Hey everyone! Welcome to our Bus Life Adventure.

Let’s have a little chat about working for yourself, working for someone else, and what kind’s of things you want to keep in mind while you are looking for work.

The way I see it, if you’re getting a job and working for someone else, accept the job that pays decently well AND comes with great benefits and perks. You are trading your lifetime in for a couple bucks an hour, make it worth your time and energy! Don’t spend your life on things you don’t want to do, and don’t just do it for the money.

In high school I worked at my parent’s office, because it was close to home and with familiar people. In college I worked at a movie theater to watch free movies, eat unlimited popcorn and left over hot dogs and candy. Then I worked for several airlines for the free and heavily discounted flight benefits, also for the great healthcare.

alaska airline skoolielove work job

The handful of jobs in-between which I was working simply for money never worked out for long. If it’s not your passion, and you simply show up to earn money with no other benefits, it’s difficult to give it your all. If your hearts not in it, you won’t win it.

My life-time is more precious than any dead end, only for money job. I want more out of work and life!

“Some have maxed out all their credit cards
Some are working two jobs and living in cars
Minimum wage won’t pay for a roof, won’t pay for a drink
If you gotta have proof just try it yourself Mr. C.E.O.
See how far 5.15 an hour will go
Take a part time job at one your stores
I bet you can’t make it here anymore”

- James McMurtry “We can’t make it here anymore”

Dinner in the Big Blue Bus

rova magazine skoolielove february march live edge table

Buy a copy of the Rova Magazine

Mary and I were sitting at the dining table, sampling the variety of tacos, cheese dip, salsa and guacamole which she brought home after her shift at the Taquiera, her new second job.

“Dang! This one with the pulled pork and BBQ sauce is nice! I like the crispy onions.” I told Mary with my mouth full.

“I’m not too much a fan of this one, with the pineapple and pickled cabbage.” She replied.

“Dude! How sweet is this?! This is what Bus Life is all about! I love this!” I smiled at her.

With a thoughtful smile she told me “It’s the best home I’ve ever had”

“Remember living with that one lady? That place was disgusting.” I made a gross face towards Mary.

“And the sea cucumber apartment!” Mary replied back.

“Oh! And the place with 5 roommates, only 1 of which I ever saw!” she continued.

Nights like this are the reason why I am so glad that my wife moved onto the bus with me. I know where she is now, and that she is safe. When we were doing our long distance relationship, I always worried about her. I knew she was fine, but it was difficult not knowing where she was living without seeing it for myself, with transient owners in the other rooms. I am so overjoyed that we are together in our little bus home, able to share our meals together.

 skoolie nation miles smiles love bus life

New Town, New Jobs

We have been in Florida for about a month, parking the Big Blue Bus in my friend’s driveway for the winter and spring. We worked out a deal with our friends to upkeep their second car while borrowing it for the time being. Packing up the bus everyday to drive it around town would be too much of a hassle, so we really lucked out to be able to park here and use their car.

 bonsai nursery emotivearts skoolielove florida


The third day here, Mary went around the entire town, handing out her resume. Mostly Cafe’s, restaurant and managerial positions, since her resume is filled with 13 years of fine dining experience, management/supervisor positions, customer service/retail, as well as 6 years of specialty coffee training.

She walked into the Dunkin’ Donuts around the corner and they basically hired her on the spot, she had her first shift at 5 am the next morning. It was that easy to get a job.

She thought about working there in the morning and a restaurant job in the evening. You really can’t beat taking home cash money tips at both jobs.

My focus was on the perks — free coffee and doughnuts! What more could you want?!

 coffee doughnut top pot skoolie love

Speaking of Coffee and Doughnuts

Mary absolutely loves coffee. I mean, LOVES coffee. LOVES LOVES LOVES! And I extremely love doughnuts.

It has been so wonderful to learn about and experience different coffee throughout our travels. French presses, pour overs, drip, black, creamy, latter art, cinnamon, vanilla, crema and whipped cream.

 french press coffee bus life adventure


As far as life on the road is concerned, this is probably our all time favorite perk of living in a bus and traveling the country, the coffee!

 leavenworth coffee latte art espresso

I am satisfied with a large cup of Love’s or Race Track gas station coffee, while I do appreciate specialty coffee. Mary, however, has so much knowledge, passion and love for coffee, she only settles for the best. Otherwise it’s not worth her time or money.

