By Alexa Erickson / 12.29.2016
Quit your job, travel the world, be free. There are a lot of movements gaining steam out there that promote quitting the rat race, embracing minimalism, putting experiences before owning things, lowering your carbon footprint, and embracing sustainability, among other admirable initiatives. With countless studies revealing how the typical American diet, job, and lifestyle are killing people and the planet, it’s easy to crave change, no matter how drastic it may be.
Simplifying your life and opting for small space living has inspired a growing number of people to find alternatives to the American Dream. People are finding it utterly overwhelming to keep up with the resource-intensive lifestyle we’ve long revered as ideal — the one with a white picket fence, manicured lawns, single family homes, gas-guzzling cars, and long hours clocked driving to and from work, then at work itself. Change, in one way or another, can be a really great thing. And that’s what one family in Europe has come to realize.
Skiing and snowboarding instructors Valerie Cook and Tim Boffe of Let’s Be Nomads chose an alternative lifestyle in the form of an old yellow school bus, which they transformed into their house that doubles as a vehicle. It can accommodate up to six guests, as well as host the family of three.
The couple, along with their young daughter and dog Lewis, have chosen to take on a three-year tour of Europe in the 39-foot-long, solar-powered bus, with their love for the mountains and adventure sports serving as driving forces.
The couple bought the yellow bus in America and had it shipped over to Europe, but they are now hoping to make their project completely carbon-neutral to counter what they cannot reduce by way of CarbonFund. The profits they make will either be put back into the bus or donated to mountain sustainability projects.
The couple estimates that the conversion from old bus to cozy travelling home cost them just under $32,000 dollars. Their renovations focused on making the bus full of environmentally-friendly features, like the chemical-free Doschawol wool insulation that, along with keeping the bus warm, also keeps moisture levels, which typically build up when travelling between cold and hot climates, in check.
Along with the solar panels serving as the family’s electricity, other basic features include an onboard shower, compost toilet, and wood stove.
The family is currently touring Tirol, Austria, and the six-bunk bus is available for people looking for an adventure at just $61 USD a night. Each person receives all of the basic amenities like sheets and towels, as well as home-cooked organic breakfasts and dinners. Additional perks include access to the couple’s mountain bikes, skis, and surfboards. The couple says they plan to be in Norway next summer.
Visitors of the bus have the chance to take on various outdoor activities that include the hosts’ skiing and snowboarding expertise, a “yoga week,” hiring the entire bus for a unique team-building event, and even arranging their own customized package.
The family provides a one-of-a-kind approach for adventure seekers and people looking to step outside their comfort zones and try out what it’s like to live in a revamped bus (without the hassle), while also taking on the slopes of Europe.