By Mark McConville
MEET the couple who are bringing their young son up in a £14k converted bus they affectionately call the School of Life as they travel through America.
Tamra and JT Lane (28), from Point, Texas, USA, met in high school and have been married for eight years. They lived in three apartments and two houses before taking the plunge and converting an old Blue Bird TC2000 bus.
The pair moved into the bus after six months of refurbishment and estimate they spent around $20,000 on the conversion.
Tamra and JT, along with son Kalon and their two dogs, finally made the decision to pack up and hit the road after realising they were simply ‘living to work’.
“One of the main things that pushed us towards a lifestyle change of a simpler more conscious life was when we realized we were stuck in a cycle of working just to live,” explained Tamra.
“Right before purchasing our bus, we had just sold our house in a suburb in North Texas and purchased a house in the country of East Texas on two and a half acres. We thought this might be our forever home.
“We had plans of a homestead and dreams for the house that needed remodeling. One thing that inspired us to leave the suburb was our recent lifestyle shift to try and lessen our environmental impact.
“Once we were settled into our new house, we started the remodeling little by little. JT was working one hour away from home, longer in traffic, five to six days a week for nine hours a day. We quickly realized that something had to give, this change was not drastic enough, we still wanted something different.
“We knew we were not going to be fulfilled in the direction that our life was going. We felt the urge of wanderlust, as they say. We wanted to see more and experience more out of life and not just work away our best years. We had kicked around the idea of selling everything and traveling off and on sort of as a dream.
“Then one day, JT came home from work and said, “We should just sell everything and move into a bus and travel.” There was just something in his voice and his face that convinced me at that moment.”
The family have clocked up 10,000 miles so far and have travelled to Pajarito Mountain in New Mexico, to Red River, NM, to Red Feather Lakes, CO, to Granby, CO, through the Rocky Mountain National Park, to Fort Collins, CO, to Arlington, TX, and to Dallas, TX.
Tamra explained what life is like living in the small confines of their converted bus home and what they love the most about it.
“For us living in our bus has been great,” she said.
“The transition of downsizing was a process, but the longer we live in our bus the more we want to continue to simplify our lives even more. Living in our bus and getting rid of a large part of our debt has been very freeing for us.
“It has allowed us to spend every day together as a family and really nourish those relationships that mean the most. Our stress levels have severely decreased since we are able to work jobs that are not as hectic and pressuring on us.
“Of course, living in a small space with two grown adults, a toddler, and two dogs can get a little crowded at times. That is the perfect excuse to get outside which was one of the reasons we wanted to go tiny anyways.”
The adventurous couple also had a message for anyone thinking of following their example and taking their life on the road.
“We want to ‘be the change’ and inspire others to live,” added Tamra.
“The best advice I could give anyone considering this lifestyle is to sit down, write down your needs, draw and redraw. Once you think you have a good plan, go inside your bus and tape the plan on the floor.
“Then walk around your space and think about how it would be to use the area, does it work? I think if you spend the time and really think about what you need out of the space and optimize the functionality to the best of your knowledge that anyone can have a successful venture to bus life.”
For more information see http://schooloflifebus.weebly.com/