“Life is too short to drink a bad cup of coffee.”

 skoolie love bus gas stations diesel fill up

 During her time in Seattle, Mary was moving from one apartment to another, working as a manager-in-training and barista at a local chain of coffee and doughnut shops. It was there she fell in love with coffee.

While she was living and working in Seattle, I was living in the bus and working in Florida. We were carrying on a long distance relationship for over a year until we realized this was not working out and neither of us were happy. We decided for Mary to take a break from her job, run out her lease, and fly to Florida to move into the bus with me. We wanted to be together, to experience what Bus Life had to offer both of us. We were tired of being together but not together.

A day after she moved in, we began a 2,500 mile road trip from Orlando, Florida to Portland, Oregon in order to attend a Tiny House Living Festival. From there we drove the bus up to Seattle, where Mary resumed her position, with the promise and hope that she would soon run her own cafe.

 skoolienation bus life adventure skoolielove road trip map

Now we were both living in the bus together in Seattle, where I could focus on writing full-time, and Mary could focus on her specialty espresso career. She was super excited to play a much bigger role in her own cafe.

However, as more and more time passed, she was told “soon, soon” but soon never came. Delays here, delays there, shortages here, so on and so forth. Unfortunately for the company, Mary had to quit. She was not being treated well at that job, getting overlooked again and again. She deserved much more and was not willing to sacrifice herself for a place that was not sacrificing anything to help her become a better and more valued part of the company.

She put in her intent to move on and since we live on wheels, we packed up the bus and left town.

rosetta espresso milk latte art skoolielove

See ya, wouldn’t want to be ya!

“So Mary, what do you want to do next, and where do you want to do it?”

“California, and duh! Coffee!” she replied without hesitation.

“Alright, let’s do it!” I guaranteed her, starting up the bus engine, heading to our new adventure.

2california coast skoolie love bus life

“Girl, I say, if only life would lean our way,
Well, you and me, we’d run away to be wherever our adventure waits,
And time would be a distant memory, nobody could tell us to stay,
Well, I’ve been dreaming ever since I’ve seen you
Heaven when you came my way.
I heard your heart say love, love, love
I heard your heart say love, love, love”

- Avalanche City “Love Love Love”

 900adventure exit strawhouse organic coffee skoolielove

We moved to California and worked throughout the summer season at a Resort and Organic Coffee Roaster, which we highly enjoyed. Mary learned a tremendous amount about coffee and worked with several of the baristas to improve their milk foaming skills. We found the job through Workcamper.

After the season was over, we moved to Vegas for the fall and Christmas time. During that time, I worked with my parents while we renovated the interior of the bus. It was a much needed upgrade to accommodate both of us living in the bus, as before it was a solo road trip vehicle, but now it’s a home for a married couple. Mary has been loving bus life, and is excited to permanently park and work.

 three interiors before after renovation skoolie love bus

As for Mary working at Dunkin’ Doughnuts, that did not work out. After 3 shifts, Mary had to walk away. She simply cannot serve crappy fast food bean water “coffee.” The place was filthy, the health code was NOT being followed, and the employees were hateful and toxic, some of which just walked out on their shift. It was a literal mess that she walked into, and she walked herself right back out.

Luckily enough, the following day she received a call from the only cafe that serves craft espresso within a 50 mile radius, and they want her to work for them! She is extremely excited to work there, hoping to further expand her knowledge of coffee and continuing her coffee experiences while living the bus life.

As for me, I choose to write as much as possible

emotivearts skoolielove njhm tiny home

canada skoolielove coffee writing buffalo

Mary now has her morning job at the Specialty Coffee shop nearby, and several evening shifts at the Taquiera restaurant across the street from the cafe. I am lucky to be able to do what I do and she is able to do what she loves to do. She misses working at “her” Cafe in Seattle, and really wished it would have worked out up there.

 skoolielove bus photoshop coffee doughnut

However, she loves her current work places and no matter what, enjoys interacting with people and brightening their day. I am definitely more of a home-body and am so grateful to be able to work on my writing. I have a much easier time setting my own schedule and working for ourselves while she enjoys having a schedule and leaving the bus to interact with folks and working with coffee.

