Welcome to The World School Bus Project daily blog! We’re a traveling, world schooling family of five who sold everything we owned to live life outside the box. Currently, we’re converting an old school bus into a tiny house on wheels for an amazing, open-ended road trip around the United States! Follow along by bookmarking this blog and liking us on Facebook and Instagram!
Happy New Year, friends! Today is January 1, 2016 and the OFFICIAL first day of our big World School Bus Project! We’re so excited to get started and back out on the road! If you’re wondering how our five month camping trip went, stick around. We had SUCH an amazing time and I can’t wait to tell you all about it! I’ll be posting lots of thoughts and photos in the next few weeks! This post, though, is all about the future. Did I mention we bought a school bus? WE BOUGHT A SCHOOL BUS, YOU GUYS!
It’s big and loud and needs some love, but it’s OURS and we’re so in love with it!
Feeling lost? Understandable, since I’ve been the World’s Worst Blogger! Let me catch you up!
In June of 2015, we sold everything we owned, packed our car full of camping gear and took off on a five month long World School adventure around the United States! We camped in more than 20 states and visited some of the most beautiful parks, mountains, rivers, lakes and oceans in the US! A lot of people thought we were crazy, but we had never been happier. We spent our days outside – hiking, swimming, climbing and adventuring – and our nights snuggled up in the tent, exhausted in the best possible way. Our original plan was to explore the states until the holidays, come back home for December and then fly overseas in January for some international World School adventures. As our trip came to an end, though, we realized we didn’t want to stop road tripping. Five months sounds like a long time, but when you’re only able to spend a few days in each place, it goes by QUICK! One night in our tent, I mentioned how I had always dreamed of buying a VW bus to live and travel in. To show the kids some photos, I googled “VW bus life.” To my surprise, among the photos was a picture of a different kind of “bus life” – school bus life! Did you know there are hundreds of school bus conversions out there? People who have bought old school buses, gutted them and turned them into tiny houses? I HAD NO IDEA! There’s even a name for them – “skoolies!” I showed the kids and said “how perfect would THAT be?! A World School Bus!?!” We were instantly obsessed and stayed up for hours looking at photos of skoolies online. Before we fell asleep, I asked the kids how they’d feel about continuing our road trip around the states for a whole extra year, this time in a converted school bus? They were thrilled at the idea and so were we! I started searching online and just a few weeks after we got back to Texas for the holidays, we found one.
To pay for this big ol’ bus, I had to shoot a LOT of portrait sessions! (If you didn’t know, I’m a family photographer! Need some new photos of your family? HIRE ME! Here’s a link to my website : Sarah Q | Photography for Happy People) That means the bus has been sitting on my mom’s property for almost a month, just waiting for us to get started. Now that the holiday photo rush is over and I’m all caught up, it’s time to get to work! Today was the official first day of work, but we didn’t get dirty just yet. Today was all about gathering the tools we’re going to need to rip all the seats out and get the floors ready. Lucky for us, we have LOTS of tool lovers in the family! My step-dad had just about everything we’re going to need, so all we had to do today was head over to his garage and get it!
DAY ONE : Let’s gather some tools!
Thanks to some amazing Facebook groups and a forum dedicated to skoolie converters, I put together a list of tools I think we’ll need to turn this bus into a home. I’m sure we’ll need a few more things, but here’s the list so far :
Angle grinder | For removing seats … I know this because it’s the only step I’ve fully researched.
Miter saw | For … ummmmm … mitering? I honestly have no idea.
Cordless drill | For DRILLING! YES! Finally, something I know!
Drill bits | For the drill, duh.
Hammer and nails | I’m only adding these super obvious tools to feel less stupid.
Nail gun | For framing up our beds!
Compressor | Because you need this for the nail gun. I KNEW THAT. (No, I didn’t.)
Socket wrench set | For something.
Pry bar | For pulling up the floor!
Orbital sander | For … sanding, I assume!
Circular saw | Which is apparently not the same as a miter saw (who knew?)
Jigsaw | Because whoever invented saws thought every damn job needed it’s own type of saw.
You might have guessed from this list that we have absolutely zero experience building, sawing, hammering or doing any type of construction. You might also have guessed that I’m not too worried about this lack of experience. We’ll figure it out! How do I know? Because “figuring it out” is what World Schooling is all about! Learning by trying, by doing, by making mistakes and getting your hands dirty. Ask me what a miter saw is for six months from now. I bet you a million bucks, I’ll be able to tell you all about it! (And so will my kids!)
A family project
Before today, my kids had never heard of an angle grinder. Now they know what it looks like, what it can be used for, where to find them at Home Depot and how much the replacement disks cost. It’s important to us that this be a family project – not something Henry and I do while the kids sit around playing on their phones, waiting to get back on the road. We want them to be part of every single step – even the hard steps – from beginning to end. Today was a pretty easy day, gathering tools, so to document it, we took some silly pictures in front of the garage. I love these little bad asses!
There’s a pretty significant chance of rain tomorrow, so we’ll probably wait until this weekend to start pulling out the seats. We’ll find something to do tomorrow, though, so check back in for some new photos and a recap of our progress!
Thanks for following along, friends! I promise to keep you posted and to keep on blogging this time (unlike my “daily” recaps from our camping trip. Ugh!) If you have any questions for us, please leave a comment below!
(Some photos of the kiddos in our bus, pre-conversion!)