Yesterday, August fifth, 2019 marked 100 days that Meech, Rocco, Logan and I have lived in our tiny home Gus Bus! This is so exciting for us and it has been everything and more than we expected it to be. Adapting to this new lifestyle could not have been easier and more rewarding for all four of us. We cannot wait to see what the next 100 days have in store for our little family!
It is kind of crazy to think, that just short of a third of a year ago, we were one hundred percent ready and committed to beginning our full-time bus life on April 28th, 2019. This was the start of the greatest adventure that we have ever embarked on. Of course, there were a few things to get used to for all four of us, but ultimately we wouldn't change anything that has happened along this journey. As well as all the amazing experiences we have had along the way, there have been bumps in our road getting to where we are today, though we have learned so much through all of this. Lessons are one of the best parts of any new experience, you then have a new collection of gained knowledge to share with others and to help you face the next set of new challenges that come your way.
There have been a few mindset shifts that have stuck with us and overall have played a huge part in how we face challenges in the past year and 100 days of bus life. No matter what you are doing or where you are in life keep this in mind, "Life is like a roadblock, swerve around the potholes." Through all of our experiences, even before living in a bus, this mindset helps to remind us that there will always be blockers on your path and potholes to swerve around. It is and always will be truly a matter of how you choose to confront those roadblocks and potholes though that will decide the result for you. If you face your problems as you face your blessings, with an open heart and mind and excepting of the outcome, it will ease the whole process of any challenge you face.
Before moving into the bus we wrote a blog on the 10 reasons that we chose to live in a bus. And all 10 could not have been truer of our experience thus far.
The 10 reasons that we chose to move into Gus Bus were to;
1) Reduce our ecological footprint
It is truly exciting to know that by living in a bus we will are doing our part to treat the earth better as we are in charge of our resources. Less energy, less water usage and purchasing less of what you don't need are huge benefits of living this way. In the 100 days that we have lived in the bus, we haven't yet felt like we are missing any luxuries of living in a traditional house or any material things that we parted with beforehand. As well every time we have been in a house since moving into the bus we notice how much less water we use as we are very aware to conserve and use less living in the bus as we are in charge of refilling our water tanks each time they run out. The next adventure mobile or permanent home that we live in will be as sustainable as we can make it. In building our bus conversion we have been able to think ahead to future plans for our solar energy system, water collection, etc. which is super exciting.
2) Connect with nature
This is a very exciting part for us as we live for adventuring outdoors and experiencing nature as much as possible. This is so easy when you live in a bus, the outdoors are all around you. We have been able to take in so much more time in nature as we can park and go explore each time we take our dogs outside. As well one of our favorite things to do is to go and sit on the rooftop deck in the evenings or for any meal that we can. Most of the time we are at tree height when we sit up there and it is truly the most peaceful, relaxing place to think, reflect and enjoy each other's company with no distractions.
3) Eliminate distractions
This point plays into the previous one in a big way. Nature is our favorite 'distraction' from distractions, especially as it is all around us every day. By living in a bus we are able to eliminate the distractions that most people have living in a house such as; multiple TV's, computers, video games, huge house to clean and maintain, bills such as rent, utilities, and multiple car payments, etc. We still have the option and ability to watch movies in the bus though we don't have a permanent TV set up. Taking away all the things that stress you and distract you from spending quality time with each other, allows us to do more of what we love together. One or other favorite aspects is how easy it is to get out of service and truly be away from all distractions.
4) Connect with ourselves and each other
Living in close quarters allows you to focus on your self and your significant other. We are all so easily caught up in everyone else's issues, drama, and lives that it can be overwhelming. Having the ability to spend less time working and surrounded by other's lives, you can work on being more connected with yourself and each other only making relationships happier, stronger, and healthier. Being confined to our less than 100 square feet of space in our bus together has been so great for our relationship and our bond with our two dogs.
5) Work to live not live to work
Having a lower cost of living, means you have the ability to choose more freedom when it comes to working. Instead of having to spend all your time working to keep up with the cost of living, you can park near your work for no commute time or you can choose a more flexible or part-time job. Or in our case, if you are an entrepreneur and have passions that you are turning into a career you can work wherever you are as well as find odd jobs along the way if need be. This has been all that we could have asked it to be. As we saved what we needed for June/ July until coming back to Saskatchewan, we were able to begin focus on our passions again, Art, making longboards, making YouTube videos, and more. Now being back in Saskatchewan, Logan is doing some casual work for the company that he previously worked for in Saskatoon. I (Brooke) will be focusing on working on our longboards as we have the space to do so while here, as well as editing our YouTube videos and more! This was our plan all along to work while back in Saskatchewan to be able to save for our snowboarding packed winter and to do some maintenance on Gus Bus like a new set of tires, and a few other modifications we would like to make. We can save and do these things we have planned as we are living this lifestyle we chose, to eliminate multiple monthly payments.
