Parenting and running a business while living tiny and traveling full-time is no easy task, but today's guest, Erin Carey, is doing it all. Erin lives on a boat with her family and also runs her own PR agency, a business she started after making this transition to living tiny. In this interview, we're going to hear her and her family's story, learn about the headspace and some of the things Erin did to stay motivated for making this big transition. Erin also tells us how she is able to stay productive and work from a tiny space when her family is all around, there are a lot of distractions, and she has limited alone time.
In This Episode:
- How do the kids feel about living tiny?
- Living tiny changes your relationship with your family
- The motto that helped them keep moving forward
- Tips to keep moving toward your goal when it gets rough
- How Erin started her business from the boat
- Creating a private place to work with limited space
- Balancing working from home, family time, and adapting to a new location
- How Erin gets internet on her boat to run her business
- How to approach the media to gain coverage on your tiny home
Links and Resources:
Erin Carey is the founder of Roam Generation, a travel and lifestyle PR agency focused on helping brands and experts inspire curiosity and exploration through traditional PR, done in an untraditional way. Erin is the founder of the only PR agency in the world that is run from a yacht. Additionally, Erin’s company is 100% remote, staffed by digital nomads in different points of the globe. By raising clients' brand awareness, elevating their credibility, and generating leads, Roam Generation aims to share the gift of travel with as many people as possible, because, for Erin and her team, travel has been life-changing.
This Week's Sponsor:
PrecisionTemp is making one product to solve two issues that I know everyone deals with in a tiny house: running out of hot water and heating your tiny house. PrecisionTemp has made the amazing TwinTemp Junior propane tankless water heater, which provides unlimited hot water for your tiny house and hydronic heating. This means you get warm heated floors, so there are no cold spots. It's designed specifically for tiny houses and features whisper-quiet operation as well as high efficiency. If you want more information on how PrecisionTemp can help make living tiny easier and more comfortable visit precisiontemp.com. While you're there, use the coupon code THLP for $100 off the TwinTemp Junior plus free shipping.
Most of the time they are anchored.
Erin lives on the boat with her 3 boys and her husband.
When they're docked, they go ashore for lunchtime to break up the day and spend time together.
Erin's husband homeschools the three young men who are almost teenagers
They had no sailing experience before moving into their boat
Erin's husband built her this workstation so she can run her business
Erin Carey 0:00
We literally didn't buy lunch or a can of Coke, or go out for dinner. We kicked the kids out of their bedroom. They were sleeping in the lounge room and we had like these Asian, Vietnamese students in their rooms and...
Ethan Waldman 0:13
Welcome to the Tiny House Lifestyle Podcast, the show where you learn how to plan, build and live the tiny lifestyle. I'm your host, Ethan Waldman, and this is episode 184, with Erin Carey.
Parenting and running a business while living tiny and traveling full time is no easy task, but today's guest Erin Carey is doing it all. Erin lives on a boat with her family, and also runs her own PR agency, a business which she started after making this transition to living tiny. And in this interview, we're going to hear her and her family's story, learn about the kind of headspace and some of the things that Erin did to stay motivated for making this big transition, and also how she is able to stay productive and work from a tiny space when her family is all around. And there are obviously a lot of distractions and limited alone time. It's a really cool conversation and I hope you stick around.
I'd like to tell you about the sponsor of today's episode PrecisionTemp. PrecisionTemp is making one product to solve two issues that I know everyone deals with in a tiny house, running out of hot water and heating your tiny house. PrecisionTemp has made the amazing TwinTemp Junior propane tankless water heater, which provides unlimited hot water for your tiny house and hydronic heating. This means you get warm heated floors so there are no cold spots. It's designed specifically for tiny houses and features whisper quiet operation as well as high efficiency. If you want more information on how PrecisionTemp can help make living tiny easier and more comfortable. Visit precisiontemp.com. While you're there, use the coupon code THLP for $100 off the TwinTemp Junior plus free shipping. That website again is precisiontemp.com coupon code THLP for $100 off the TwinTemp Junior plus free shipping. Thank you so much to PrecisionTemp for sponsoring our show.
All right, I am here with Erin Carey. Erin is the founder of Roam Generation, a travel and lifestyle PR agency focused on helping brands and experts inspire curiosity and exploration through traditional PR done in an untraditional way. Erin is the founder of the only PR agency in the world that is run from a yacht. Additionally, Erin's company is 100% remote, staffed by digital nomads in different points of the globe. By raising clients brand awareness, elevating their credibility and generating leads, Roam Generation aims to share the gift of travel with as many people as possible because for Erin and her team, travel has been life changing. Erin Carey, welcome to the show.
Erin Carey 3:15
Hi Ethan, thank you for having me.
Ethan Waldman 3:16
You're very welcome. And, you know, you've been like a behind the scenes player for the Tiny House Lifestyle Podcast. Because you have introduced me to several of my some of my most interesting guests, I would say, have come through you. And now it's time to put you in the in the hot seat. Although Don't worry, I'm not going to ask you any gotcha questions. But Welcome to the show. And and I guess I wanted to just start with, you know, hearing the story of you and your family and why you decided to live on a boat.
