Digital Nomad Couple takes Long Route in Short Bus Conversion
Alyssa Bean and Dan Mini have been living full-time in The Lucky Bus since 2019. The pair, originally from Massachusetts, attended the first Bus Fair in their short bus conversion last summer and were ready to make the trek to Oakridge, Oregon, again before the show was postponed until 2021 due to the pandemic.
Not ones to let work keep them from a life of adventure, both Alyssa and Dan work remotely on the road. Alyssa is a freelance digital marketer and writer, and Dan organizes, edits, and produces videos for YouTube. You can see his work as Bus Life Adventure's new YouTube manager, as well as through weekly vlogs aboard The Lucky Bus through Regretlyss. I caught up with Alyssa to learn how bus life has been treating them so far.
Motor: 7.3L Diesel Powerstroke
Interior Square Footage: 98
Current Location: Bend, OR
Purchased From/Location: Skaneateles, NY
Cost in materials for the conversion: approx. $20,000
Total time from the purchase date to the road: 1.5 years
Did you attend The Bus Fair?
Yes! My partner Dan and I were able to show our bus LUCKY at the first-ever Bus Fair in 2019. We had been on the road for just three months at that time. The Bus Fair was a pivotal point for us because it was there that we had our first real encounter with the bus life community. We met all of our closest “road friends” there.
After The Bus Fair, our entire journey was shaped by the friendships we made, giving us places to go, and people to visit. We have since reconnected and caravanned with friends from The Bus Fair multiple times - friends for a lifetime that’s for sure.
What can someone expect attending The Bus Fair?
Someone attending The Bus Fair can expect to experience the culture of nomad life, to make lifelong friendships, and be inspired by the creativity of the builds.
Why a bus?
I chose a bus for a few different reasons. The first is I loved the idea of giving new life to an old bus, re-purposing something that had such great potential. I also chose a bus because of its creative potential. I was able to truly make it my own. And lastly, my bus is only 22 feet long, so it’s still easy to park and drive around, I’ve even taken it through New York City!
Does your bus have a name or phrase you call it?
My bus is named “Lucky”. I chose that name because I truly felt so lucky to be living in a way that allowed me to reconnect with what truly mattered to me. The bus life is such a gift.
Are you full-timing?
I have been living on the road full-time for 15 months.
Did you do the conversion yourself or did you hire someone?
I worked with a contractor on my build. I did all of the designing, material sourcing, purchasing, etc. I regret not doing the whole build on my own. There are a lot of issues that came up with working with a contractor. The contractor was helpful in the fact that they had the space and tools for the conversion I did not have at the time. That was the benefit of working with a contractor.
Who are you living/traveling with?
I am traveling with my partner Dan. I purchased the bus before I met him, and lucky for me he loved the idea of the bus life, so he hopped on board.
Tips/tricks/advice to help others have who want/are converting a vehicle? Something you wish you had known going into this?
It’s going to be way harder and way more fulfilling than you think it is.
My advice is to do your research, know that you’re capable, and to reach out to the community. The community has been the best part of bus life. I got so much advice and help from the community when I was purchasing the bus and also when I needed help / advice on the road.
What do you do for income?
I am a freelance digital marketer and writer.
Is there anything you wish you did differently in your build?
I wish I included a diesel heater right from the get-go! I also wish I made my couch a dinette instead that collapsed into a couch.
What about the bus has helped you be successful in reaching your lifestyle goals?
The bus life has allowed me to live intentionally and stay connected with what really matters to me. No more mindless routine. No more working on someone else’s dream. The emotional and mental health benefits are incredible. Not to mention the financial benefits that go into living in a bus.
How has the pandemic affected bus life for you?
We have hunkered down in Bend, OR, on private property. We think it’s important for us nomads to do our part and stop traveling. I am so grateful for the safe place to park, and embracing the new space and slowed pace in my life.
How can people follow your adventures?
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