As I’m on adult “Spring Break,” the blogger Interview is designed to engage with bloggers whom I like and respect, and who have something to say. It will run each weekday from March 21-28. I posed to each of the interviewees the same 13 questions and requested that they answer at least 10 of them; I told them that their answers could be as short or long as they wished.
Kathleen and I originally virtually met through a longtime Semi-Sweet Tooth reader and fellow blogger Julie. Kathleen and I have SO much in common, but have never met. We’re both from Chicago, both went to Miami University in Ohio, and both live in Colorado. Unfortunately, our schedules haven’t clicked as well, but following her blog is an equally as awesome adventure. Tiny House, Tiny Footprint is exactly what you’d expect, and yet completely different all at the same time. Kathleen & Greg met on Tinder, but now two dogs, one year living in a camper trailer, and now moving into a tiny house, we can say that their relationship has matured slightly. Kathleen being a photographer, the pictures on the site are AMAZING (highly recommend checking out their Instagram), but their story is inspirational and relevant, too – whether you decide to live in a “tiny house” or in a major city. Hope you enjoy learning a little bit more about Kathleen below!
P.S. Yes, Kathleen is also an over-achiever answering all 13 questions. 😉
What goal did you set out to achieve when you started blogging? Has it changed?
When Greg and I first started blogging back in the summer of 2014, we wanted to blog about our experiences living small in a 1969 camper trailer (140 square feet). After a few months, I started learning of others who were living small in vans, Airstreams and other tiny houses. I was so inspired by what they were doing that I wanted to share their stories. Now my blog is dedicated to those people—the ones who are finding freedom by living large with less.
Which movie best describes your life and why?
“Into the Wild” is a movie that captures our sentiments about the beauty of nature and living off the land. Parts of the movie are not relatable for us as we do not wish to die in isolation.
When we are living in a camper, we practice reducing our environmental footprint and living off the grid. One principle we try to live by is to learn from nature and let it be our guide, especially when it comes to growing food, but also in our daily lives.
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned in your blogging career?
I think blogging is becoming a lost art. We are bombarded daily with information from social media, the media and other sources. I find that less people are spending time reading story-form blog posts because they are sucked into headlines that contain short, sensational stories. But I think that makes it even more important for the bloggers to carry on. We need to continue to tell the stories that no one is telling. By sharing the topics we are passionate about, we are spreading a positive message and inspiring others to think differently about the world.
What’s the biggest – and, in retrospect, most important – mistake you’ve made and how did you grow from it?
I have made a lot of mistakes and each one of them has made me a better person. Looking back, I wish I wasn’t so easily influenced by the people around me. I didn’t really stop and think about what I really wanted; I looked to others to tell me what it might be. It wasn’t until I moved to Colorado that I really started to explore my identity. I found out I enjoyed backpacking and being in nature. I discovered that I cared about things outside my job. I wanted to make a difference in the world. It was only when I began to have deep conversations with myself that I was able to start exploring the ways I could change for the better.
What’s the most significant thing you do each week, and why is it so significant?
One day a week and sometimes several days each week, I try to check in and make sure I’m living each day to the fullest. Life is too short to just be living for the future. I try to live in the present. I find that yoga is a wonderful way to connect with my internal voice and make sure it matches my external one.
Who has been the most influential person in your blogging life, and why?
Rachel and James of Idle Theory Bus have really inspired me. I continue to reference them when I think about nomads that are living this lifestyle and making it work full time. They have spent three years living on the road and working on organic farms. They remind me that you don’t need much money to be happy.
If you had to define the most important aspect of blogging successfully, what would it be and why?
Don’t do it for the money. Do it because you’re passionate about the story you are telling. I think over time bloggers can find sponsors or brands that embody that message and make money from their blogs. But I would remind people that blogs are a service for other people. It is a way that we can all be storytellers, journalists, photographers and videographers.
Do you prefer posting on your blog, Instagram, Twitter, SnapChat, or any other account, and why?
I use Instagram as a journal and a way to capture a moment in time through a photograph. A photo tells a story on its own, but can be even more influential through a caption.
Instagram also has a strong community that supports one another. I have met so many people through Instagram and some have become wonderful friends.
Most memorable meal? Where, what, and why?
That’s a hard one! I have wonderful memories of food in the wilderness after hiking sometimes 6-11 miles. But it was a meal at a pizza restaurant after backpacking the Grand Tetons that sticks out right now. We were starving and could have eaten anything, but decided to hold out for a big meal until after we finished the trail. After limping (we were exhausted from walking) into a pizza restaurant in Jackson, we scarfed down a salad, large pizza and dessert. The couple next to us, looked at us and said, “you two really know how to eat.” We just smiled. We were too hungry to tell them that we had been saving up for that meal all day.
What’s one thing that you haven’t done yet that you would most like to do?
We are hoping to spend a few months to a year living out of our van and traveling throughout the country. We know we could do it right now, but feel that we have some other things we want to do first. We are saving some money so that it’s not a daunting idea, but something we are prepared to do.
How do you typically plan your posts each week, and how far in advance?
I post once a week on Wednesday mornings and I usually work on them right up until they are published. Right now I have a four month gap between when someone sends me content and I’m able to share it. Sometimes it’s hard to wait that long, but I also know that I would run out of stories and time if I posted more often.
What are some of your favorite blogs to follow for inspiration?
Keenest insight (so far) from your life and/or blogging career?
Find something that inspires you and bridge the gap between wanting to do it and actually doing it. Too often we look at others and their amazing lives and say, “I want that.” You can have that and more. You won’t know, though, until you try. You won’t know until you take a risk and step outside your comfort zone. You won’t know until you know.
Tomorrow: Rebecca of “The Novice Native”