Erin Carey 3:54
Yeah, sure. We have known each other for a while, and it's nice to finally be here and speak to you. And to share my story. I'm always promoting other people's stories. So it's nice sometimes to reflect on your own story and think about how far you've come. So for us our journey, I guess, began in about 2015. And we were, you know, a regular regular family, whatever that is these days. But we were living in the suburbs. We both worked, my husband, I both worked full time, we had three children. And one evening, my husband I would just sitting down to watch Netflix, and he happened to put on a documentary and the documentary was about Laura Decker, the youngest girl to have ever sailed around the world. Now at that time, we had no interest in sailing, we had never dreamt of doing anything remotely crazy like that. But her sailing around the world really resonated with both of us. And I think it was just the adventure of the simple life and maybe all nature that was constantly surrounding her but we were both inspired after watching that documentary to completely change our lives.
Ethan Waldman 5:06
Did you know how to sail before watching the documentary?
Erin Carey 5:11
We did not.
Ethan Waldman 5:12
Erin Carey 5:12
We did not know how to sail. We had never owned a boat. Like, we don't know how to stress this enough we were nowhere anywhere any coming full time liveaboard silors living on a boat we're basically the furthest that you could imagine from that.
Ethan Waldman 5:30
Erin Carey 5:30
We didn't have any savings, we had a big mortgage, we were just like in the thick of life with three young kids and something - to this day I don't know what it was, but something spoke to us and it was enough to make us completely change our lives. So it took two years and two months from that day to then fly out of Australia on one-way tickets to the Caribbean and that is where we saw our boat for the very first time. We had purchased her sight unseen already over the internet and when we arrived into Grenada in the Caribbean we we kind of saw her for the very first time. And we had moved out of a regular-sized Australian house - three bedroom, two bathroom, two living area - into a 47 foot space. And it was it was a huge change. But here we are a few years later still on the boat, although there has been a bit of a break in between because of COVID But yeah, that's basically the short version of the story.
Ethan Waldman 6:37
Wow. So how old were your children when you left?
Erin Carey 6:41
When we left Australia the youngest was 3 and then we had a 6 and an 8-year-old
Ethan Waldman 6:47
Erin Carey 6:49
Ethan Waldman 6:50
They they probably they were all old enough to have opinions about this as well. What did they think about this big change?
Erin Carey 6:59
Well, the first time around because I've kind of had two gos at this. The first time around they were too young to really have an opinion or a thought and the 3-year-old especially, with you know, since he was 1 it was always just "when we moved to the boat" and we talked about it so much that it was just a natural thing that we just moved to the boat and they were excited and it was wonderful. However, then COVID happened and we were stuck home for 18 months and going back a second time is more challenging because the children had become old enough to have an opinion and to have made friends at school and to not want to leave their nana and papa and cousins.
So that was more challenging the second time around, although they were excited because then they realized that school is actually six hours a day back home and mum and dad work all day and they go to after school care and you know they they did start to definitely miss what boat life offered.
Unknown Speaker 7:53
Erin Carey 7:53
But they're old enough now to also remember very clearly of things they're missing out on back home as well. So it's challenging at times.
Ethan Waldman 8:03
Yeah, it I think that anytime you're looking at tiny living, and I certainly consider you know living on a boat to be tiny living as well. You know, there are there always are sacrifices, you know, things you have to give up in order to gain you know, something else in return.
Erin Carey 8:24
Yeah, absolutely. And you know, it's probably quite good timing that we're talking about this now because you know, I'm always very open about what we're going through. And just recently we're in Africa and it's really hot and there's no green spaces for the kids to play. There aren't any children here that speak English and sometimes it does feel like a big sacrifice that we're making and you start to question, "Is this the right thing that we're doing?" I mean I'm sure that people living in tiny homes that don't move sometimes question if they've done the right thing as well. But then, as always happens in boat life, something great usually happens or you meet a new person or you travel to a new place and yeah. I think when the bad happens you have to always remember that there's something good coming in to just kind of hold out for itt, but yeah. At the time it feels like a lot. And my children never kind of hold back their opinion that we've torn them away from their own bedroom and you know because they all share a room together and I tell myself that tape down I believe I do honestly believe this that they will thank me for this when they're adults. But um, yeah, for now, just have to...
Ethan Waldman 9:44
The classic, "You'll thank me when you're older."
Erin Carey 9:46
Yeah, exactly. Like please let that be true. No, but I'm painting a bad picture. Most of the time they like it out here but because they're almost teenagers now they certainly don't beat around the bush when they're not happy.
Ethan Waldman 10:00
And when they're not happy about something?
Erin Carey 10:02
Ethan Waldman 10:03
So what are what are some things that you that you like about living on the boat? And like all tiny living, what are what are some of the things that you are like less than thrilled about?
