BUT HOW?! Cost, Money, Work,

Thanks again for all the kind comments. I cannot keep up with everyone’s love across the internet. Thank you to all the people commenting on the articles, logging onto my Instagram, and reading this blog.

The overwhelming question has been in the form of HOW?? and What?!

How much did Big Blue Cost?

$4,500. The bus is in EXCELLENT condition. A church owned it since they bought in 1990. It only had 68,xxx miles on it. No rust, since its a California bus. Engine has had all the maintenance done. It was already painted, all the school bus equipment is gone. It also has a roof rack with a ladder. You can buy buses at auction for $1,000 but its recommended to buy the best bus you can, and have the best platform to work with. You don’t want to buy a rusty $500 bus because its cheap, only to spend $5,000 on repairing the bus.

How much did the conversion cost?

Roughly $8,500. Big ticket purchase item was solar for $400. Mattress $400. Electric came to $2,000 for quality gear. Plumbing. Construction material came to be the biggest expense, for the wood, nails, screws, drill bits, and so forth. This price does not include tools, as we already had almost everything we needed.

What do you do for money?

For this trip, I have mainly been living off of the savings I have kept over the years. I started with a few hundred dollars, put that into a CD account at the bank, when interest rates were still high. Leave the money in the account for 6 months and get a decent amount back on interest. Invest that amount for 9 months. A year. Invest that for 3 years. All the while putting in money whenever I can. It all added up over the years. When I’m not traveling, I don’t go out very much, in terms of eating out, going to bars, spending money. I’m mainly a go to work, otherwise stay home and watch Netflix kind of guy.

Bus Life is fairly cheap, minus the diesel (mpg explained further down). The bus is titled as a Reconstructed Motor Home, so insurance for the whole year is very cheap, compared to monthly car insurance. Taxes for the Bus is $200 a year. I’m currently staying for free at my friends house, so I have no mortgage, no rent, no major bills. So on the day to day, I am really only paying for food and things here and there. Ive been selling candles along the way, and have an etsy shop set up under “skoolielove” where I sell handmade natural wax candles. Currently looking for temporary jobs in the area. When I leave Florida, I will be looking into “work camping” where you work a certain amount of hours per week at certain Campgrounds, and you get to stay there for free, as well as get paid.

How did you/do you pay for this?

I have had a savings account since I was 18. My parents taught me valuable lessons in terms of how I use my money. You cant always control how much money you make, but you can control how much you spend. When I have a job, I work really hard. I put in the effort to become a supervisor or fill a training position in as short a time as possible, and make more money in less time. So then for a few years, I save as much as I can. Then I take time off and live as free and as adventurous as I can. Then I get another job and work really hard there. My parents were such a tremendous help with build as well. Not only did I not have to pay for labor to build the bus, as my dad did all of the work with me, they also helped me by donating the solar panels, my bed, as well as some of the build material.

How is the gas mileage?

Not very good. But that is not why I decided to live in a bus. Overall expenses on the bus are very minimal. And I can say that I am a mortgage free homeowner. I get roughly 6-8 miles a gallon, on a 55ish gallon tank. So, driving almost 10,000 miles, I would say that I spent more than $3,000 on gas. I would have spent that much in rent alone if I still lived in my apartment. Its all a matter of perspective.

How long did it take?

I bought the bus on March 18th in Long Beach. Drove it over to Vegas and parked it at my parents house. The build did not really start until the beginning of May this year. From that point on, we worked on the bus nearly every day. It was more than a full time job. Everything was custom, so we had to figure out how to make the curves on the wall for the curve of the roof of the bus. The black water tank was a nightmare to install. So on and on. Trial and error the entire way. Waiting on packages. Getting shipped the wrong item. Tools breaking. Personal issues of me moving back into my parents house for the build. Anyhow, I left the day that the build was done and the bus was ready to go. That was August 15. I loaded up all my belongings and left for California. So for all rough estimates, it took about 3 months of straight work to complete the build.