6) Save that money
We have been budgeting out each month precisely now for a full year to know exactly where our money goes and what we have saved, which is hugely effective and let me tell you does it ever make you save money seeing and physically using cash on each purchase. We have already eliminated 3 monthly payments we had to make, which will put that much more money right into our savings, especially while working. Yes, you still have to pay for places to sleep, but by making use of free campsites and backcountry you can save yourself a lot of money in comparison to rent prices, enabling you to save money for one day purchasing a home, land, or for your hobbies and passions. Already in the 100 days living in the bus, we were able to save money and use one month's budget for two months of living in the bus which was pretty incredible. This means now that we have experienced a few months of bus life we can reevaluate our budget and what we need for bus living compared to traditional house living. Meaning we can save more in advance for our future and ultimately be more prepared.
7) Learn everyday
By living remotely most of the time we are able to learn new things every day, how to improve our living quarters or systems, how to fix problems on our vehicle when they arise when we are out in the middle of nowhere on our own. Building our tiny home bus conversion from the ground up completely on our own taught us a lot but even more so all of our experiences since living in it has as well. We have already done some minor fixes and renovations on Gus Bus, being adding our tiny wood stove in, removing a portion of our countertop and installing our sink with a drain to outside and addressing small issues with our water pump and a blown tire. We used our creativity and what we knew already to tackle each task and you will be amazed by what you know and are capable of when you put in the effort. Not only this, but we are able to learn about ourselves more and those around us being each other and our pups by spending time in close quarters with each other without distractions. We also have had the opportunity to meet new people everywhere we go that have been living the lifestyle we are living for a lot longer than us that have had the knowledge to share. As well as there have been people that we can share our stories and knowledge with too.
8) Focus on passions
Our passions revolve around nature, travel, hiking, wildlife, all things beautiful and inspiring so being able to surround ourselves with all the things that spark our creativity could not have been better so far. We are passionate about photography/videography, and creating art, which we have been able to spend a lot more of our time working on by living in our bus. We were able to give life to our YouTube channel again and consistently create content for it as well as work on art which couldn't make us happier. As well as our hobbies like longboarding and snowboarding. Longboarding is our alternate mode of transportation at the moment, which works out well to be able to park the bus in one place and cruise over to the store or anywhere we need to go on our longboards. As for snowboarding, we cannot wait for this winter. We have been saying that we will spend the majority of a winter snowboarding since we have been together (almost 3.5 years) and this will be the winter that we get to do so.
9) Live life to the fullest
What could make you more inspired to do all that you set out to do than having your home on wheels to take anywhere, being with those that you love, focusing on your goals, making an income from your passion and being in nature and beautiful environments of your choosing ALWAYS! Our mindset is that if you wait for everything to be perfect to do everything on your dream list, you will be waiting a lifetime, so STOP telling yourself the perfect time will come. Taking the opportunity to live in a bus was one of those things we knew we would wake up one day at 30 years old and say, "I wish we tried that" so here we are and we wouldn't change a thing!!
10) Decide where to live and when
Having the ability to choose the view we will wake up to each day is enough of a reason we couldn't be more excited to be living this lifestyle. We love the fact that anywhere we go, our entire house comes with us. We never have to pack up for a big trip unless we are going hiking or camping and we never forget anything. Going wherever we want to or need to be is that much more exciting to have a place to cook, sleep, and everything in between right there with us. It is our home and hotel on wheels and we love it!
Carefully planning out each inch of our home to have a specific purpose for fitting the essentials has resulted in our tiny home fitting our needs perfectly and all aspects functioning just as we need every day. We framed and constructed, did electrical, plumbing, painting, upholstering, some mechanics, etc. to ensure our tiny home was ready to hit the road. We have created YouTube videos and blogs on portions of the build and how bus life has been so far. We are so proud of what we accomplished with our tiny home bus conversion and living more freely with less. Sharing all of our challenges and adventures along the way has been a truly amazing experience and is one of our favorite parts! Go check out our YouTube videos to see what funny, challenging, awesome experiences bus life has gotten us into so far and we can't wait to share our experiences in person with anyone who has more questions!
Now bus life doesn't mean that we are bums that reject society. We just simply do not agree with all ideas of what a "regular life" should look like or what you should/should not have & be doing to fit in. Regular sounds boring & like a cookie-cutter mold of life. Living in a bus feels like a regular home, just tinier & on wheels and we are DAMN PROUD of the fact that we built it all on our own.
We have running water, a heat source, electricity to power our lights and outlets that we use every day, a shower (even though it is outdoor) and a form of a bathroom. We work every day (rarely take a full day off) because we enjoy what we are doing and want to excel at it, doing what we have always dreamed of doing since we began our relationship. And like most people, we need to use/find the internet for our work every day. What we didn't want to do was work and work (a job that made us miserable) to spend a ridiculous amount of money on a property that we would be held down to for a long time. There is just so much traveling we want to do in BC alone that we wouldn't be able to do if we had a permanent location right now.
Bus life provides us with the opportunity though to save our money which enables us to have the freedom to choose where to go and what to do without having 5, 10 + monthly payments that are 'normal' to have. We got rid of all consumer debt that we could before or right after moving into Gus Bus. When we are ready to buy or most likely build our own permanent home (not on wheels) we will be able to afford it. Instead of being held in one spot, with excess material things and work (that was not to our enjoyment or good for our health) stopping us from living/doing the work we wanted, we are now able to do what we choose and love every day.
If getting to your end goals means going against the norm a bit, step on out of that comfort zone and EMBRACE LIFE. And it is all part of the process.
Logan and Brooke.