Erin Carey 10:13
Yeah, it's funny because I always say on paper I probably wouldn't be the kind of person that would like to live on a boat. I don't know why I associate living on a boat as someone who's sporty. I wasn't particularly sporty in as a kid. I wouldn't say I love camping. You know, I'm a girly girl. I like to wear nice clothes and do my hair and makeup and all that kind of jazz. So I didn't - I was worried that I wouldn't like living on a boat. But it turns out that I did the whole family. I probably like it most.
Ethan Waldman 10:47
Erin Carey 10:47
So what do I like about it? I like that, as hard as it is, I like that my family are all in a small space together. And this is one thing I definitely missed when we moved back home was the fact that when you're in a regular regular to large sized house, we're all in a small space together. It's a good environment for a lot of incidental conversations. And you know, as much as there's that you can't excape your kids and I think in living in the rat race, it's just normal. amongst us mums that would be like, "Oh my God, my kids are driving me crazy. I can't wait to like go to the babysitter's or go to school." My parents looked after them on the weekend and stuff. I wanted to force myself to want to be around my children. I know that sounds terrible. But that's just the reality of things. being around your kids 24/7 is super hard. And thankfully, I don't homeschool them. My husband does that. And he's like an absolute saint for being able to do that. Because I tried the first time around and probably failed pretty miserably. This time around, I run my business, he does the homeschooling.
But you know, the good thing is because we're set in such close quarters, I can help you have any conversation here, someone can jump in that, you know, in the saloon, and then someone can be in the galley and they can also be involved with the conversation. If there's a TV program on, we can all kind of comment on it, because we're all in the one little space. It just doesn't happen when you're when you're in a big home. So I like that we can, you know, we can have more, we've got a closer relationship, I like to think, because we are physically close there as well.
What else do I like? I mean, besides the obvious things that are specific to living on a boat, obviously we can move our home, there's the freedom, the adventure, being able to explore new places, and all that is obviously fabulous. It's also the community that is in this sailing environment. There's a lot of people that actually live on boats. And it's amazing to be able to meet new people all the time, and be able to instantly have something in common with them. And if it's not meeting them in person, there's also like a great virtual community or through Facebook and I'm looking for something so that's really great. Like really feeling like you're part of something.
And then what else do I like that I like? I like my little office and I like the feeling of coming home from it an adventure and a day you know, I've been snorkeling and you come home and our boat is a monohull, so we go down the ladder into this salloon. And it's just so cozy. Our boat is all wood on the inside. And it's an English boat, very strong, sturdy boat. And it's almost like you're in this little English cottage.
Ethan Waldman 13:50
Erin Carey 13:51
It's cozy and it's homey and it's it's warm. And it it kind of is what it is there's nothing you can really do to it to make it fancier. It's the 1994 boat, she's you know, she's not modern. You know, besides putting up some cushions and hanging plants and different bits and pieces, the you know, the setee is what it is. I can't go out and buy a leather couch or you can replace the TV stand or think we don't have a TV stand. So it's a lot less stress. You just don't have to worry about making your home beautiful. Like I felt the pressure to do that back home in Australia.
Ethan Waldman 14:33
Erin Carey 14:34
So, yeah. Yeah, lots of cool things.
Ethan Waldman 14:38
Now, it seems like it's so hard for people who are considering a big life change, like going tiny or living on a boat. It's so or instead of saying it's so hard, it's so easy to come up with I'm gonna say excuses, but I don't mean that in a judgmental way. Just reality like "Oh, I'd love to do this right now, but I have kids" or "I'd love to do this right now. But I have my own business" or all these kinds of things.
Erin Carey 15:06
Ethan Waldman 15:07
And I'm curious, can you like put us into your thinking into your headspace when you were making this decision as a family? Like, how did you overcome all of those, all of that resistance that that must have been there both inside? And also, outside? I'm sure family and friends were like, "Oh, it's kind of weird. It's kind of crazy."
Erin Carey 15:29
Oh, yeah, totally.
Ethan Waldman 15:30
How did you? How did you overcome all that? to really do this?
Erin Carey 15:37
Yeah, I've got to remember that, we definitely came across resistance. I remember announcing it to our family and friends, which we did quite soon after making a decision. Because I think that was all part of it, we had to believe that we were going to do it. If there's any doubt in our mind, it wasn't going to happen. So after, I think it was as little as two weeks after seeing the documentary, watch, finding some YouTube channels, searching out a few blog posts. And finding out that other families are actually out there doing this. Our motto became, they can do it, why can't we? So once we started using that language of, yeah, instead of when we were thinking of leaving on a boat, we started telling people, we are going to live on a boat, and when we move to the boat, and when we buy our boat, and so we're really particular to use that language. And I think that definitely helped not only other people take us seriously, but our mindset.
Other than that, we really immersed ourselves into the, the community, I suppose, and into the world of people sailing around. And we did that by, you know, continuously watching YouTube channels every night, it was like our theme, we've worked hard, we've done all the research would sit down and watch a couple of YouTube episodes. And that would just keep us on on track. And in the right mindset, we reached out to people, we networked, we did courses, we started researching boats, we found out a coach, actually. And that was a huge part of our success. And I don't know if there's such thing in life, just becoming a tiny house person I'm sure they probably use these days. You know, the people that help you downsize or help you declutter, there's always kind of things. This coach specifically helped us helped families go from people that lived in houses to people that lived in boats. And they were instrumental in our success that they are called Sailling Totem. They still live out on the ocean, they've got three kids, and they've sat around the world. So they were really helpful.
