Hi! I’m Kelly & he’s Curtiss.
And we sold nearly everything we owned to live in a 98-square-foot utility trailer, which we converted into a mobile “tiny home.” We travel everywhere with our two rescues, Sawyer & Doug, but you can read more about them here.
We’re proving we can spend the same amount of money (if not less) traveling across North America than paying rent in one location. Get it…”Pay Gas, Not Rent.” 🙂
How are we making money, you ask?
Well, with a passion for music, Curtiss quit his high school English teaching job in Alaska to pursue what he loves most — music. Now we are traveling across North America on a nation wide tour and Curtiss, who performs as Cousin Curtiss, is pursuing his dream of playing music professionally. Here’s an example of him playing live:
Tip: Start the video at 2:19 to see an example of him live looping his guitar, drums, harmonica, and singing!
Check out more of his music here:
- Cousin Curtiss on Spotify
- Cousin Curtiss on SoundCloud
- Cousin Curtiss on YouTube (see live videos here!)
- Cousin Curtiss on tour! (see when he’ll be playing in your area!)
With that said, Curtiss is so grateful for new listeners of his music. If you REALLY love his stuff, support our journey by purchasing a CD on iTunes. 🙂
Curtiss loves to play music everywhere he can! In addition to playing at bars, concert venues, private parties & festivals, he also loves playing in schools! His love for education, mixed with his passion for music is the perfect blend for school assemblies as he aims to inspire students from elementary school through high school to work hard, dream big and chase their dreams. If you’re interested in him coming to your school, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Through Pay Gas, Not Rent we want to inspire others that dreams are possible and goals are worth chasing. We want to help show other gypsy-spirited friends that traveling can be possible. Through our blog we openly lay out how much we spend each month in:
- Food (groceries & restaurants)
- Tourist experiences (tours, park entrances, etc.)
Through this blog, we hope to share our trials of life on the road, the hurdles we face, the amazing things we see, the crazy events that happen and the awesome people we meet along the way.
Here is a glimpse inside the tiny house we built:
Since selling nearly all of our possessions and moving into our tiny house, we have traveled:
- Juneau, Alaska to the interior of Alaska (Fairbanks, Delta, Tok, Chicken)
- Hiked around Denali National Park
- Drove Chicken, Alaska to Northern Michigan (in 5 days)
- Spent a summer in Northern Michigan and a week in the Upper Peninsula (of Michigan)
- We left Michigan at the beginning of September and started our “Fall Down & Around Tour” (a play on the word “fall” and our direction “down” to FL and then “around” to CO). We traveled from Michigan to Ohio, Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia, Florida, & Alabama.
- We left Alabama the end of September and took 3 days to travel across Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, a corner of New Mexico and then to Colorado
- We spent October-November 21 in Colorado
- Nov. 21 Curtiss played his last show in Boulder, CO and we headed west to the California coast. We spent 5 days in Cali, and then road-tripped back to Colorado, by way of Arizona.
- December 7 we left Colorado and headed to Michigan to spend the holidays with our families
- January 5 we hit the road and are headed south on a winter tour with the chain, World of Beer. Curtiss plays shows in Tennessee, Kentucky, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida and Louisiana. See the tour schedule on www.CousinCurtiss.com to see if we’ll be near you!
We will be back in Colorado late March and head straight to Telluride. Curtiss will play a handful of shows around the Denver, Boulder, Fort Collins areas, and then he heads to Alaska for a 6-week tour. We will be back to Michigan this summer, with hopes to land a handful of festivals!
A Little Bit More About Us
Curtiss and I both grew up in Northern Michigan, and each graduated college…Curtiss from Northern Michigan University and me from Grand Valley State University. After college we road-tripped together to Alaska, and fell head over heals for each other while driving a U-Haul across the continent. In Alaska, Curtiss taught high school English for four years while also pursuing his music career on the weekends and during the summer months. I worked in a few different social service jobs and completed my masters degree from University of Alaska Anchorage in Early Childhood Special Education this past spring. After four years of being “professional adults,” we realized we wanted more out of life.
The “tiny house movement” inspired us and made us shift our focus to what is important in life to us:
- the outdoors
- friends & family
The idea of living on the road filled us with new inspiration, reinvigorated the meaning to life, gave us a new direction, and meant we had creative freedom. Once Curtiss had completed his 2014 summer tour from Alaska to Michigan and back, which was his third 3-month tour, he knew it was time to step away from teaching to focus on his music.
Curtiss is a “one man band” known as Cousin Curtiss. He blends Americana, Blues, Psuedo-Electronica, and Root-Stomp sounds. If you walked in to one of his shows blind-folded, you’d think it was a full band on stage. The music he creates live through guitar, harmonica, a homemade stomp-box, beat-boxing and his looping pedal, leaves audiences nothing short of awestricken. The energy he gives out at shows keeps people dancing and continually coming back for more! To check out where we’re headed for the next show, or to learn more about Cousin Curtiss, visit: www.cousincurtiss.com
If you’re interested in more about us…and how we fell in love in a U-Haul, check out our first blog post.
- Facebook (Pay Gas, Not Rent)
- Look us up on Instagram @PayGasNotRent, or search #PGNR, #paygasnotrent
To learn more about how we built our trailer, check out “The Tiny House” in the menu bar.
If you want to offer us your lawn to park our trailer, set up a play date with our dogs or just grab a beer, contact us at PayGasNotRent@gmail.com