I’ve learned to zone in on one thing at a time and do that one thing well. You can only do so much in a day, so I give writing my best effort. Once you give me two, three, or four things at a time, my attention is too divided and I struggle to accomplish anything. I enjoy and need my attention to be focused on one thing.

Get really good at something, so you get paid for doing it.

Six years ago, I was sitting in my car in my apartment complex parking lot, long before I ever thought about buying a bus. I was talking to my forever friend David about the Alan Watts video “what would you like to do if money were no object.” The premise is to do what you love, and at some point you’ll be so good at it that people will want to pay you for it. And no kidding, David has arrived at that point!

cutchin emotivearts skoolielove garage bonsai florida

He has become incredibly talented in the art of Bonsai styling and general tree up-keep, and has highly improved his woodworking techniques. After years of continued studying and working on his craft, focusing on that one thing, people now come to him for teaching opportunities and questions about his horticulture knowledge and art. He is able to sell his trees as well as other art work to be able to continue learning, growing, and nurturing his talents.

Congrats and hats off to you my friend, you have done it! You are one of the few.

cutchin emotivearts skoolielove bus bonsai florida

Whenever I sit and write and write and nothing seems to come of it, I ask myself “When will this pay off? What is this even worth?” I have to remember that I am not in this just for the money. It is allowing me to feel creative, alive, and believe that anything is possible.

I did not drive down this road to become a writer for fame, success, and mega money — which will all come in time- those are simply bonuses, I started on this journey to become the best version of myself, and believe that I am becoming that person through the art of writing and publishing my work. I am in this because it is how I love spending my time, and sharing my words with others.

I also have to remember that my friend and business partner Brock, founder of Bus Life Adventure, IS paying me. He pays an honest wage to write blog posts and articles for his audience through Bus Life Adventure. He trusts in my writing. Brock is the man!

 TRANS contributing writer BUSLIFE

Whenever I doubt myself, I remember that Brock believes so much in me that he is willing to put his hard earned dollars on the line, and pay me to write articles and to be the Social Media Manager for both BusLifeAdventure and TheBusFair

Whenever I am writing, I always have my wife, my parents, my friend David and my buddy Brock in the back of my mind. I am so incredibly lucky to be able to spend my time the way I am, and these people heavily influence how and what I write. Thank you!

I am at the point where spending all these years writing is starting to come together and create the life that I want for my wife and me. I am doing what it takes to become a great writer. Even though my writing so far has not been able to fully sustain us financially, the reality is that 4 years ago I moved into a bus in order to make and create the time to put words on paper, and have succeeded in doing that. I have accomplished what I set out to do.

live by ocean mountains desert skoolie love bus adventure

AND! I have been getting a paycheck for my writing for over a year now. I set my intention and it came true. I’m doing it for the perks, not the money.

“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

- Paul Coelho “The Alchemist”

And you know what, all the traveling is great, all the stories we have gathered are fun to tell and write about. But at the end of the day, the greatest perk of bus life, is the simple fact that I am able to be with my wife, and eat some tacos and share a cup of coffee with her. To have these kind of moments with her so close, that is the best part about all of this. Spending time with my best friend.

“I been getting used to waking up with you
I been getting used to waking up here
Anywhere I go there you are
Anywhere I go there you are
There you are
There you are
You’re the fire and the flood
And I’ll always feel you in my blood
Everything is fine
When your hand is resting next to mine
Next to mine”

- Vance Joy “Fire and the Flood”

patrick mary skoolie love miles smiles


How would you really enjoy spending your life?

Do that.

heart coffee latte rim skoolielove

#coffee is love. Coffee is life. ❤️❤️


Articles By Skoolie Love

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4


Hey everyone!

If you’re on Bus Life Adventure reading this, you’ve got to be having a great day! Let's make it even better!

The other day I received a message on our Instagram from a couple who are interested in living their own Bus Life Adventure. They are dreaming about “The Bus Life.” We chatted for a while about the ups and downs, what it takes to switch from having a steady job and living in a house to “giving it all up” to live in a converted Bus.

How? Why? How do you make money? Where do you park? Do you have health insurance? So on and so forth.