I also believe, and I didn't experience this, I don't think I had experienced experiences until all of this kind of project was in, in motion, but the universe completely opened up and helped us out and so many ways. And I'm not normally into that stuff, but there were too many things for it to not be true. And that, you know, that's how it works, The Secret and whatever else, you start becoming aware of, you know, becoming more positive, and you change your mindset. And then all sudden, you're noticing all these different things to so many opportunities arose during that two years for us to meet amazing people in different different connections. And we made friends with people who had done it prior to us and we got to go sailing on big yachts, because we'd reached out to them. And then they just wanted to take you under their wing. And they had lots of exciting opportunities along the way. And thankfully, all of those little things added up to...
I would like to say that at no one stage did either my husband or myself want to quit at the same time. So there were times where I was like, "Oh, this is too hard." And then other turns when he was saying it was too hard. But luckily, it was never both at the same time. Because to make some pretty big sacrifices during those two years that it was hard to maintain. I don't think we could have gone much longer. And I think that's a good tip is if you're going to do this set a date. That's like, so important. And that would be relevant to doing anything in this kind of space, moving into a caravan or building a tiny house, whatever, set a date and work backwards. And by that date is just non negotiable. I mean, obviously it can change it has to but if you're acting as though it's definitely going to happen on that date, then if things just amazingly fall into place. And so we figured that we probably couldn't keep up that momentum for much more than a couple of years.
Ethan Waldman 19:58
Erin Carey 19:59
And so we went hard because we knew we only had to do it for two years. And it was easier than I think if we knew it was like a 10 year goal, there'd be no way that we can just stick to it because we literally didn't buy lunch, or a can of Coke, or go out for dinner. We had international Uni students living with us, sometimes two at a time, we've kicked the kids out of their bedroom, they were sleeping in the lounge room, and we had like these Asian, Vietnamese students in their room.
Ethan Waldman 20:28
Erin Carey 20:29
We just did what it took. And we saved up like the most money we ever had saved. I think we saved about 85,000, which for us was huge.
Ethan Waldman 20:39
Erin Carey 20:40
And we wouldn't have been able to do that. If we didn't mean we would have had the exact same money coming in. But if you had asked me prior to this boat, would you save $85,000, I would have said, "No way in hell". But because we have this goal, and we'd set a date, and we had a time line and we had to get it done. We just somehow managed to get it done.
Ethan Waldman 21:00
Yeah, that's, that resonates with me a lot. Kind of in my lead up to going tiny. I was because it was a dream that I really believed in and I had set this date and I had this, you know, I had to save the money to do it, I was able to put away money, so much easier than I ever was, in the past, just with that goal in mind, it was so much easier to like not go out to dinner, or not order a beer or not, you know, do all these things because you you kind of are saying, "Okay, I'm going to get this, this thing at the end." But that's great advice about just trying to not be in that state for too long. Because that's like the hardest stage. It's like, you're still living your old life, you're not getting any benefits of the new life. But you're you've really put a lot of sacrifices in the place. You know, for tiny house dwellers, oftentimes, it's like, "Hey, I'm still paying rent., Until I can move into this tiny house, I'm still having to carry the rent, and, you know, pay for my build or work on my belt are all those things." Yeah, a lot of parallels there.
Erin Carey 22:12
Ethan Waldman 22:13
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Erin Carey 23:47
There something to be said for goal setting. And the amazing thing is, now that we have pulled off that goal, I really do believe that we can do so many other great things. It's a muscle and we've just flexed it. And now I'm like, you know, I'm not always like, what's next? What's next? I'm obviously enjoying what we're doing now. But we're not going to do this forever. And I'm like, "Well, what is that?" We can really like, you know, within money, constraints, everything we can choose anything.
Ethan Waldman 24:21
Erin Carey 24:21
And make it happen if we want to.
Ethan Waldman 24:24
Yeah, I love that. I'm curious. I want to get into a little bit more about kind of working from the boat and productivity kind of things. But first, I wanted to just ask like, what stage was your business at when you were, you know, during these two years when you were getting ready to leave? Was it already established?
Erin Carey 24:43
It wasn't, no. I worked for the Australian Government in a communications kind of role but definitely not in my own business. And so I'd always been a public servant. When we left for our adventure we were both given, my husband and I, two years leave without pay for marriage. jumps. So the first round before COVID was actually a sabbatical, we were only meant to be going for two years. And once we were out, out in the Caribbean sailing around the first 12 months, I didn't work at all. However, I felt like somethign was missing. And I think that's when I felt like I wanted to challenge. Not to mention that our bank account was dwindling faster than we had anticipated. So I started kind of thinking, "What skills do I have? What can I do to earn money?" And it's, it's so hard, I found it really daunting to go, "We don't actually need that much. The amount of money that I want to make is like, medium wage back in Australia", like nothing crazy. How, why is it so hard to go from zero to you know, to create something from scratch?
