested in living on the road in the future!

Week 1 - Migrating to Warmer Weather ASAP.

Map of week 1

When did we decide to move into a #tinyHome?

About three months ago, Mark and I decided to go on a cross-country trip in the USA. During our backpacking trip in Europe, we realized that if we were able to travel with our small backpacks for 2 months, we definitely could live in a trailer and a truck for a few months. How hard could it be right?

Copenhagen, Denmark

How long did it take us to prepare for the trip?

After we came back from Europe, we had about 2.5 months to get the trailer ready. We spent weekends and evenings to prep the trailer, research places to visit, re-connect with long lost friends (hopefully, they still consider us as friends), and watched lots of YouTube videos. Honestly, I haven’t watched this much #YouTube videos since…I can’t even remember.

What to Expect in Our Future Blogs: Food + Landscape

We both love to travel to #eat good food and see beautiful #landscape. If you like these two things, we hope you'll enjoy reading our blog.

Mark loves to travel to eat delicious food. Follow @marktravelsforfood on Instagram to see where and what we eat. When he is not working, he does his food research. He’s very good at it or at least he is so much better since our Europe trip.

I love to see unique and beautiful landscape. I post some Instagram @ndoan_photo. I have a huge collection of photos, but I never look at them unless they're on Instagram...It's a losing battle to not go on social media...I’m hoping to visit as many National Parks and award-winning landscape architecture projects as possible. Since my background is in landscape architecture, this is a dream come true!

Iceland - Northern Lights

Week 1 – Things We Took For Granted.

1. It’s a privilege to be able to go to the bathroom.

When we live on the road, we have to prepare ahead of time where to use the bathroom. At home or at work, it’s not something you worry about. We had the same problem in Europe, but at least we had hotel/airbnb/hostel to fall back to. We have an emergency toilet in our #tinyHome - a topic for another blog.

2. It’s a luxury to have a heat source.

Since we are traveling in the middle of winter, we always feel cold or at least I always feel cold. Even though I wear multiple layers, my nose is always red. When you live at home or work in an office, there’s always a constant heat source. We have a small heater, but we cannot run it 24/7. Plus, we have to be conservative with our resources.

3. It makes us so happy to get free Wi-Fi.

It is nice to have fast internet all the time until…we have to think about limiting our downloads and YouTube videos. We prepared for this, but there's a difference between planning and experiencing it. The places we found free internet are at Whole Foods, Planet Fitness, Coffee Shops (debatable since we have to buy something), Tanger Outlets, and surprisingly Lewis Barbecue in Charleston.

Week 1 – Top 3 Restaurants

1. Lewis Barbecue in South Carolina

We had amazing beef ribs (only on weekends), briskets, sausage, corn pudding and mac & cheese. Everything was delicious! They gave us extra fatty brisket for free of charge - so kind of them. Highly recommend when you are in Charleston, SC.

3. Hershel's East Side Deli – Reading Terminal Market in Philly

The best pastrami sandwich we've ever had yet. It's just so delicious - better than Katz in NYC in my opinion. They close at 6PM so plan accordingly. Don't be like us and show up at 5:55PM...We almost left Philly without eating this delicious sandwich.

3. Sunrise Biscuits Kitchen in North Carolina

Our friends, Leon and Soo, recommended to eat their fried chicken biscuits with honey. It was the best biscuit I have ever had yet. It's a drive-through/take-out only restaurant.

Week 1 – Top Landscapes

1. Liberty State Park

Beautiful view of the statue liberty from New Jersey’s side. This is a hidden gem of New Jersey.

2. Charleston Historic Town

We biked through Charleston’s historic town. There are so many unique homes and beautiful preserved cobble stone paving.

3. Wissahickon Valley Park

A beautiful preserved park near the city center with stone bridges.

Wissahickon via our dash camera

Week 1 – Random Sightings

1. New Jersey – our first night, we stayed in a very sketchy area. According to crime alert app, since Jan 2020, there were 8 shootings reported within 1 mile radius. Yikes!

2. Philly – we saw more than 6 firetrucks in the middle of the city... I have never seen that many fire trucks within 3 blocks.

3. North Carolina – saw a strange sculpture. It scared us as we were leaving a parking lot.

4. Lowest gas price so far $2.07/gal

5. We saw many deer at night while driving.

6. The Chapel Hill Public Library is beautiful!

Our next stop is Savannah! Hopefully, we'll be able to fly our drone soon. Please feel free to leave a comment or ask us questions!

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