“And if I die in Raleigh, at least I will die free!” My new Canadian friends had started an impromptu karaoke session for “Wagon Wheel” by Old Crow Medicine Show. We were singing and dancing on the roof-deck on my converted school bus, overlooking Ralph Wilson Stadium off in the distance. This was the second night being parked here, and the only reason I had this experience happened because two people were curious about the bus. They decided they wanted to find out what the bus is all about, and knocked on the door. What is a blue school bus with the license plate SKOOLIE, doing at the Bills camper parking lot?
Welcome to the Bus Life.
For the past few months, I have been living in a 1990 School Bus. Picked up the bus, nicknamed Big Blue, in Long Beach California on March 18. Drove it to Vegas where my parents live, and started converting it into a tiny motor home at the beginning of May. My dad and I did all the work ourselves, sourcing mainly Home Depot and Amazon.
Since August of 2015, I have covered nearly 10,000 miles through 30 states on the highways and byways of this beautiful country. The road trip started in Las Vegas, headed over to California, then continued up the West Coast to Seattle. From there I drove quite a few miles to Fort Collins, Colorado and over to Buffalo, New York. From there I had a few spots I visited in Boston, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. I celebrated in Rhode Island, as that was the last of the 50 states I needed to visit. It had been a goal of mine for the past few years, to see all of the 50 states. Done. Next! I then headed to Arkansas, and now my home is a driveway at a house in Ocala, Florida.
So whats Skoolielove all about?
Skoolielove came about the beginning of March of this year. It’s the lifestyle that I want to live. I want to live fully on a bus, and make that my life. The road trip that I just took is over, now its on to living in a bus while parked. Figuring out how to make money, and function in society while living in a small space. Skoolie is a nickname/slang for Converted School Bus, taking a school bus and converting it into a tiny motor home. Love is about spreading positivity, being compassionate, and caring about yourself and the world around you. You matter. Your actions matter. Being conscious of what you do, what you say, how you act, how you behave, and what impact your mood and attitude has on your life. As well as the impact on the Earth we all share. I felt like downsizing my home and the amount of stuff I have, while living on a school bus, would allow me to figure out what i’m looking for. I may have found it.
As a philosopher once said, “Life is a Highway, I want to ride it all night long.”
I don’t actually enjoy driving at night, its blinding and nerve-wracking. But yes, my life currently is a highway.
Living on the bus has been exactly what I was looking for.
I hand washed most of my laundry. I listened to more music, and wrote more than ever in my life. I went wine tasting in the hills of Santa Barbara, hiked in the Rocky Mountains, met friends in Boston and ate home-made pizza and drank local beer, jammed out to Tom Petty at the Niagara Falls with my best friend. I met moms, dads, brothers, old people, young people. Students, teachers, construction workers, bus drivers. You name it. People from all walks of life, in some of the coolest places America has to offer.
I ate a lot less meat. I stopped using plastic bags from grocery store purchases. Used less water and electricity than I would in a regular home. I do not have a television on the bus. I ate healthy, bus cooked meals. In general I consumed less, but more on that in other entries.
At the end of the day, after all the miles driven, the sights and the sounds of everyday life on the road, its nice to be home. I look into the rear view mirror, and there is all my stuff, my tiny bus home. It’s nice to finally have place that I can call home. I have moved over 20 times since I was born, and I feel like in the bus, I came home. It’s a wonderful feeling. It’s only a small 189 sq ft, but its plenty enough for me. It allows me to live more.
Since my home is mobile, I get the rare opportunity to be home where ever I park. I’m home in the State Parks of Colorado, the streets of Rochester, the rest stops in Wyoming, Connecticut, Virginia. The lots in South Dakota. The scenery changes, but my home is always with me. I can head to the bedroom, close all the curtains, turn on the A/C and I am comfortable in familiar surroundings.
This journey, my new bus life, is a journey about less. Using fewer resources, wasting less. But also more. Listen more to people, music, and nature. Also find out what I am all about. It is a journey to figure out what I want for my future, but more importantly, to live more in the moment. Its a journey to explore America. Its big cities, and its little towns. Meet the everyday person. Meet the special, extraordinary people. Most of all, experience. Life is experience, and I very much fee alive. This blog will be about all that. Write about Bus Life and for all that it is, and isn’t. The building, upkeep, and life in a 189 sq foot blue school bus.
Join me on this Journey.