Here’s a summary of our conversation in a Question and Answer format. Enjoy!

cash card skoolie love money bitcoin

Q: Hey there!! My husband and I are so interested in Bus Living… We are trying to plan it out to start our build in the spring. Wondering how you guys made the commitment and how you're able to sustain yourselves and afford it. Any advice would be awesome!

A: First of all, fantastic! It’s a pleasure to meet you! Congrats on coming this far already, and believing it’s a possibility for you, because it is!

For me personally, I was destined for Bus Life, and the bus I own chose me. My life seemingly made more sense going the Tiny Living Route. It was a commitment that was necessary and important to me. We’ll chat about more on that later.

brock bus life adventure light grafiti

One thing that is super important to realize going into this is that it’s hard, difficult, takes a lot of learning and patience. Most of all, it will consume a lot of your time and money. A LOT OF TIME AND MONEY.

Money being THE biggest factor. Do you simply want a 5 gallon poop bucket, a mattress and a few essentials, or will this be your full-time home, where you want more comfort and a better ratio of adventures to disasters?

interior exterior before after skoolie love bus

How will you pay for it? How will you sustain it? Will you have a place to park/full-time/ part-time? Are you mechanically inclined?

I’ve had a savings account since I was 18, and managed so save up $25k before buying the bus, which all together cost me $13,500 to buy and convert. 4 years later, I still haven’t figured out how to fully sustain myself financially and am actually in a bit of debt for the first time in my life. I’m 33 now.

skoolie love home depot blue bus build

As for the build, do you have the knowledge, will power and strength to build it yourself, or the finances to have someone else help you build it. Those are all things to consider.

Things don't always work out how you want them to. That doesn't just apply to Bus Life, but Life overall. Right from the get-go, many people realize that their build will take them much longer than they thought, and costs more than they anticipated. Not including the price of tools (Easily $1,000 - $2,000), ever increasing building materials, etc. Then things start to wear out, they break, and it generally costs more than you thought, etc. Road tripping costs a lot – school buses love burning diesel/gas. Think about the overall total cost, not just the price tag of the bus and your rough idea of what interior you'd like – think about all the things that will take time and money.

crack windshield skoolie bus home insurance

Q: My stepdad converted a minibus into a camper that we would always go on weekend getaways on. He’s super handy and so is my husband so I think were good in that aspect luckily.

Currently, we both work full time. My husband is a pipe fitter and I am a nurse. We recently traveled to Europe for 2 weeks for our honeymoon and our eyes suddenly opened to how amazing the world is and had an Oh my god! We’re going to work a 9-5 job for 30 years and THEN age to explore all of this?! moment.

We have a house now and 2 cars. If we eventually had a plan to sell all those I feel like we would be smooth sailing (kinda) but we of course couldn't do it without having an idea of our money income on the road. That's the hard part.

Tiny living and downsizing would be extremely different but I’m sure we would adapt. We have each other to work together with finances and such. But down know what we would do if we were on the road. That's why I was reaching out!

skoolie pwnonderland forest bus life

How the heck do you have an income on the road?

A: Travel nursing! We’ve met a few couples who have done that. They travel, and then park for 2-5 months working at whichever hospital they get a contract with. The husband then finds a local job (or a is a stay-at-home-busband)

At which point you could find a local RV park, or perhaps a property through Craigslist or connect with fellow Skoolie friends who might know some parking opportunities.

My wife and I have done several things over the years. I’ve worked day labor jobs in towns (tree nursery). We’ve been "Workampers” where we parked and worked at a Resort and Organic Coffee Shop in California. My wife is a server/barista and has gotten jobs locally when we’ve permanently parked for a few months. I have an income for helping with Bus Life Adventure Social Media content and being a Contributing Writer, as well as running my own site at SkoolieLove

strawhouse resorts workamping couples coffee

Continuing your research, I’d follow thefrugalrver. They're a full-timing family and they've figured out how to sustain themselves on the road. Remote financial advising, virtual assistant type stuff. They’ve even been offered TV time through movies and tv appearances, so they have all sorts of new avenues for growth coming their way, which they might never have thought was possible. The passion and the money finds you, someway, somehow.

There are quite a few seasonal opportunities. Workers on Wheels, Working Couples, Workamping, etc

style skoolie love bus skoolie home

Q: Your previous jobs and current endeavors gives us hope that some day soon this can be us!! It seems as though making the final jump to commit would be tough for us. Any tips as to doing that?

