While we’ve lingered in Western Australia, I’ve had the opportunity to finish some work in the Gifted Gypsy, including sewing curtains, modifying the cabinetry and installing more lights and USB powerpoints. We’ve been parking on a rural property where there’s room to work and tools to borrow, and I’m thankful to improve our tiny home’s condition so it works even better.

The Gifted Gypsy, August 2013
I love the size of our bus. At 6-metres-long, our short-wheel-base Coaster fits in most car-parking spaces. With two reversing cameras, I can see what's going on around me and can reverse (slowly) out of the tightest spot.

Inside the Gifted Gypsy, the front is dedicated to our seven seats and the back is our storage/living/kitchen space. I love having the two extra seats, as it means we can bring friends along on our adventures!

Our innovative bed system that rolls up out of the way continues to work really well. We’re using it every day and sleep so comfortably in it. I’ve dismantled it completely a couple of times to wash the canvas, and it’s simple to reinstall.

The Gifted Gypsy, August 2013
A wall of cupboards holds all our belongings and clothes. The girls each have their own cupboard, and although I started out with a cupboard too, I have moved my clothes to the basket on the top shelf.

Storage in the Gifted Gypsy, August 2013
We have built-in storage for some of our bulky items. We travel with lots of fold-up chairs, a table and even a pop-up tent.

Our tiny home works so well for us because there is a place for everything to go, and we’re not accumulating more stuff. Our purchases are severely limited because we simply do not have room to fit them in, and so we also save the money that would otherwise be spent on acquiring more possessions.

In evaluating the storage needs in a tiny space, I’m thankful that early on I designated a space for our shoes (they’re in a large drawer under the cabinets) and a place for the dirty laundry to go (in a tub at the back of the bus). Having these two sorted does a lot towards keeping the bus tidy.

Aisha packing away in the Gifted Gypsy, July 2013
The girls know where everything belongs which means they can independently get the things they want as well as help put the shopping away.

Cupboards in The Gifted Gypsy, August 2013
I love the look of the wicker in the cabinet-fronts, but it hasn't lasted very well as the girls use the front of the cupboards as steps to climb up and get things from the top shelves. In the next year, I hope to modify these cabinet fronts to include a light timber and wicker frame with a built-in toe-hold.

The Gifted Gypsy, August 2013
Our back nook is a great space to hang out during the day and is now home to our rats as well. I modified the existing cabinetry (and culled our stored junk) to make a perfect place for our rat cage.

Sita the rat, August 2013
The rats are very comfortable with their home and voluntarily return to their cage if they escape from their mistresses.

The Gifted Gypsy, August 2013
At night, the back nook is curtained off and transforms into a separate room where someone can sleep if they don't want to be on the big bed at the front of the bus.

USB port in the Gifted Gypsy, August 2013
I've hardwired USB ports that take 12-24 volts current, and these are in constant use. All our appliances in the bus use 12 volts, so we rarely run our inverter.

Our toilet system continues to work really well. We also carry minimal water in the bus. Twenty-five litres is enough for us for have at one time, although we carry a spare fifteen litres in the boot for emergencies.

LED light in the Gifted Gypsy, August 2013
I've installed several more of these LED lights in the last month. They don't use much power and are easy for the girls to reach up and turn on.

Kitchen in the Gifted Gypsy, August 2013
Our kitchen space, although tiny, works really well. We have two pump-taps over the sink; one is for water and the other is for a multi-purpose soap.

Wiring in the Gifted Gypsy, August 2013
Since getting the Gifted Gypsy, I've wired in several more circuits to meet our specific needs. All our power comes from our solar cells, which means that we are completely self-reliant and never need to plug in!

Since being on my own, I have had to start doing all the construction and maintenance on my own. Those who knew me as a girl know that I’ve always been extremely independent and self-reliant, but after getting married, I switched. I started deferring a lot of my decision-making and practical skills to David. Now that I don’t have that option, I’ve re-engaged parts of my brain that have been dormant for a long time.

As a single mama travelling in a tiny home, I need to understand a lot of the mechanics of the vehicle as well as the construction and wiring basics. I travel with a small toolkit and know what I need to borrow if I need to do something more complicated. There are always friends with more tools and expertise if I’m out of my depth, and I’m thankful for this lifestyle that forces me into engage in a wider community where I once felt isolated.