Whew! I hope that answered a few of your questions!

Feel free to comment below and I will answer your questions on the next blog post.

 

 

Have a good one

Living in the Bus has allowed me plenty of time to be creative, to sit alone in my thoughts, listen to music, and write. I cannot wait until I can say that I am a writer. Its what I would love to spend my life doing. I never realized it was a passion of mine, until 2009 when I kept a journal of my Appalachian Trail hike. I wrote for most of the journey, and enjoyed it. Ive been keeping a journal of some sort on and off since then. In High School and College I dreaded starting papers, but once I was writing, I ended up with papers much longer than the requirement. I remember writing a paper about German Expressionism in Film, and the paper was supposed to be 13 pages. When I first read/heard about the assignment, I probably thought I should drop this German film class, that’s highly not do able. When I got into writing it, I believe I came out to 16 pages, with really not much material to cut. I really enjoyed the writing part. Not the idea of starting, not the idea of all the writing. Not the actual start of the writing process. The editing and revision was pretty fun, I don’t mind it that much. But the writing. Researching. I did enjoy all that.

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Anyhow, the past week I only left the bus a few times, for some work at the Bonsai Nursery, Goodwill shopping for neat little recycled arts and crafts. I have had plenty of opportunity to spend with myself, reading, writing, creating. Thinking and imagining. Hypothesizing. I would love to be a writer.

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One of the things that I have been thinking about for a long time, is these silly little things we say without even thinking about it.
Have a good day.
Have a good one.

Have a good day. I know its a nice gesture, and it shows something. It definitely comes in very useful in the Customer Service sector. But I don’t know what it truly brings across. Its a natural reaction at this point. Its almost an afterthought. It doesn’t mean anything. Some people are super enthusiastic when they say it, and I am sure they mean it. They want you to be so excited and happy and have the best day of your life. And its cool. Its awesome. If you’re excited and you mean it. You are genuine about it. Immediately after someone says “Have a good day,” the “you too” response comes too quick, without really listening. Its an automatic response to an automatic response almost.

Have a good one. You too.
A good one what? Im not even quite sure what it means?

Be genuine about what you say during your interactions. Or don’t say it. I have been wanting to use “Make it a great day” more. You are actively involved in making a better day. You’re not “having” some inherited experience, undergoing some transformation. You are making it a great day. Constructing. Creating. To cause happiness and positivity to exist and come about.

We are part of an overwhelming culture of “have a good one.” Not as creative as we could be in our daily interactions. Most people never create. That is not a curriculum taught or allowed in school anymore. They just do. Don’t think. Go on now, break your back for the next some odd 40 years and then retire with your 401k and none of your health. See you later. Yeah, have a good one. Thanks, you too.

You probably wont see that person later. Yeah, have a good one. A good one what? I am assuming day? Have a good day? You can’t tell me that? Cool man, thanks. You too. I wish you the same questionable nice gesture.

Anyhow, we can do better than that! Why don’t we upgrade the little words and sayings we use most often. Something that small could have a huge impact. In the way we think, the way we interact. The little social slices of our daily life. There are many of them. Let’s improve just a tiny bit of those little moments. Ive been thinking of saying “Make it a positive day.” We could use conscious, or mindful instead of positive. But I feel that’s not as generally applicable/acceptable everywhere. Everyone knows what positive is. There is positive and negative. 1. 0. Dead or alive. Great has no measure. It’s an amount above normal or average. What is normal? What’s a normal day, and what would make it great? It has nothing to offer. Having a positive day, I would assume that most everyone generally has an idea of what a positive day is compared to a negative one.

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Make it a positive day. Even saying Make it a great day. Make it a good day is giving yourself and the other person more value than Have a great day. If you don’t have it, it wont be great. But if you actively participate and MAKE it great, there’s something there. You took part in the creation of a better moment.

Lets actively participate in having better moments.
Make it a positive day everyone,
Skoolie Love