By Scott Thompson
THIS COUPLE ditched their ONE THOUSAND SQUARE FOOT townhouse for life on a bus with their NEW BORN BABY and say their only worry these days is finding somewhere safe to park at night.
Seamstress Hannah Hernandez (25) and her solar installer husband Ian (27) from Orlando, Florida, USA were both working really hard just to maintain their rented 1,000sq ft townhouse. Quality time together was strapped as they looked out for a solution.
With the dream of living more simply and much contemplation the duo eventually decided to spend their savings on a 1991 International Bluebird 35 ft School bus. They found the vehicle on Craigslist for just £1,522 ($2000) in November 2016.
Hannah and Ian were ready to have a child and raise them in their future tiny home, so they were really excited when they found out Hannah was pregnant in January 2018.
Now the couple had a deadline to deal with to prepare their home and move on board. With this information in mind they had to make sure they built a bus that was safe and strong enough to home a growing, climbing, adventurous little toddler.
Hannah has always paid close attention to detail so taking the pregnancy off from renovations was not an option. In fact, she worked almost daily on their future tiny home on wheels right up to 37 weeks into her pregnancy.
While building their new home, the family were already downsizing the contents of their 1,000sq ft townhouse. Once a month they would go through everything once again to donate things they felt dragged them down and wouldn’t be worth keeping.
Piece by piece the bus was completed in September 2018. Their beautiful daughter, Nora was born in October 2018 and the three moved onboard with their pet dog named Girlie in December 2015.
“We have both been very adventurous in our lives. I used to travel a lot for dance competitions and Ian being from Puerto Rico, loved exploring the rivers and beaches,” Hannah said.
“We both rented a 1,000sq ft townhouse in Orlando Florida. I have a sewing business which I started before our bus journey and Ian used to be a CrossFit coach. We were working all the time to afford the house and hardly got to see each other. We decided that time together and simplifying our lives had to become our priority.
“So we started looking at some options on how we could achieve this vision. We really loved the idea of living on an A frame trailer, but we knew it wouldn’t make a good long-term house. In the end we decided a fully paid off RV would be a better option. In November 2016 we bought our 1991 International Bluebird 35ft ex school bus off Craigslist for £1,522 ($2,000).
“Renovations were done somewhat slowly at first and we were always downsizing our home every month. We go through all our belongings each month and make a bag or box of things to donate.
“Me and Ian knew we wanted to have a child in the near future and as luck would have it, we found out I was pregnant in January 2018. By that point we were both really excited about our future.
“But with this news also came a deadline as we had lots of work to do on renovations. We also had to ensure we made a home that was strong and safe for our baby.
“Me being a perfectionist meant that I worked long hard hours right up until I was 37 weeks into my pregnancy. It was certainly an ‘interesting’ experience and was difficult bending over getting small hexagon tiles on the floor of the shower and bench. My mum had to help with that.
“Ian tried to stop me, but he didn’t have much choice in the matter. I remember sitting on a chair when I was 37 weeks pregnant and painting the outside of the bus… at that point I realised I was ready to stop working and just relax before the baby came.
“Then we happily welcomed our baby girl Nora into the world in October 2018 and moved onto our bus in December 2018.”
The family’s wanderlust has taken them across 14 states in the USA and they have loved every moment of travelling and watching their little girl grow and explore different environments.
Travelling with a baby hasn’t been as hard as you might think and when the engine starts and they hit the road, Nora knows it’s nap time.
The greatest challenge on their journey has been making sure they find a safe and secure place to park their bus at night and ensuring they maintain temperature control to a comfortable level.
As winter sets in the bus will be making its way to Florida where it is much warmer as to avoid those bitter cold days.
“Since we started our journey we have already covered 14 different states and clocked over 5,500 miles,” Hannah continued.
“The greatest thing about this has been watching Nora see so many new places. She has adapted to all sorts of different environments and situations. Nora does very well with loud noises when we are cooking, cleaning or showering and when we are driving she knows that’s her nap time.
“Beyond our little one pulling everything out of the cabinets and laying them all over the floor, our only real problem is finding a safe place to park at night and making sure we maintain good climate control inside the bus. This is easily done though as we have AC and a little heater.
“Our friends and family have been incredibly supportive and helped so much with the build. We are lucky to have many like-minded friends who love travel.
“As it starts getting colder we have headed down to Florida where we can enjoy winter in the sunny state.”
Hannah and Ian say it’s important to take control of your own life and make your own dreams become reality and not follow other peoples.
“We want to make sure people know that you too can bring up your child on the road. It’s totally 100% possible. Nora is actually so well behaved. Remember that babies are totally adaptable and will adjust and flourish in any environment and lifestyle,” Hannah said.
“Minimising and consuming less while increasing experiences with loved ones is one of the best feelings you could ever imagine, and you can have that too.
“Don’t let anyone else tell you how to live your life. If you feel like you have a desire to pursue this kind of lifestyle don’t wait any longer. Go for it and make your dreams happen!”
You can follow their journey on Instagram