Part 2: Three People Who Ditched Cubicle Life and Turned the Road Into Their Home

This couple bought a $1,500 bus and are now living on the road and traveling across America.

September 1, 2015

For those who dream of chucking those TPS reports to the sky, here are four twenty-somethings to inspire you. Average Janes and Joes who sidestepped the rat race and found fulfillment in the road less traveled. You’ll hear about the ah-ha moments that changed everything, and how they continue to sustain themselves, while manifesting their dreams.


Part 2: “Let’s buy a school bus.”

Photo credit Nick Cahill

Seven months ago Lake Tahoe residents, Nick Cahill and Jessica Perez, got an e-mail from a friend. The message linked to a Craigslist ad, where a 1988 33-passenger school bus was selling for $1,500. The couple brushed it off as a joke. Later that evening excitement stirred.

“I suddenly felt like this bus was meant for us. The price was too good, and I was confident that Nick and I could create our dream travel home,” says Jessica. “I envisioned taking the bus to all our favorite festivals, traveling around national parks, visiting family, and one day hosting our very own festival of sorts.”

Less than 18 hours later the couple had the pink slip in hand. For Nick and Jessica it was a no brainer. While it wasn’t the towable camper they once wanted, the bus ran, and was essentially gutted, creating a blank canvas for a tiny home redesign. Having built a racecar in college, Nick knew he could handle the mechanical repairs, and Jessica’s mind racked with interior design ideas.

Mid-way through the tiny home renovation, Nick and Jessica will soon have a complete kitchenette, a queen-size bed that converts into two 4-person love seats, a reclaimed granite rock fireplace; solar power, a reclaimed wood dashboard, plus a rooftop platform that fits up to 10 people. Nick, a photographer who recently landed the cover of National Geographic, has already stacked over 3,000 Instagram followers and several sponsors, such as: Home Reserve, Proper Grounds Coffee, Diff Eyewear, Nemo Equipment, Inspiralized, Local Knits, Scorpion Hot Sauce, and Sip Caddy. These folks offer resources and funds that help fuel the revamp.
While they haven’t left their day jobs just yet, the pair hopes to be able to live, travel, and work from the bus as close to full-time as possible. As far as living goes, Nick and Jessica hope to officially move into the space once their current lease expires.

Photo credit Nick Cahill

“To me, the idea of tiny home living is nerve wrecking, yet freeing at the same time. We’ve collected so many ‘things’ that these ‘things’ are essentially filling up space in our current home,” says Jessica. “Freeing ourselves from [these] possession will allow more room for us to connect with what truly matters in life.”

Avid music festival go-ers and outdoor explorers, the bus has already trekked through Mount Shasta, Oregon, and Utah and will be visiting Burning Man in August. Needless to say the road trips have just begun.

“[Our] goal for the bus is not only to travel and explore, but to also have a grander mission to make a difference in this world. [We] want to help inspire people to follow their dreams, be active and connect with nature, and live a healthier life,” says Jessica.

They also strive to serve as an alternative to debt-inducing mortgages. The pair’s Instagram account accrues new admirers daily. In a time when Bay Area homes sell within a week well beyond asking price, it’s no wonder the tiny home movement is all the rage. For all those eager to start their own rehaul take note of the below.

A photo posted by @bluebusadventure on

A photo posted by @bluebusadventure on

A photo posted by @bluebusadventure on



Takeaway Tips:
  1. Buy plenty of Advil, because you’ll have headaches. Measure twice, cut once is a lot harder to do than you’d think unless you’re a carpenter by trade.
  2. Purchase the essential tools and don’t cheap out! Your new home-away-from-home will likely be your closest hardware store. Make sure to design your bus plans with functionality and space in mind before building.
  3. When it comes to seeking sponsors, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Jessica and Nick found that if you believe in your project wholeheartedly, companies and people will recognize that and want to help you achieve your dreams.

Part 3 of this series is on 28 year old who travels Alaska working at different construction sites. To be notified when the post is finished, like us on Facebook.

Each of these free-spirited folks live different lives. Yet, the theme remains the same.

Armed with agency, drive, and ingenuity, plenty is possible. So, if you’re waiting for your permission slip–here it is. Life is short. The world of conventions will be waiting if you need it. Follow your intuition. Quench your curiosity and make shit happen…We served up the samples. Now it’s your move.

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