And so it took me a bit of time to get off the ground. First of all, I started writing because I was keeping a Facebook page. And people keep saying and kept saying, you know, I love your writing. Why don't you write, write for magazines, whatever, like yeah, done good, I can try to do that. I certainly never thought that I would do something like that. But you know, I've liked that muscle now. So now I'm like, "Hey, if I can pull this off, let's just write about as well." So I started writing for magazines. And then along the way, we actually bumped into one of our idols, these YouTube channels that I said that we were watching every night to stay enthused, we bumped into that the number two YouTube channel in the world. And for us, it was like meeting rockstars. You know, we were so starstruck. But before we knew it, we were like, playing volleyball with them on the beach, and they invited us the board. And you know, my kids would go over and chat with them and stuff.
And so then after becoming friends with them, and I'm writing articles they were like, "Hey, what if you wrote articles about us?" Like, sure, you know, I'll write articles, and I'll pitch them to magazines, and hopefully we can get you some publicity. And then I was like, hold on a minute, this is PR, why don't I just do this, like, I love this, I get to, you know, I'm really good at making connections and like a dog with a bone. I want to go after it until I can get it to things. So it just naturally evolved. And it was actually yeah, like a full circle. That the youtubers that have inspired me to start doing it. And yet they were also the ones that inspired us to buy the boat and go out sailing during those two years as well. So that was super cool.
So yeah, my business is like, it's fairly young. It's only about two years old. And it's gone from, you know, being something that kind of boosted our sailing kitty to now fully supporting us while we sail around the world. And when I say around the world, you know, we can never say how far around the world you're going to get because things change so often out here, but I think the goal would be maybe to make it all the way back to Australia. But we just take it one day at a time.
Ethan Waldman 28:05
Yeah. Yeah. That's so cool. So you met you met these? These SV Delos and they, they didn't like tell you to start a business, but they kind of you kind of realized that you had something that you could do that would be, you know, something that you could get paid to do?
Erin Carey 28:24
Yeah, I was solving that problem. I, I had all these tables in interviewing, because I'd spent my career interviewing 1000s of people. So I interviewed them write an article about them and got it published in the magazine and they're like, "Hey, we we've been trying to get more publicity. Can you just keep doing that for us?" And then, you know, that's essentially it's not exactly what I do anymore. But it's essentially just one part of PR. So I, my very first client was the second largest selling YouTube channel in the world, which, you know, I still pinch myself that that happened. And then from there, because they had so they dealt with as my client, I then got another world famous Baylor, and kind of just gone on from there that I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time. And I think you know, if people kind of say, Oh, it's just like lucky, everything just falls into place you and I think there is like an element of that. But I don't think they are supposed to be you know, in the background and how hard we work to get all this happening and how many sacrifices we made to get out here, right. And so yeah, look, I am I am a believer that we're very fortunate. But we also have worked extremely hard to get to where we are as well.
Ethan Waldman 29:40
Yeah, absolutely. So I want to move into kind of the working from your boat questions because that's something that I certainly struggle with. You know, I also I have my own business. I work from home and I'm curious how you have kind of what you've done on the boat to create a space and boundaries around around the work that you do.
Erin Carey 30:11
Right. So when we first moved back onto the boat, but there's the first 18 months, two years on the boat, I literally sat on the bed and my laptop on my computer, that was - my tailbone is still damaged from that. So this time around, it was not an option. But I would both my husband and I surveyed our cabin so many times and could not figure out a way that we could incorporate the depth into this cabin. And there was nowhere else in the boat, you know, I needed locked doors. So there was nowhere else in the boat that I could have worked from. So for the first three or so months that we were back on the boat for the second time, I literally sat on the side of the bed, like using the bed as a seat. And then had a workspace where I saw I didn't have any back backrest at all I sat on the side of the bed and worked on like a dressing table kind of thing. And that was just ridiculous, like my back was so sore by the end of each day, and it was never going to work long term.
So my husband got serious, he's like, right, this is not gonna work. If if Erin's supporting us out here she needs a good work spaces to work in otherwise, we're home before we know it. So he literally pulled out out of the boat and the fiberglass was exposed. And he built me an ergonomic workspace. So I've got like a beautiful desk, he actually also put in a hard floor because you know a boat's floor is kind of curved, so we don't have any flat spaces to put a chair. And you're not quite tight designed to bring furniture into everything's built into the boat. So even just the challenge of where can we fit a chair was enormous. So he built me a platform. So it's almost like I'm sitting on a little stage. I don't know, maybe a foot high. So that I've got a nice flat space. And then we searched around for the perfect small chair with a small, you know, base of legs that could fit in this box. And then you've mentioned we obviously wanted to make sure it was all ergonomic. So my desk is now right beside his bed. And we had to make it wide enough that I could fit my arm comfortably and the other arm on the mouse and be able to use my keyboard and type and I've got dual screens. So I've got a good setup like there's nothing more that I would really need or want if I was in a proper office. But at the same time, we had to make sure it didn't encroach onto his sleeping space and that he wasn't going to kick it during the night. And it's it's amazingly worked out I've got like a little cupboard that opens up next to me. As you can see, I've got my little like planter thing hanging behind me. And I've got two screens and little bits and pieces on my desk. So I couldn't ask for anything more. It's exactly what I would choose if I was living anywhere else. I would have obviously had a bigger desk at home, but this is all I need. But it does the job really well.
