Glamping 101

Living with Beauty




The Champion

At twenty-five feet long and eight feet wide, this bus/tiny home might seem small relative to the redwood trees.

Well, it is, and it isn’t.

Known as “The Champion,” (*) the bus was converted into a tiny home in less than one week (tight schedule, long story) before traveling to the Northern California coastline to glamp on a rocky beach…then in the redwoods…ultimately settling among oak and madrone woodlands along the Russian River.

Totaling 120 square feet, this mobile home contains an entire life: the space, equipment, plants, and furnishings for a scientist-poet who teaches year-round at San José State University. Plus a dog! And a harp!

Upcycling a shuttle bus isn’t nearly as hard as you might think. Once all the seats and fittings are pulled out and a new floor installed, you can do just about anything – floor to ceiling – with an electric screwdriver, elbow grease, and a pragmatic imagination. [Read on for the backstory]

With everything held in place using bungie cords, magnets, super glue, bolts, screws, and carefully engineered placement, the Champion is home to a terrific assortment of goodies essential to glamping: cushy lounge areas, handcrafted decor, high-end appliances, and an overall ambience of natural luxury.

Even more important, the Champion glamping lifestyle is carbon neutral. In other words, all of the systems created within the Champion are designed to have the lowest possible negative impact on the environment.

Although the ethos of glamping involves glamor and luxury, it isn’t just about having it all without caring about the (economic, social, or environmental) price. True glamping is about conservation, sustainability, and ethical responsibility: ensuring we take exquisite care of the natural beauty and wildness we choose to inhabit.


(*) The name is derived from its make and model: a Ford E450 Champion Challenger

Featured post

The Homeowner

I began living in beauty almost two years ago.

In truth, I began living in beautiful locales in 2009, when I moved to Mendocino county and rotated through remote coastal and inland settings. Depending on where I set up my household, my backyard contained whales, seals, sea or mountain lions, bobcats, bears, coyote, fox, deer, and several hundred other mammalian, avian, amphibian, and reptilian species – never mind the tremendous diversity of plant life.

Yet living in a beautiful locale does not equal living in beauty. (Especially when your landlords or housemates or neighbors are unhappy creatures.)

It took mold, a house fire, a water deficit, and a funereal atmosphere (four different dwellings, four distinctly intractable issues) to bring me to the point where I said enough. No more of this. Nada mas. I wanted More Better, and I wanted it on my own terms.

But how to afford my own place on a part-time university lecturer’s salary? The solution I engineered, and the means by which I became a homeowner living in a converted bus where I wake up happy every day, is a story I’d like to share. Because I’m guessing there are many others who find themselves stuck in Less-Than situations.

To me, living in beauty means being able to see untamed nature out of every window. It means breathing in the sweet tang of unpolluted air, and of hearing mostly quiet punctuated with bird calls, ocean waves, or both. It means being content with my choices and living in close alignment with my deeply held principles.

Living in beauty implies creating a space ample enough to grow our emotional, intellectual, and spiritual sides: whether that is expressed in craftsmanship, gardening, music, community meals, or other inspirational endeavors.  It is an ongoing endeavor, with the reward of many moments of sheer joy.


The Lifestyle

What happens when we choose to live our Best Lives?

We learn mindfulness. Accountability. Constant transformation.

Create a free website or blog at

Up ↑