My Airstream style

The Airstream:

27-foot 1984 Airstream Sovereign

The Airstreamer:

Jim D’Ville, Anytown, USA

My Airstream style:

I’m a full-time Airstreamer, traveling throughout the United States and Canada working as a professional ukulele instructor. Five years ago, as I began traveling more and more for work, leaving my wife at home, we decided to buy a home with wheels so we could travel together. Now we amble from town to town, city to city presenting my “Play Ukulele By Ear” workshops along the way. We are based on the west coast and spend most of our time traveling between Washington and Arizona. We did do one epic 14,000 mile tour which took us from southern California to Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, the Florida Keys and ending up in Oregon.

Travel partner:

I travel with my wife Linda, a graphic designer and illustrator, and our big Maine Coon cat Sheba. It was Linda’s idea to buy the Airstream and both she and Sheba love the lifestyle, as do I.

Camper or glamper?

I’m neither camper or glamper. I treat the Airstream like our home, a familiar place to return to after work, which is always somewhere different. It’s a strange feeling getting dressed for work at home like a normal person, but then going to work somewhere I’ve never been, where I will probably only work once, and then returning home to the trailer, which no doubt will be in a different place the next day. We stay mostly in campgrounds or RV parks. We usually string some colored lights and hang a few paper lanterns to decorate our campsite. And, I just purchased a propane campfire!

Must-have item:

Other than Linda and Sheba, I must carry a number of ukuleles for my work (and play). After we bought our Airstream, we remodeled the living room area to better fit our lifestyle. This included creating a booth seating/work area, a special cat perch with built-in scratching post, and a ukulele storage area. Currently, I travel with eight ukuleles of varying shapes and sizes.

The ideal Airstream day:

Waking up to sunshine. After decades in the Pacific Northwest this is a real treat. A short travel day of under 100 miles. Then, spreading the joy of playing the ukulele to a new group of enthusiastic players!

“Living the life of a traveling ukulele instructor really is a full-time job,” said D’Ville. “This involves doing all my own booking, producing DVD lessons, maintaining my website, writing for Ukulele Magazine, practicing, and of course, moving the trailer from place to place!”

Uke-playing Airstreamers, learn to play ukulele by ear with D’Ville’s instructional DVDs (find them at www.PlayUkuleleByEar.com or connect at dville@teleport.com), and meet him on the road at the following upcoming festivals and venues:

  • Dusty Strings-Seattle, Washington September 9
  • Rexville Grange-Mount Vernon, Washington September 10
  • Lincoln City Cultural Center-Lincoln City, Oregon Sept. 14
  • Tunes In The Dunes-Westwind, Oregon Sept. 15-17
  • SOUP-Ashland, Oregon September 23
  • Aria School of Music-Reno, Nevada September 27
  • The Strum Shop-Roseville, California September 30
  • Davis Ukulele Group-Davis, California October 3
  • Don’s String Shop-Los Osos, California October 7
  • Antelope Valley Uke Fest-Lancaster, California October 14
  • Ukulele End of Summer Blowout-Ventura, California October 21