A: Why do you think the final jump to commit would be tough?

intents appalachian trail skoolie bus life love

For me, personally, it was something I HAD to do. Watching Into the Wild at the end of 2007 cemented the idea that I need to live in a bus. I love camping, have spent lots of time in a small camper trailer, and love the idea of owning my own home while being able to travel.

I graduated college in 2008, the following year I hiked the 2,183 mile Appalachian trail for 6 months. Then I moved to the Florida Key West islands and lived/worked there for 3 years and decided I wanted to live in Seattle, never having been there. It was in Seattle where I met my future wife, but broke it off with her, not knowing at the time what a mistake I was making.

skoolie nation miles smiles blue bus life

Grab yourself a Skoolie Nation Tee

A month after she moved out, I decided to buy my bus and drive around the country. I have always been desperate for extreme change, so for me it was not a big deal to just go ahead and do it. (As I've mentioned, I had upwards of $25,000 in savings so I had no worry about money at the time.)

A year into Bus Life I reconnected with my girlfriend and in April last year we got married. Things seemingly work out if you have the courage to attempt them.

mary driving big blue skoolie bus

Take your time and be diligent picking out a bus. Find out and learn as much as you can. It’s a huge investment, and will be your home. You definitely want savings/nest egg for that broken windshield, flat tires, oil changes, new transmission, etc etc Get as good of a bus for the amount you are able to spend. A free/cheap bus sounds nice, but you might end up paying more in repairs compared to buying a more expensive bus that's in better shape from the start. It really helps to make the final decision once you find "the right bus" and all you can imagine is your life with it, that's when you know you need to do it.

skoolie love sunshine ocean beautiful

Q: Where do you park at night when traveling? As far as parking, you can basically park wherever as long as there is no sign or anything, right? You just observe your surroundings and make sure its safe of course, right?

A: You’re right as far as parking. After some time on the road, you'll build up and improve your sense of “right” and “wrong” about where to park and your senses/instinct will tell you.

planet fitness gym shower skoolie love parking

For our latest road trip from Vegas to Florida, we signed up at Planet Fitness and parked in their lots overnight. That way we could also get a workout and shower. Before that, we mostly found free campsites through FreeCampsites.net but I've parked in City/State/National parks, as well as KOA's. In front of churches, in neighborhoods, Rest/Truck stops, etc. You'd be surprised where all you can park.

There are “no camping” signs which is mainly for tents, we still park there overnight. And then there are “no overnight parking” which clearly means what it says.

skoolie beautiful bedroom interior design

Some of us have been hassled by Police/Neighbors, but it mainly ends in having to move. Excuse always being “Sorry, we were tired, and we needed to rest for a few hours for safety reasons” You can’t be faulted for that. But! As far as where you will build your bus, there are plenty of neighbors who have gotten sour over a bus being parked for an extended period and the noise of construction. Don’t get caught having to move your bus if your current location was your one and only plan. Be ready to move at all times.

Q: That’s all so cool! Incredible that you like change that much! So inspiring. It’s hard for us to commit as we have stable jobs (my husband has INCREDIBLE benefits – that raises another question… how do you carry health insurance) and a stable home that we've been in for a couple of years.

I graduated college a few years ago and immediately bought our house and have been there since. It’s a little intimidating to not have a perfect source of income and a permanent plot of land to call home, you know? Coming from where are right now at least. I'm sure it would be something we can eventually get used to. We could start by exploring this summer if its able to be lived in by then. Then eventually make the “jump” and go for it permanently.

That’s all great to know about parking too! So you end up not having to spend a ton just to park every night. That's a nice positive there.

skoolie love california redwooms camping

A: Yeah, sounds like you two are in a great place, home and job wise. BUT! We wouldn't be chatting if it was all you wanted and needed out of life. Median retirement age is what, 67? And average death age is what, 75-85? That doesn't leave much time to enjoy “the good retired life.” With my wife and I’s income so low, we are actually on Medicare in Las Vegas, which is our home base (my parents live there). Health care is obviously a mess in America anyhow. So that’s a HUGE issue and would clearly be for you since you have great coverage now. We’re all getting screwed by the health care system.