Ethan Waldman 33:10
Yeah, totally. It's it's funny because like, one of the one of it's a mantra, but one of the things that that you hear in the tiny house world is like, you know, intentionally not including things in your house, like for instance, a shower. Some tiny house dwellers, you know, shower a few times a week, maybe they work in an office, or they work out in a gym, like rather than wasting the space, you can kind of get that outside of the house. And the same thing, you know, I've always thought like, hey, you know, if I was really gonna like, my wife and I don't live full time in our tiny house at this point, but you know, if we did, I would, I would probably consider renting a small office space somewhere just because now that I do this podcast, I have you know, I have equipment, I have microphones I have a big screen so I can look at you and my notes and the recording and you know, so it's like things have grown. But like on the boat, you have had to you have no choice to do that outside of your house. Everything has to happen there.
Erin Carey 34:15
Yeah, exactly. And I think that's the thing if even if you lived in a tiny home, you could go to a co working space during during the day or leave the boat or you leave sorry, leave the tiny home to go to work and your workspaces entirely because you work in a massive office building or whatever it is like. For us, everything's tiny and can't even escape into the backyard or the forest or whatever around us. We're surrounded and water often. At the moment we're on a marina so we can step off onto land, but quite often we're anchored which means that we've only got this voice over space to do everything we want to do.
And for my husband in particular it's been tough because we came from a house that had a massive shed and he's into, you know, building things and creating things and adding a shed and doing cars. So he had to create that feeling because that's what the shed was for him his mancave where he went for timeout. And he's an introvert so I think that's really why I just do well on the boat. I'm not an introvert. I don't need that space, I don't need the alone time. I think we've found that the introverts among us, the five of us actually miss the physical space as much as well so I don't know if that's an interesting kind of thing or if that's obvious, but he missed that that huge space where he would go to escape so he had to recreate that on a boat now it's amazing what you can do when you have in such a tiny space that you're determined to figure it out. We have two toilets and he's converted the front toilet - it's still a toilet he just puts like a plank of wood over it and we had a washing machine in there he's moved to the washing machine to another one in the boat - and now he's got this tiny little workshop slash toilet. We joke that you know he's going to his toilet. In this toilet that he has created into workshop he has all his tools, he's made tiny shelves that fit in the in the cupboards and on the walls to put all these tools. He's even installed like a, God I should have asked him what it was, but some sort of like bench grinder and his bias attached to the bench and yeah, he's got a good setup. Obviously it's a joke compared to the however many square meters walkup outdoor garage he used to have back in Australia but it still represents that same kind of feeling and serves the same purpose.
So I think it's important that each people each person in the family has that and for me certainly my desk and workspace is that. I love my job. I can shut the doors amazingly actually quite soundproof, although having these soundproof air pods is also next level and super important to have because I can at least put those onto the shout out any noise. But yeah, fitted locks to both doors because there's like two entrance ways to get into the room. And it's it serves a purpose, it's it's quiet, it's comfortable, we now have air conditioning, which is amazing. And I feel really content in here and I think that's important. The kids are probably lacking that same space, the first time around, they were smaller so they could sit up in their beds quite comfortably and that was kind of a little hangout area. Okay, but my son now 12 years old, he's bigger than me and because that bunks is not like a full amount of head space, but he can sit out but I have to be kind of slouching and so it's getting more uncomfortable for them. So you know, be mindful that eventually they'll probably just be all too big to live in a boat because the three boys are probably going to be normal. But for now it's definitely doable but as I get older Yeah, you know, it's what we'll do then.
Ethan Waldman 38:15
Yeah, one thing that that I've noticed about you know, having my own business and working from home is that it's really easy to just end up working all the time because it's right there it's like sounds like it's right in the bedroom for you practically Yeah, so what are some ways that you've you know, do you set hours like how do you carve out you know, family time versus work time?
Erin Carey 38:41
Yeah, I'm definitely not an expert at this and I have been known to be just working all the time because I like it and it's I think it's always like a winner I don't know what to do. Oh, I may as well just work and that totally a bit of a trap that I've fallen into but I make an effort to not work on weekends. So that's just straight up. An easy way to do it is just don't work on weekends. And honestly I have a good reason not to work on the weekend because I'm often in a new place that I want to go to explore and if I'm working full time during the week, if I don't expand the weekend honestly what's the point of being out here so we use that time to check out the countries that we're in. And my children sometimes the little ones like mommy you know you come out it's working and I'm like well I am but if we're in Australia, I would be at work for like you know nine hours and you would have gone to before school fair enough to care and you wouldn't be able to just pop in here 17 times a day for a cuddle. So I you know whilst I do feel guilty I try and also not feel too guilty because I'm he and I were to solve all these little problems and give totals and break up fights. You know you come out about for lunch and morning tea and whenever. So besides taking weekends off, I just To try and have lunch and think, great where we are right now, because engineers here, it's so cheap. So we're often able to eat out for lunch, or we'll just go for a walk and check out the town, find a cheap little cafe for lunch or whatever. But yeah, other than that, I wish I had some more tips, because I think I need some as well.
