A couple decided to pack up their lives and hit the road in a a stunning self-converted school bus to live out their nomadic dreams of traveling the entire United States.
Tyler Hjorting, 28, from Redondo Beach, California and Lexi O’Brien, 26, from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma were inspired by van conversions they saw posted on social media.
They eventually stumbled across ‘Skoolies’ where people convert old school buses into tiny mobile homes.
Tyler and Lexi then spent around $10,000 on their 2001 International bus before spending a further $15,000 refurbishing it over the course of eight months.
Tyler Hjorting, 28, from California and Lexi O’Brien, 26, from Oklahoma, decided to give up their apartment and jobs to hit the road in a converted school bus
The couple spent $25,000 buying and converting the school bus into their dream mobile home
The bus has everything they need, including a bedroom, a kitchen and a bathroom
They say the bus life isn’t actually that much different than an apartment – it’s just mobile
Wild ride: The couple says they’ve met plenty of other nomadic types on the road
A home, but with a driver’s seat and big round bus wheel
‘This is a home that feels warm and cozy while still representing a minimalistic lifestyle,’ they said.
‘A school bus is the perfect empty shell to create your ideal home on wheels. We spent months designing the perfect layout that would fit our needs. Our bus is completely off grid and has everything from a full kitchen to a bedroom and bathroom.
‘A few years ago I was telling Tyler how much I loved all these van conversions I was seeing on Instagram and social media and that I wanted to drop everything and travel in a van.
‘He loved the idea and ended up finding “Skoolies”.
‘There is a whole community of people who have converted school buses into their homes! And when Tyler showed me, I became obsessed and knew this is what we had to do. The next day we started looking for a school bus to buy.’
The couple has travelled through 19 states in America over the last eight months and plan to make it to the East Coast in the New Year.
Their goal is to see most of the United States before they settle down somewhere. They explained what life is like on their bus.
‘At first we thought it would be a lot different than living in our old apartment but it’s not too different other than the fact that it moves,’ they said.
‘We had a one bedroom apartment before we moved into the bus and it wasn’t much bigger than what we have now. Now I feel like life is better on the road. We have so much freedom and have been able to see so many things.
‘Although we initially thought the freedom was going to be the absolute best part of this lifestyle, it’s the community. The people we have met whether it is on the side of the road in some small town or at a Tiny Home festival of thousands, the friends we have made will be lifelong.
They’ve even brought along some furry friends for their adventures
Too cool for school? The couple said they now live off a fraction of the earnings they previously made
It all came down to the necessities to pull off their adventure of a lifetime
Seeing it all! They’ve hit 19 states so far and are heading to the East Coast in 2019
Lots of work: The couple had the bus refurbished by a company called Skoolies which converts buses
Happy: The couple’s adventures on the road are being documents on their social media
‘There is such an amazing vibe and sense of family between the people of this nomadic lifestyle that has blown us away. Following along on social media is one thing, but sitting in someone else’s bus or van and hearing their story in person and realizing that we are not alone on this journey is incredible. Meeting other people living this lifestyle has not only inspired us to keep going, but to encourage others to do the same.’
The adventurous pair also had some advice for anyone who wants to follow in their tire tracks.
‘If we had to give advice to anyone it would be that it is never too late,’ they said.
‘We have seen families of six, young couples, old couples, and plenty of solo travellers on the road. We have also seen people leave behind corporate jobs, friends and family and get out of their comfort zone to pursue their dreams.
‘There is a ton of ways to make money on the road and when you live this way you really don’t need much. We went from making $2,500 to $5,000 a month each to budgeting our whole year at $17,000. The hard part is making the decision to let go of everything you were taught you needed.’