Escaping the “Hustle” in an Airstream in Baja
For much of her life, Milena Regos was hustling. Working long hours as a marketing executive and entrepreneur and burning the candle at both ends seemed like the only way to be successful. This all changed when Milena and her husband took a trip to Baja California and fell in love with the lifestyle, land, and kitesurfing. It was while Milena was flying across the water at the end of a kite that the clarity kicked in and she realized that she needed to change her life.
Milena and her husband live part of the year in La Ventana, Baja California.
She and her husband bought some land in the small town of La Ventana and started their own lifestyle business, Unhustle. Unhustle teaches busy entrepreneurs and professionals how to slow down, unplug, and invest in their health and wellness. The couple now split their time between Lake Tahoe and La Ventana where they live in a 27-foot long Airstream near the beach. The simpler lifestyle is integrated into their business and Milena was so kind to give us some more information on their life south of the border.
Tell us about your La Ventana property. How did you find it? What does it have on it?
We found La Ventana/El Sargento, Baja California Sur through friends who have been going there for years. It’s considered as one of the top 10 places in the world to kitesurf and we got hooked on the sport. It also offers incredible mountain biking (the top six of the top 10 trails in Mexico are there), fishing, snorkeling, paddleboarding, yoga, and so many other things to do. We purchased land (actually two lots next to each other). We have an incredible 180 degree view of the ocean and awesome mountain backdrop from our lot. Our land had a lot of native plants on it when we bought it but nothing else. We built a small palapa so we can house our Airstream under it for shade and eventually added some solar shades in front.
How do you handle electricity, water, internet, etc?
We are hooked up to the town’s electricity so that’s not a problem. We do have some small solar batteries for the Airstream but haven’t used them yet. Water is brought with a truck and we built a pila (storage tank) for it. We also have a septic tank. So, the Airstream is fully hooked up. We have two ways of getting Internet. One is with a satellite dish and one is through the local internet company. Getting consistent internet is very important to me so I can do my work from there. The speed can definitely be improved but I’ve seen a big improvement over the years already. At the end of the day, I still get my work from there and I live there for four months out of the year.
Tell us about your Airstream.
It’s a 2002 Safari model. It has a master bedroom, a full bathroom, stove, fridge, table for working and eating, and a couch which also extends into a bed. Airstreams have a ton of storage and that is really important when you live there for four to five months. It also has air conditioning and a heater. We installed sun protective solar shades and added more shade outside to make it more comfortable.
Living in Baja is about living outdoors but I love how comfortable the bed is. My husband did a complete remodel of it before we brought it down to Mexico. We added hardwood floors, white cabinets, stainless steel features, and upgraded lightning. We kept some of the iconic Airstream features in it.
What are the challenges and rewards of living in Baja for half the year?
I’ll start with the rewards first. Spending time outdoors, living an active lifestyle with yoga, mountain biking, hiking, and kiteboarding. Spending time in the evenings around the fireplace watching the stars. Listening to the ocean and the mobula rays flapping on the water. Walking barefoot and connecting with the earth and nature’s rhythms. Going for walks on the beach. Eating fresh and organic vegetables and fresh seafood. Living a simple life. Disconnecting from TV and the news.
The challenges are that you have to be able to live in a country where standards are different. For example, you can’t just order things online on your phone and have them delivered the next day. Internet speed can be a challenge. Finding certain foods or products can be a challenge or impossible. Speaking the language and communicating with the locals is a challenge and so is banking.
What are your top three pieces of advice for someone wanting to do what you and husband have done?
- Try it out first. We will be offering our Airstream to people who are interested in trying it out. For details about this, you can check out the Unhustle website. You can try it out before making any major investments and see if this is the life you want.
- Simplify. We were able to minimize and simplify our life but it took us a few years to do so. Decluttering and simplifying are major steps towards being able to live with less and try out a tiny house.
- Get clear on your values. If your values are aligned with the life you seek you will flourish. If not, you will focus on the challenges and obstacles. It’s not for everyone.