Ethan Waldman 40:19
Yeah, well, I mean, we all just figure it out as we go along. And it sounds like you've you've, you are doing that.
Erin Carey 40:27
Yeah, yeah. Well, and that's the thing. Nothing's set in stone. And this lifestyle is notorious, though it just constantly changing, and you just get something kind of set up how you think it's gonna work out. And then you move countries and it doesn't work in the next country. Yeah, in Spain, we just somehow fell into the, you know, the siesta, we weren't taking siestas, but we would have downtime during the day, and then head out at night, because that's just kind of what everyone's in. Whereas New Zealand dark is 6:30. So we were so involved in the Spanish way of life. And then to come straight here. We've had to change our lifestyle. And so we're going to bed earlier and getting getting up earlier in the morning and doing things in the morning when it's cooler. So yeah, that's, that's one thing that is always the same in both life is that it's never the same.
Ethan Waldman 41:16
Yeah, yeah, that's for sure. Yeah. What about internet? Is that something that people who travel in tiny houses and bands and struggle with? I would imagine that it can be even more challenging? I compliment you because this call has been flawless. And you're sitting on a boat in Tunisia?
Erin Carey 41:35
Yeah. Like I have nothing too exciting to say about this. Yeah, we've I think I'd like to think that we go through a fair bit. In Europe, I was lucky enough to meet a guy who was willing to put like a $10 unlimited sim on his plan. And so I have unlimited internet in Europe, but it's not working here in in Africa. So we're back to buying local sims to be on us, it's not crazy expensive, it's no more expensive than it would be in Australia, we pay around, I think I've got a recently just got 100 gig for about 50 Australian dollars. So usually buy about two or three cards at a time, between my phone, my husband's phone, and then a spare one at all times, because it always runs out when you, you know, least expected or need it to run out. We just kind of keep hot spotting. So I am able to run my whole business by hot spotting off my phone, strong enough to do Zoom calls. And I'm on, on and off. So moving on.
So other than that, we do have a device that actually is created for your team. But I wonder if it would work, I'm sure it would work in the tiny home kind of space. It's a, like a 4g router. And so it kind of gives us Wi Fi throughout the whole boat, and but also increases strength in the signals. Or maybe it would work if you're in a forest or something. And so we kind of use that as well, although we haven't had to rely on it too much. Because our phones just work so well. My kids are able to watch Netflix and everything on the TV.
Ethan Waldman 43:12
Erin Carey 43:13
So like really a pretty regular life considering that we are living such a non traditional lifestyle as well.
Ethan Waldman 43:20
Erin Carey 43:22
Which I think is important and comforting. You know, I didn't want to completely change our life. So to say that you can't go on your iPad, or watch TV, like let's still live in a pretty regular childhood, which is important.
Ethan Waldman 43:35
Yeah, yeah, totally.Well, thanks for sharing everything. I mean, it's Is there anything that I haven't asked you about that you that you are wanting to share about your your life on the boat?
Erin Carey 43:46
I don't think so. I think we've covered most of it. I just had like some points about, you know, his boat, maybe a good tiny home alternative. And I'd like to say that it is but honestly deep down, it's probably not as it's probably not because I am sure the investment of about probably costs a bit more than a tiny home. Well, they can get boats for different prices. But the maintenance I think would be the killer compared to the maintenance cost for the tiny home. But then obviously, there's the positives that you can move your home around, and the freedom to explore and the community but I also believe that the tiny home community is very strong as well.
Ethan Waldman 44:30
So you'd be surprised. You'd be surprised at how expensive tiny homes are getting. Yeah, for you know, professionally built one that you don't build yourself in in the states here. I mean, you can expect to pay anywhere from 60,000 - 100,000 US dollars.
Erin Carey 44:49
Wow. Yeah. All right. Well, that's interesting. We paid 90,000. So yeah, you could get a boat for the same price. But then we allow about 10% of our boat price for the year maintenance, sorry. I think that might be more
Ethan Waldman 45:04
but yeah, I'm sure the maintenance is.
Erin Carey 45:07
Yeah. And they'll say like, quite stressful. My husband works like almost all time keeping it up and keeping it afloat.
Ethan Waldman 45:16
You know, actually, there's actually another thing that I want to ask you about. And that is, when people are, especially when people are DIY building their tiny homes. There are times when that when they want to try to get media coverage or get, you know, news stories written about them, or just kind of get attention for various reasons. Sometimes, people try to get local businesses and companies to sponsor them with materials. Sometimes it's about raising money for a particular cause. I'm curious if you have any, any PR tips for kind of DIY builders are looking to kind of get more exposure for their project?
