(saw buzzing) - A little over five years ago, Ellen and I had been asking a lot of questions, like what's next?
We couldn't really find our community, or find acceptance or love, and that was huge.
It was like we're living in this town, and we didn't really feel like we were part of it.
There was just a lot of things that led to us wanting change, but we just weren't sure what that was gonna look like.
Then, we got on the road, because we just felt like we wanted more.
(soft music) - I'm Ellen.
- I'm Kate.
And we've been living on the road for about four years.
We met in college.
We were freshmen.
I didn't know I was gay, she didn't know she was gay, but I just knew that I loved her.
But it would be seven years, we would lose touch.
- A lot of life happened in between.
- I got married, I had a child, I went through a divorce, and then we got back together.
That time, it was not just friends.
It was like, oh my gosh, I'm in love with you.
Adelaide and I moved to Kentucky to be with Ellen in a really tiny little town.
I would say by that summer, we were like, I don't think this is what we want.
We kept calling it our little island in the middle of a really unaccepting sea.
Once we decided to travel, like, we started looking into different options.
- [Ellen] We talked about a bus, we talked about RVs, and then Kate was like, what about an Airstream, and ultimately found one, and there was no turning back.
Then, exactly a year later, after we had spent time renovating it, and left Kentucky to set out to travel.
So, while we were building, I had said to Kate a couple of times that I would be happy to do that for a living.
- [Kate] We're like we could do this for other people.
That's when we were like, let's start the business.
Our business name is The Modern Caravan, and we renovate vintage Airstreams.
Right now, we're working on a 1968 Airstream Caravel that we have named Hope.
(buzz sawing) - It's the norm to be male, working on this Airstream.
It's the norm to be male building something, or engineering something.
It's not normal to be female, and then on top of that be female and gay.
I feel very unsafe in lots of situations, especially in the field that we work in.
For instance, at the hardware store, we get strange looks, or we get treated in a way that we didn't necessarily expect.
I thought maybe I should grow my hair out long, because then people will know that I'm female, and I'll be able to use the public bathroom without somebody walking out, looking at the sign, and then walking back in, or saying excuse me, this is the women's restroom.
And then, it got retty long, like past my ears, and then I was like, this isn't me, you know?
I'm trying to pretend to be somebody else when I know that I prefer to look the way that I prefer, just like anybody else.
If I'm trying to fit into a specific way of looking, just for my safety, then that doesn't feel good.
(sot music) We've put in so many hours to this, and to constantly have to prove our worth, it can feel really debilitating sometimes.
I feel like no matter what I do, it's not gonna be good enough.
Then, after awhile, I'm like, you know what?
It could be really fun to chronicle this.
Let's get on Instagram.
It was really just a way to find community, and then to chronicle the process.
At first, there was no one following us.
Of course, it was exciting when people did start to follow our story.
They're following this really poor gay couple from Kentucky.
I think they saw how hard we worked, they saw the dreams that we were going after.
We've met incredible people, and got an incredible opportunity through putting ourselves our there, but it does come at a price.
We live in an Airstream, and I know how messy it is, I know how dirty it is, I know that things break.
It looks nothing like that pretty, perfect polished image.
How do I tell both stories while still selling a product and a service?
That's been the really difficult thing, because I want people to understand the difficulty of it.
- It's pretty crazy, and we know it's not sustainable.
We've known this a long time, that what we're doing is not sustainable or healthy.
We know that it doesn't make sense to work seven days a week, and pull 12, 13, 14, 15 hour shifts, but we're still doing it.
(waves sloshing) (soft music) There are a lot of ways that I could just keep our relationship completely separate from what we do.
So, yeah, it is a conscience decision to put ourselves out there, and I do think it's important, and it's important because there aren't a lot of people that are gonna stand up for us.
So, we do it.
When we do it, when another gay couple does it, we're all standing up for each other in that way.
So, this is our small contribution to our community.