After growing tired of spending her days in a corporate cubicle, Cass Beach was ready for a lifestyle change. She accepted a remote job and started her dream of traveling around the United States. Cass quickly fell in love with her nomadic lifestyle and never looked back. Five years of full-time travel later, and Cass and her adventure pets, Jasper and Napoleon, are gearing up for the next road trip in their new overland rig.
Meet Cass Beach
While working in a corporate office in central New York, Cass Beach would spend the days in her office cubicle dreaming of her next vacation. Her strong sense of wanderlust left her feeling restless when she spent too much time in one place. After multiple years with the same company, Cass was offered the option to take a remote position. Without thinking twice, she accepted the position with the hope of being able to travel more frequently and work on the road.
Initially, Cass used the new flexibility in her work location to spend time in some new places including Charlotte, NC and Austin, TX. After falling down the rabbit hole of travel podcasts and online blogs about full-time RVing and #vanlife, she quickly became fascinated with the idea of living a nomadic lifestyle. Following her binge of the RV Entrepreneurship Podcast, Cass was inspired to finally take the leap into her dream of full-time travel.
In 2017, Cass downsized and purchased a 2001 Class B RV, excited to get out on the road in her new home on wheels. Unfortunately, the RV was teeming with maintenance issues and less than a month after purchasing, Cass decided to sell it. Still determined to make her travel dreams come true, Cass packed all of her things into her Toyota 4Runner, donated what wouldn’t fit, and spent the next 8 months traveling around the country staying in AirBnBs. “I enjoyed exploring a new AirBnB every week, staying in some wonderful homes, and hearing amazing stories from extremely welcoming hosts. This was an incredible way to travel the country and meet locals along the way.”
From Corporate America to Traveling Across America
Cass fell in love with the nomadic lifestyle and enjoyed seeing so many beautiful places around the country and meeting new people every week. She decided she wanted to stay on the road full-time and began visiting several RV and Travel Trailer dealerships in search of a new home on wheels. With her experiences in the Class B RV and previous 8 months on the road, Cass knew exactly what she was looking for. Finally, after looking into everything from Class A motorhomes to teardrop trailers, she came across the 16’ Airstream Basecamp and it was the one that fit all of her needs. With the Airstream in tow, Cass set out for the adventure of a lifetime.
As Cass moved from state to state, she was still able to continue working full-time. With a fully remote position, Cass kept her Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm job, just logging in on her laptop from the Airstream. Other than the few times she has to fly up to the office for meetings and team building events, Cass is able to work from anywhere she wants. The ability to continue working full-time has made it possible to sustain this lifestyle she loves. She spends every day enjoying nature, exploring new places and cities, trying new restaurants, and going on hikes, all while still having a career she enjoys. “With the constant changing surroundings and not having the same daily routine, time slows way down, and I feel I enjoy life much more.”
One of the best parts of Cass’ lifestyle is being able to move locations every one to two weeks. Cass uses a Google Calendar to keep her travel routes organized and up to date with permits, festival dates, and planned convergences or trips with friends. Within her Google Maps, she has green flags for places she wants to go and blue, yellow, and red dots for places she’s already been. Then when she plans her travel routes, she attempts to connect as many dots as possible, while leaving flexibility to meet up with friends or other full-timers along the way. Additionally, Cass makes sure to only stay in one spot about 10-12 days, which is the maximum she can stretch her tanks, gives her a full weekend to explore and ensures she’s not moving mid-week while trying to work.
Remote Boondocking Adventures Powered by Battle Born Batteries
In order to support her travels and work-full time, Cass generally is up before the sun and logged into to work for 8-10 hours a day. This requires a laptop, a monitor, and Wi-Fi hotspots. With all of these electronics, it’s essential for Cass to have power that she can rely on. Initially, the Airstream came with lead acid batteries and Cass struggled to have enough power for work. Some days she even had to get up early and plug in at campgrounds just to be able to work, and if she had too many electronics plugged in the evening, she would wake up with dead batteries.
Eventually, Cass upgraded from lead acid to 2 – 12V 100Ah LiFePO4 Deep Cycle Battle Born Batteries and got more than enough power for all of her electronics and appliances. Even on cloudy days she can use a Ninja crockpot oven, a 27” monitor, a blender, charge all of her electronics, and use heat in the winter. “Although so many of these things sound simple, when out boondocking and relying on our own power, these type of things aren’t possible without a sound electrical system. And that’s what Battle Born’s provided me the ability to do.”