My parents are self employed and pay like $1,200 - $17,00 a month or something ridiculous like that. It’s the biggest scam to keep people working their company jobs.

Does his job have mobility options? Anything similar to where he could freelance that work on the road? A traveling nurse position shouldn't be a problem for you.

Q: Yeah, he definitely has that option actually. And insurance is so ridiculous its not even fair. Its such a scam. Makes me so mad. I think were looking for something more online – we just don't know what or how to get started. Like selling insurance, marketing or something (neither of us have done anything close to that) but something that doesn't involve the normal 9-5 thing. Like you could do it when you wanted in the bus (or anywhere basically)

A: You are definitely headed in the right direction. It can all be a bit confusing and overwhelming but piece by piece, the puzzle becomes a clear picture. Keep looking around Instagram at other folks living this lifestyle, and you'll get a better idea on how much (full-timing) or how little (small getaways) you are willing and bale to do. It’s not all glitz and glamour as you see on most travel accounts. I like to follow the ones that show you not only the “good” but also the “bad” cause realistically, that’s what life is.

before living after renovation skoolie love bus

We just drove from Vegas to Florida and we are parked in our friend's driveway. My wife found a job the first day, its not the best gig, but we know that with our skills, we can get a job just about anywhere we go. I'm typing this blog on the bus as we speak, not having to leave the house and still make a bit of money. We are constantly figuring new things out and each place we stay has different benefits and drawbacks, but it’s something we know going into it, so we adjust accordingly. It all comes down to what you want and what you can do with/without. Your perception and reaction to what’s going on is more important than anything.

les schwab tires skoolie love

Q: Thanks for sharing your story with us. Today has been the first day where I was like OMG! We could maybe pull this off, after exploring and seeing just how many people are able to do it. It’s exhilarating. It’s also crazy to feel like you're the like 2% that just goes for it!

Otherwise well stay stuck following the “normal” 9-5, retiring at 65, having gone on a MAX a month of vacation a year (even that's a stretch). I know we can do better, its just so nerve racking to leave what we have. Well have to work on the build while minimizing at home. The lifestyle sounds just so simple and fun. Obviously not always simple but you're definitely living with the basics and enjoying the world.

Q: Do you have any other recommendations of accounts to follow that show the TRUTH about Bus Life? Not just the glitz and glam?

A: wilddrivelife is super great! As well as bluebusadventure, jaxaustin, navigationnowhere, and countless more. Also, if you look through the #buslifeadventure tag on Instagram, look for pictures of buses getting towed. Those folks keep it seriously real about how “easy” and “fun” bus life can be. Be forewarned, getting towed is almost a badge of honor and a “Welcome to the Reality of Bus Life” threshold to pass. Luckily, we have so far been able to not join that club. But! As the saying goes, “It’s not a matter of IF, but WHEN.”

This is from an Instagram post we absolutely love:

bluejeanbus: "As a planner, I want certainty. As a traveler, I seek spontaneity. The blend of the two seems to define this journey.⁣
Before we took off, I knew we couldn’t control everything and to expect to would be foolish. But I wanted to believe we could narrow in on a range of certainty. Especially with the health of the bus. If we do all of our maintenance on time, if we make sure to regularly check our fluid levels, and listen and look for odd noises or smells, everything will follow our carefully crafted plan to keep moving forward. Perhaps the greatest lesson up until this point is the cliche that the only thing that’s certain is uncertainty. ⁣
Despite our best efforts to diligently tend to Blue Jeans every need, she sent us a curve ball today en route to New Orleans. We noticed the steering wheel began to shake and pull towards the left. Being the cautious overlanders that we are, we pulled over and noticed that our back driver side wheel was hot. Noting our luck (sarcasm) that we were in a relatively rural area of Mississippi on a Sunday, we turned to our beloved AAA.

