We get lots of questions once we tell people that we are converting a school bus into a tiny home to travel the country with our three kids. It's not something that everyone is doing and we understand that people are curious. We were super curious about skoolie and traveling families when we were dreaming of bus life and are still looking to people who have been doing it to offer advice and answer questions. We are lucky to be involved in some groups on the internet to answer our questions about bus life logistics but we would like to give you some answers to some of the most frequently asked questions. Let get into it!
How long are you going to travel?
We are saying at least a year but it could be more or maybe less. We aren't going to stress ourselves out by forcing 365 days on the road and if we are having a ball we may stay on the road longer than a year. We are deliberately not setting any time limits on any locations so we can stay as long as we want and so yeah, we will be on the road approximately a year.
Where are you going?
We are not really sure. We have ideas and a map on the wall with potential destinations but we are really open to where ever. I wrote a blog all about this exact question if you are interested to check it out.
Are you selling your house?
Yes. We want to reduce our overall possessions and the house is a biggie. We are no longer interested being strapped to one location by a financial obligation. When we sell our house will will drastically reduce our overhead, pun intended.
Are you going to homeschool?
The short answer is yes but it is deeper than that. I am reading a lot about unschooling and it really resonates with me. It also fits in with the desire to change a lot of the aspects of our lives to be more present, mindful, and engaged in life. We will keep researching until we find a type of "homeschooling" that fits our children and family but right now unschooling seems like it may fit the bill.
What are you going to do for money?
Well, we have some money saved and we plan to work on the road. I have online services and can meet with clients and mentees on the phone and online. I also am open to doing speaking or teaching in towns that we pass through. As a doula, childbirth educator and lactation counselor I want to connect with other birth-workers and maybe join forces to offer guest services in their locations. I also have this blog, a Patreon page, and Amazon Affiliate links. Nick is going to continue to do his artwork on the road and has some cool ideas about spreading his art all over the country. We look forward to using sites like Workamper to help us work and play. Some of the positions through Workamper include places to park the bus and even amenities such as WiFi, electricity, water, and more. We are both also exploring other remote work. The idea that you should put all your eggs in one basket or depend on only one source financially is one that we no longer believe in and like the idea of a many income streams. The awesome thing about living in a bus is that we don't need to work as much as we did when we had a hefty mortgage and all the bills that went along with it. Some of our income streams are passive so there isn't a lot to do on a daily basis, they work for us!
Where are you going to stay/park the bus?
We are hoping to stay in a lot of National Forests, National Parks, BLM land, farms, wineries, and wherever we can. We will stay in the occasional campground too. I also mentioned Workamper which we would work in exchange for a place to stay and in some cases pay too. We would like to stay in free places as much as possible to keep costs down but have budgeted to stay in campgrounds when we have too. We would like to avoid drifting from one Walmart parking lot to the next but if it happens, it happens. There are some really great resources to find places to stay while on the road.
Boondockers Welcome is a cool site and we have actually hosted people we met on there at our house. Harvest Hosts hooks you up with wineries, breweries, farms and more. You pay a membership fee but there are no other charges. On a lot of Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land you can dry camp for free for up to 14 days. Of course, we will stay with friends and family as much as we can too.
What will you do when you are finished traveling? Where will you go?
One of the other things we hope while traveling is to find a new community to call home. We live in a nice community now but New Jersey and more specifically where we live is expensive. We are hoping to find a community of like-minded people to live and work. We have a bunch of ideas, business and creative ideas, in just the right environment and will be on the look out for a place that feels just right. We also want a place where the children can run free, experience nature regularly, and see what its like to fully live.
Why are you doing this?
I wrote a couple of blogs about that but in the immortal words of Ferris Bueller, life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.
In a nutshell that's it. We love the support and questions and if you have others please ask. I am so surprised when I tell people what we are doing and they seem genuinely excited and happy for us. We have gotten a lot of new followers and likes on social media recently and that is so awesome.
We couldn't do this without the support and encouragement of all our friends and neighbors. We really are an open book so please reach out and ask away. If you are considering a skoolie conversion or life on the road please let me know if there is any way I can help you. Consider me your skoolie doula.