Over the last 5 years of full-time travel, Cass has made countless memories and she couldn’t possibly pick a favorite. But one memory that stands out was when she was living in AirBnBs and was rarely socializing with people other than her AirBnB hosts. While in Boise, she decided to book a white-water rafting trip by herself and ended up meeting some amazing people. One of the families on her raft even invited her out to dinner after and she went with them. Despite this experience being far outside of Cass’ comfort zone, she realized all of the good that could come out of saying yes to new opportunities. “There are so many amazing and wonderful people out there, with incredible and diverse stories. This day taught me how to find opportunities to meet people like that.”
Full-Time Travel as a Solo Female
It was experiences like these that helped Cass feel much more comfortable as a solo-female traveler. During her first year of travel, she spent most of her time alone and wasn’t able to maintain friendships as she was constantly moving. After moving into the Airstream, Cass began attending rallies with other full-timers and was able to meet like-minded people. Since they were all constantly traveling, it became easier to maintain friendships and meet back up with people while on the road. “I met an amazing community that travels together, supports each other, and is one of the most warm and welcoming communities I’ve ever met.” Although Cass is still very cautious and pays attention to her gut feelings about her surroundings, she’s been able to relax a lot more after being plugged into community.
Even when Cass is in more remote locations or struggling to find community, she always has her two travel buddies to keep her company. Cass has a 16-year-old adventure cat named Napoleon and a 6-year-old floppy-eared German Shepherd/Husky mix named Jasper. Napoleon loves camping, hiking, and hunting when he’s not eating catnip or cuddling with Cass. Jasper was rescued by Cass at 8 weeks and he’s nothing short of entertaining. He loves hiking, eating out, chasing flies, and tearing up sticks and he’s even trained to follow commands in English, Icelandic, and Bosnian.
Despite the copious amounts of pet hair in the Airstream and the extra planning and logistics that comes when traveling with animals, Cass wouldn’t want it any other way. Napoleon and Jasper keep Cass company, provide plenty of entertainment, and ensure Cass always has someone to spend time with. As a solo-female traveler, she appreciates the extra sense of security with Jasper when she ventures out of the Airstream. Cass loves being able to end a full day of hiking and exploration by eating a delicious, home-cooked meal and relaxing with her two furry best friends.
Cass Upgrades to a New Overland Rig
When Cass moved from living out of the back of the 4Runner, she loved how spacious the new Airstream was. Even with the small 16’ Airstream Basecamp, it was a huge upgrade in space. Cass was now able to stand when she was getting dressed and actually move around while inside. Additionally, the Airstream came with the added luxuries of a bathroom, a shower, and a kitchen. Instead of feeling like she was living out of her car, Cass finally had a tiny home on wheels to bring with her.
After a few years in the Airstream, the spacious-feel began to wear off, living with two animals and attempting to work and live in such a small space. Despite all of the lifestyle upgrades that the Airstream brought, Cass missed the agility of the 4Runner. While towing a trailer, many off-road boondocking spots are simply out of the question as they are too hard to get to and park in. Although Cass loved the Airstream, she began searching for options that would allow her the flexibility to reach more remote locations while still giving them more space.
Following extensive research, Cass found a truck camper that would offer her the overland capabilities of the 4Runner while doubling their living space. She traded in her 4Runner for a pickup truck and purchased a 1994 Northern Lite 610 Truck Camper to renovate. A spike in the RV market allowed Cass the opportune time to sell the Airstream, and she officially began working on her new home.
What’s Next for Tails of Wanderlust?
Initially, Cass thought she would be back on the road in her new truck camper after 2 months, but some unexpected truck issues slowed her down as she’s now in the market for a new truck and in month 4 of renovations. While progress is continuing, Cass can’t wait to get back out on the road and is working hard renovating the camper. She’s currently upgrading the interior and looking forward to being able to mount her 400W of solar panels to the roof to charge her electrical system that’s powered by a 12V 270Ah LiFePO4 Deep Cycle GC3H Battle Born Battery.
In addition to working full-time and renovating the truck camper, Cass is also pursuing her master’s degree. Although she’s grateful for the extra time she has to focus while pausing her travels, her deep wanderlust has her dreaming of being back on the road. Once her Overland rig is complete, Cass is looking forward to exploring new places in Colorado this fall. While she doesn’t have specific travel plans from there, she loves spending winters in Arizona, being surrounded by the red rocks in Utah, and traveling through the mountains in Yellowstone, so it’s likely she’ll be heading west. Hopefully by next summer, Cass will be checking Alaska off her bucket list. When it comes to planning her future travels, not much is set in stone and Cass is just waiting to see where the wind takes her!