Silver lining: we are covered for the 100 mile tow to New Orleans and there’s a 24 hour service center already awaiting us. It’s not the day we had planned and there’s still plenty of room for more uncertainty along the way, but trying to prepare for all of that simply robs us of the opportunity to face what we have at the moment. If we spent our time anticipating what might go wrong we would only see the looming negativity, instead, in this moment, despite the obstacle, all we see is our luck and gratitude for a solution. So we will enjoy the rest of our ride to New Orleans that saves us some gas and miles on the bus and hope we can still make it out to Frenchman St for some world class jazz "

getting towed skoolie bus life adventure


Thanks for reaching out to us! Hopefully it gave you a bit more of an idea on how to move forward. It sounds like you have a good idea of what you're getting yourself into. You are a bit hesitant, need to do more research, but know that in the end it's going to be worth it. 

when start bus life adventure skoolie

Articles By Skoolie Love

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

GnomadQuestions :

"Do you ever leave the dogs alone in the van?"

~ By Contributing Writer: The Gnomad Home ~

900 dogs van life alone leave

Quick answer: Yes, but with strict guidelines.

To be honest, we hate leaving the girls behind. We take them with us everywhere we can. But sometimes we want to do things that don't allow dogs. So what do we do in those scenarios?


First off, we NEVER leave them unattended in the van when it's hot. Even if it's just really warm we'll have one of us stay back with them just to be safe (ie: one of us runs into the grocery store instead of both of us). Even when the weather really is nice we'll still have one of us hang back because that means we can get some work done while the other runs the errands. We have ways of keeping our van comfortable in hot weather - like reflective window coverings, a vent fan, cooling towels, etc - but we still like to be safe.
If the weather is cool enough (comfortably cool, not freezing temps) we may pop into a restaurant here or there. But being the over-protective parents we are, we'll park in a visible spot and ask for a seat by the window (😅).
We never leave them unattended for long, I'd say no more than an hour tops, and if whatever we are doing ends up being longer than an hour then one of us will pop out to check on them every once in awhile to make sure they're comfortable and have water.

Sometimes we want to do REALLY cool stuff that doesn't allow dogs like go to a concert, check out some museums or spend all day at the movies, and in those scenarios we tend to leave them with a Rover sitter that we vet heavily. Yes, yes, we're those parents, haha. We have very high standards for what sort of strangers we'll leave our girls with and if we don't find a good match we just re-evaluate our plans until we find an option we're comfortable with.
We built this van for our girls, to show them a life outside of a fenced-in backyard. So we don't like the idea of abandoning them a bunch. But the van is their home and their comfort zone, so it's far less stressful than it used to be leaving them behind.
What about you? Do you travel with pets? Do you leave them in the van? Comment on our instagram post!

- Jayme, John, Nymeria, Delilah


"What do you feel when you're in the middle of nowhere, far away from a city, all alone?"

~ By Contributing Writer:  The Gnomad Home ~

900alone nature van life

When we are secluded in the middle of nowhere is when we feel most at home. When the free-range cows next to our van are our alarm clock and the sun rising over a distant mountain is the lamp on our bedside table.

We step outside our van and greet neighbor Sequoia. We're able to sink our fingers into dirt that has forgotten what a loving touch feels like. We're able to clearly hear the songs sung by all of nature's ensembles without being drowned out by the sound of cars humming on a highway or nonstop TVs, radios, or phones making their distracting beeps and honks and rings and noises, noises, noises.

When we're far away from the chaos of cities and the craziness that follows, we find ourselves able to connect deeper within. We're able to hear our instincts guiding us towards our truth. We're able to rediscover our purpose, our drive, our passion, our abilities.

When we choose the wild as our home we choose ourselves. We choose to create. To explore. To learn. To discover. To unravel. To understand. To reconnect. We're able to see our lives for the reality they hold. We're able to know ourselves in ways we've never seen. We're able to hear what we're called to do as if someone were screaming it in our face.

When we go back to the cities, the crowds, the chaos, we lose all that in an instant. We want to grab a stranger and proclaim to them the lives we discovered just beyond that treeline in the distance. We want to grab them by the hand and pull them to the edge of the cliffs where we planted our own feet, and show them a world of radical understanding as they dive to the waters of discovery below.

But the cities have cell service. And cell phones carry an entire galaxy of distractions. We tell someone of a waterfall and they tell us of a meme about shoes.

You see, it's in the cities where we find ourselves painfully alone. Where people have been spoonfed a false idea of connection. It's in the wild, where we can root ourselves in the same soil as the great Redwoods, where we feel truly connected.

You're never alone in the middle of nowhere.

 - Jayme, John, Nymeria, Delilah

Make it a wonderful day everyone!