When high school sweethearts Luke and Rachel got married right after graduating, they chose an unconventional way to travel and earn a living after a friend told them about people living in mobile homes as they saw the sights of the country along the way.
Luke was working as a pipe-fitter and Rachel had started a baking business in a suburb of Chicago, but after hearing about this adventure, they couldn't resist.
“We’d never even heard about it, but within two months of even hearing they existed we bought a school bus,” Luke said.
With their 2-year-old daughter and family dog in mind, they figured that if they ever wanted to do it, now was the time.
April 12, 2015 The day we made it back to Illinois from Phoenix. 1800 miles no problems!!! #MidWestWanderers #skoolie #bus #busconversion #travel #nomad #freedommachine #wanderlust #adventure #family #goodvibes #buildsomething #DIY #teamwhitedavis2015 #mygirls #simplelife #simpleliving @_luke_w_davis_ @rdavis829
“What do we really have to lose? Our big tv? Our comfy couches? Our yard? Our nice big kitchen? (All these things are material possessions that can easily be replaced or lived without),” they wrote in a blog post.
That's when they realized that their material possessions were not important to them, in their lives.
“We realized by purging ourselves of all these unnecessary possessions and habits we will have more time for the things we truly value: God, family, our marriage, freedom, and adventure.”
Since Luke had 10 years of welding experience, he took on the task to renovate the school bus and turn it into a home for his family.
Let's turn this dirty, warn, abused school bus interior into a cozy, livable, and inviting homestead. No big deal right...? #midwestwanderers #busconversion #skoolie #tinyhouse #newwayoflife #homesweethome #homeiswhereyouparkit #nomad #wanderlust #travel #adventure #camping #thegreatoutdoors #davisbuilt #simplelife #lessismore #boondocking #transformation #becreative #livemore #buslife
Costing only $4,000 to buy, he spent 2 years renovating the bus to suit the family of 4.
And the results were well worth it!
Looking at the inside of the home, you could never tell that it was a school bus.
Luke was able to raise the roof of the bus by 20 inches which gives the home an open feeling that you wouldn't have otherwise.
Now the family is able to travel the country comfortably without having to worry about laying down roots anywhere.
They didn't sacrifice comfort when they were designing their home.
Most of the furniture serves as dual purpose in the small space.
The couch folds out into a bed, and the table can fold up against the wall when it isn't needed.
“I was a baker before we moved into this so the kitchen is my place so I definitely wanted a big one,” said Rachel.
“With this kitchen we’re able to cook anything we could in our old place, we didn’t have to compromise,” Luke said.
Complete with 2 bedrooms, the bus is able to accommodate a bed for Luke and Rachel, as well as a crib space for Charlotte.
They have a complete bathroom with a shower and tub, and in spite of it being smaller than your typical washroom, it works for the family.
Part of the reason they decided to go with a bus was the ability to live off the grid.
They placed solar panels on the roof, which generate 900 watts of power and with the help of the 4-battery bank they are able to power their household needs.
“Boy have we gotten the itch to travel,” they wrote. “Once we started taking advantage of living in a moving vehicle we just can’t get enough of it. Our hearts long for adventure and experiencing new things.”
In spite of their constant movement, Luke is able to get work as a handyman wherever they end up and Rachel works for a health and wellness company that allows her to telecommute.
And it looks like bus life is going to get more interesting with Rachel posting a picture of a baby bump!
But the family doesn't see their bus adventures ending any time soon!
Let's get together: ok so I was thinking of organizing a group camp get together. Open to people that either have their own rigs and or camping gear. As of now I'm thinking of utilizing BLM or National forest dispersed camping location. Making it free and flexible. Aiming for California (possibly YosemiteNF, sierra NF, stanislaus NF) mid July?? If you're interested leave a comment and we'll get a group DM going. 📷: @mandyleaphoto Thanks!☝🏼
“Positive outweighs the negative though and we love it!”