A couple who ditched their one 1,000 square foot townhouse townhouse for life on a bus with their newborn baby have revealed their only worry these days is finding somewhere safe to park at night.
Seamstress Hannah Hernandez, 25, and her solar installer husband Ian, 27, from Orlando, Florida, were left with little quality time together while they both worked hard to cover their rent.
After much contemplation, the duo eventually decided to spend their savings on a 1991 International Bluebird 35 ft School bus. They found the vehicle on Craigslist for $2,000 in November 2016.
The couple then found out Hannah was pregnant in January 2018, and worked hard to complete their project before their daughter Nora, one, was born in October 2018.
Ian and Hannah Hernandez, from Orlando, Florida, with their one year old daughter Nora posing in front of their home bus during their travels. The couple decided to buy and refurbish the bus in order to reconnect with each other because their busy work schedules meant they barely saw each other and moved in in December 2018
The bus is equipped with an oven and kitchen space, allowing Ian to cook for his little family, with Nora in tow (pictured)
Hannah and Ian made sure the bus was safe and strong enough to home a growing and curious little toddler.
Hannah has always paid close attention to detail, so taking the pregnancy off from renovations was not an option. In fact, she worked almost daily on their future tiny home on wheels right up to 37 weeks into her pregnancy.
While building their new home, the family were already downsizing the contents of their 1,000sq ft townhouse. Once a month they would go through everything once again to donate things they felt dragged them down and wouldn’t be worth keeping.
Piece by piece the bus was completed in September 2018. Their beautiful daughter, Nora was born in October 2018 and the three moved on board with their pet dog named Girlie in December 2018.
Hannah, a seamstress, made sure she had a workstation in the bus so she could work on the go (pictured)
Nora’s own nursery space in the bus, with a pretty crib and comfy blankets. Hannah explained Nora tended to fall asleep as soon her parents hit the road
‘We have both been very adventurous in our lives. I used to travel a lot for dance competitions and Ian being from Puerto Rico, loved exploring the rivers and beaches,’ Hannah said.
‘We both rented a 1,000sq ft townhouse in Orlando Florida. I have a sewing business, which I started before our bus journey, and Ian used to be a CrossFit coach. We were working all the time to afford the house and hardly got to see each other.
‘We decided that time together and simplifying our lives had to become our priority.
‘So we started looking at some options on how we could achieve this vision. We really loved the idea of living on an A frame trailer, but we knew it wouldn’t make a good long-term house.
Hannah and Ian worked hard one refurbishing the bus, which they bought for $2000 on Craigslist in November 2016 (pictured before renovations began)
Hannah, who was pregnant with Nora at the time didn’t shy away from renovation works. Pictured painting the bus’ exterior
Life on the road. Hannah works out on a parking lot while watching Nora during one of their journeys
‘In the end we decided a fully paid off RV would be a better option. In November 2016 we bought our 1991 International Bluebird 35ft ex school bus off Craigslist for $2,000.
‘Renovations were done somewhat slowly at first and we were always downsizing our home every month. We go through all our belongings each month and make a bag or box of things to donate.
‘Me and Ian knew we wanted to have a child in the near future and as luck would have it, we found out I was pregnant in January 2018. By that point we were both really excited about our future.
Pregnant Hannah and Ian working on their new home on wheels after ditching their townhouse, before Nora’s birth
The bus halfway through the renovation process. The couple made sure the bus was safe and strong enough to hold their family
Ian driving off in the sunset. The family have traveled through 14 states since taking off in their bus on December 2018, when Nora was two months old
‘But with this news also came a deadline as we had lots of work to do on renovations. We also had to ensure we made a home that was strong and safe for our baby.
‘Me being a perfectionist meant that I worked long hard hours right up until I was 37 weeks into my pregnancy. It was certainly an ‘interesting’ experience and was difficult bending over getting small hexagon tiles on the floor of the shower and bench. My mother had to help with that.
‘Ian tried to stop me, but he didn’t have much choice in the matter. I remember sitting on a chair when I was 37 weeks pregnant and painting the outside of the bus.
‘At that point I realized I was ready to stop working and just relax before the baby came.
‘Then we happily welcomed our baby girl Nora into the world in October 2018 and moved onto our bus in December 2018.’
The bus before the end of renovations. It took the couple almost two years for their handiwork to pay off
The family took their dog Girlie on board with them, and she loves to snuggle on the pillows while they drive around (pictured)
The family’s wanderlust has taken them across 14 states and they have loved every moment of travelling and watching their little girl grow and explore different environments.
Travelling with a baby hasn’t been as hard as you might think and when the engine starts and they hit the road, Nora knows it’s nap time.
The greatest challenge on their journey has been making sure they find a safe and secure place to park their bus at night and ensuring they maintain temperature control to a comfortable level.
‘Since we started our journey we have already covered 14 different states and clocked over 5,500 miles,” Hannah continued.
Hannah and Nora playing around on the kitchen counter, in the bus. The couple said it was ‘100 percent possible’ to raise a child on the road
Papers and registration: Ian playing with Nora behind the stirring wheel. Ian and Hannah said they consumed less since living on their dream bus
Live on the bus. Nora, her parents said, is very adaptable and can sleep through loud noises (pictured with Ian)
‘The greatest thing about this has been watching Nora see so many new places. She has adapted to all sorts of different environments and situations. Nora does very well with loud noises when we are cooking, cleaning or showering and when we are driving she knows that’s her nap time.
‘Beyond our little one pulling everything out of the cabinets and laying them all over the floor, our only real problem is finding a safe place to park at night and making sure we maintain good climate control inside the bus. This is easily done though as we have AC and a little heater.
‘Our friends and family have been incredibly supportive and helped so much with the build. We are lucky to have many like-minded friends who love travel.
A before (top) and after (bottom) reveals the work it took to create a kitchen space, complete with sink and oven
Nora, who was born in October last year, celebrated her first birthday on the road with her parents (pictured on her big day)
Curious Nora loves to open the drawers and cupboards around the bus (pictured) , but her parents insisted it’s all safe
As winter sets in the bus will be making its way to Florida where it is much warmer as to avoid those bitter cold days.
‘As it starts getting colder we have headed down to Florida where we can enjoy winter in the sunny state.’
Hannah and Ian said it’s important to take control of your own life and make your own dreams become reality and not follow other people’s.
‘We want to make sure people know that you too can bring up your child on the road. It’s totally 100 percent possible. Nora is actually so well behaved. Remember that babies are totally adaptable and will adjust and flourish in any environment and lifestyle,’ Hannah said.
‘Minimizing and consuming less while increasing experiences with loved ones is one of the best feelings you could ever imagine, and you can have that too.
‘Don’t let anyone else tell you how to live your life. If you feel like you have a desire to pursue this kind of lifestyle don’t wait any longer. Go for it and make your dreams happen.’
Hiking with the parents. The couple managed to finish the bus in September 2018, just before Nora was born
Mother and daughter. The family moved on board the bus in December 2018, when Nora was two months old
Hannah with Nora. The young mother worked restlessly on the bus right up to 37 weeks into her pregnancy.
Baby on board! Hannah and Ian had to work fast to complete the bus before Nora was born in October 2018, so they could take her on the road