By: Kayla Dailey
As I leaned back in my chair and sipped the freshly brewed tea I caught the snow falling outside of our bus window. The large cedar trees looked beautiful dressed in a light layer of snow and the ground was bright white and uninterrupted. My heart swelled as I headed outside towards the beautiful scene.
This feeling was not new. Several times in my life I have felt the emotional power of nature. An awe inspiring almost magical feeling. What was different this time was the scene I was looking at was my home. The treeline and the stretch of land beyond were all apart of the 14-acre property my family and I live on. I felt so grateful and laughed at the fact that this was all made possible by a bus.
When Coronavirus hit and we lost our jobs my husband and I were faced with a decision on what to do with our severance pay. We had enough to cover a deposit and a month of rent. We did not go that route. By choosing bus life over another lease we were able to purchase the bus and also a good amount of land to build any home we wanted to in the future. Plus space to grow food and make additional income. This decision already has such a generational impact. This type of opportunity and lifestyle is not one you see often while scrolling through your feed.
Now, to be clear niches are great for social media and developing relevant business strategies but when it comes to the van/bus community I feel it might be blocking others from realizing how buses can actually benefit their lives even if they are not travel-loving, outdoor exploring, small space living people.
If bus/van life belongs in any niche it’s ‘dream chasing’ or ‘self-improvement’. Granted it might be my personal obsession watching humans do the impossible and overcoming challenges that contribute to this, but you still can’t deny the evidence. I watched a video of a 19-year-old recent grad who built her van in order to leave her toxic hometown and family. A few hours later I scrolled past a minivan with a mattress in the back. Standing next to the van was someone with a beautiful story of making due for a time in order to gain it all. The same feeling of pride and joy consumed me both times. “Hell yes! A few more took back their wheel” I thought.
The ‘American Dream’ has been driving far too many of us on autopilot and its destination is a ditch. We are set up to fall into debt easily. Add that with the fact college tuition has the power to wipe out 2 generations financially for years it’s no wonder we feel dazed and confused walking around adulthood.
So how do you get out? I think of an Albert Einstein quote “We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” Most companies do not offer pensions, and social security is a laughable amount to live on. Do you know what can make money? A converted bus you rent out for those on vacation in your area. Or cut college costs by considering a converted Skoolie.
No matter your background I encourage you to look at the future, your lifestyle, and your home with a little more imagination, and a bus or van could start making sense.