Erin Carey 45:58
Yeah, good question. Well, that's what we specialize in. And okay, what can I say? But remember that when you're approaching the media, they're not doing your favor. So you're not going to go to them and say, you know, can you do me a favor and write a story about me, going to them with a story that's going to compel them to write about you because PR is not marketing, we're not telling them what to say what to write about you. We compelling them with a intriguing storyline that they are going to then share with their audience because remember, the whole point of this is that they are going to be able to offer takeaways and special tips and advice to their audience.
So the way to do it is to probably scan the media for other similar articles, other articles about tiny homes, other people in your space that have been written about take note of what magazines and publications they're in, take a look at who has written about them and start building a list. So once you've got a list of potential publications and potential editors and journalists then write what is called a pitch so pitches and emails actually about three paragraphs that they know who you are, why, what your story is, why it's important and why now and like what problem are you solving Bye, bye join it. So you might be able to say, you know, I am building a tiny home and I really want to talk about the benefits of living in a tiny home and I'll be able to touch on these points you might bring some points. And essentially you know, I'd love to connect with you if you'd like to arrange an interview. But he's my number whatever. So it's, it's a synced, it's, it's short and then you send that off.
However, PR is extremely hard to land because these journalists are receiving hundreds of emails a day, so don't be put off if you don't get a reply. So you're not going to just send one or two or three or five emails you've got to send but then 50 if you can send 100 Wow because you're not going to get a response you know, you might and hopefully you do but it is pretty hard you've got to have thick skin and you've just got to keep trying and then don't just send one email send two more send three or together second one is like generally my we like hey just checking usually that five days you know five to seven days later just checking you wonder if you received my last email I wonder if you're interested in a story and then add a little bit of value add like another tip or something else that you can speak about or a photo or a link to a video or something and then the third one's just a generic Hey, just wanted to follow up with love to meet you and share with your audience you know these tips that I have and then after those three if you don't get a response, don't go back to them again because they'll blacklist you or whatever Yeah, but they're my tip is to find like minded people that have done it and there have been written about insider is a big one that writes a lot about Tiny Homes tiny living actually just today I think or very recently released an article about the mental health aspects of living tiny. So that's that's the key, find something that you can talk about. So don't make it just a generic pitch about Tiny Homes. Bacon about the mental health aspects of tiny living or living in a tiny home compared to living on a boat, you know, come up with a story that you can imagine there being a headline about it. Right, right. And then yeah, compel the editor to write about it.
Ethan Waldman 49:45
Very cool. Very cool. Well, thank you for sharing those tips. I think those are gonna really help you out. That's a that's not easy to sum up that process in a couple minutes, but I think you did a really good job.
Erin Carey 50:00
anyone has any more questions like me an email, I'm happy to always help and pass on shapes my social media often has to, and pointers on how people can have their own car because I know that not everyone can afford PR. It's not the cheapest process. But that is because it's so time consuming. So yeah, always happy to help.
Ethan Waldman 50:18
Right, right. But based on what you just explained, to me, it's clear why it's expensive, because it's just incredibly time consuming. And the conversion rate is low.
Erin Carey 50:29
Yeah, exactly. And, you know, the reason why you get so many so few responses is because they don't have relationship with you. So we have, you know, for the past two years, then building those relationships so that when our email lands in their inbox, yeah, they're not gonna just hit delete, where they may do that with you, because I've never heard of your name before, right. But the more you keep persisting, and keep trying keep sending, they'll be like, Hey, I recognize that name. I'll just open it. And then you know, that little seed is planted, they might still say no, but they've written back they like, yeah, they'll get a foot in the door. Yeah, yeah. And because they wrote back that one time you like, reach out to them again a couple months later, and yes, they have a nap in the background. We've been following them on Twitter and liking them on Instagram and leaving little comments on on their LinkedIn page and stuff. A whole lot more to it than just sending an email saying, Hey, can you read the story about me?
Ethan Waldman 51:26
Oh, great, great tips. Thank you so much. Anyways, well, I will, why don't you tell everyone where where they can find you if they have more questions or want to get some PR services.
Erin Carey 51:39
So say my business is called Roam Generation R-O-A-M. Roam also happens to be the name of our boat. So that's www.roamgeneration.com that for the PR side of things. All our social media is also under at Roam Generation. But if you're interested in like our lifestyle and the travel side of things, we've also got a Facebook page. And that's Sailing to Roam, so sailing to R-O-A-M and they just find a bit about where we're at and what we're up to and photos that I bought and stuff so you can check that out and see if maybe boat life is an alternative to tiny living.
Ethan Waldman 52:23
Fantastic. Alright, well, Erin Carey, thank you so much for being a guest on the show.
Erin Carey 52:29
Thank you so much for having me.
Ethan Waldman 52:32
Thank you so much to Erin Carey for being a guest on the show today. You can find the show notes for today's episode, including a full transcript and links to Erin's website, and some photos of her and her family on their boat at thetinyhouse.net/184. Again, that's thetinyhouse.net/184.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
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