Missouri is the first stop on a nomadic living journey recently launched by two wildlife enthusiasts and nature explorers from Bemidji, Minnesota.

Mattie Osborn, 22, and Gunnar Nelson, 24, learned during their college internships in Fairbanks, Alaska, that they delighted in nature adventures and traveling. With two dogs and a mission to visit every national park, ground transportation seemed best.

After his graduation in 2018, Gunnar was offered a field engineer position with a construction company, and it entails relocating every six to nine months when projects conclude. His first project is at Maryville. Mattie graduated in 2019, and the couple decided to embrace that sort of kombi life (from the German Kombinationskraftwagen), and became full-time RVers.

Mattie says the hardest part about being a millennial nomad is being away from their families, especially with six nieces and nephews under the age of ten. Mattie tells us more here.

Where do you live now?

In May, we purchased our new home, a 2003 Coachmen Spirit of America twenty-four-foot camper trailer.

Are you staying somewhere free or renting space? 

We’re renting a spot at the Mozingo Lake Recreation Park.

Is this a short-term or summer experiment?

We had the option to find an apartment, but with two dogs and knowing we’ll be moving around, we preferred to have a place of our own, regardless of where in the country we were. This was also an opportunity to make the lifestyle change to living minimally. We truly believe it isn’t things that make you happy, it’s people and experiences. We do have things we keep because they allow us to have these experiences, such as camping and climbing gear, but we didn’t keep many things that aren’t functional. We hope to live in our new home for three to five years.

What plans are you pursuing?

I’m currently not working. I renovate, paint, plan our adventures, and keep Watson, our Border Collie, and Sage, our Australian Shepherd, tired out.

What’s been the hardest challenge with living in a minimal manner?

Staying organized. Even the smallest mess makes it feel like the whole house is destroyed. We spent months downsizing to make this transition easier, but organizing the limited space we have for our outdoor gear has proved to be challenging.

What have you found special about Missouri?

This will always be the place where we began our journey on the road together. Because of this, Missouri will always have a piece of our hearts. There’s so much more here than we realized. We’re constantly putting things on our list of places to see and we’re excited to check them off. Everyone we’ve met since we got here has been caring, kind, and genuine. We’re thankful to have been placed somewhere with such a strong sense of community. We attended concerts at Donaldson Westside Park where it seemed the whole town had come together to enjoy good music and good company.

What will you miss most after leaving the state?

The sunsets. We often find ourselves admiring the cotton candy skies.

Follow their future stops on this journey via Instagram @mattie.osborn or YouTube (Mattie Osborn).