You know that feeling when you have a crazy thought in your head and you're like "wow, that's a fun idea" but never thought that the day of that happening would actually arrive, so when it does you're completely startled? Because I DO.
In February I stepped off an airplane having just gotten back from my backpacking trip in Thailand. I assessed my life situation and knew I needed a creative solution to my life, STAT. I wasn't coming home to a job, couldn't afford rent for much longer, and in the back of my mind a little light bulb went off... "What a perfect opportunity to get that bus, renovate it, and take it cross country..." That crazy pipe dream that you see only people on Instagram do but never seem to find those people in real life.
It makes sense... Save money on rent... be able to travel... make the dream happen... Why not? WELL HERE I AM. Bus in driveway. I've had so many people reach out to me asking about the process so here's a bit of the inside scoop.
HOW DID I DO IT?
This is the big question people have been asking. Here's the answer.
STEP 1: I Decided.
I needed to steer my life in a direction (buy a bus, get a corporate job, whatever that direction may be) and I decided that buying a bus was going to be the direction. Instead of thinking about the bus as a dream, I decided it. I thought about it like it was a fact. I talked about it like it practically already happened. With the thought process change, came a change in behavior. My decisions towards the dream became concrete. Instead of just looking at buses for sale online, I was checking them out in person. I was talking to diesel mechanics and other experts. Now here I am, five months later, no car, no apartment, less debt, and a BUS. If you can change your thought process, it can happen. This is hands down the most important step, and the step that most people never reach because they continue to think about the bus as if it's a dream, rather than as if it was reality. It's crazy how your decisions fall into place all by just changing the way that you think. Your thoughts are your most powerful tool.
STEP 2: I Put in Hella Work
These past five months have been a LOT of work. Changing your thought process is one of the hardest steps, but once that happens you can't just sit back and watch a bus magically appear. I knew absolutely nothing (zip, zero) about buses when I decided I was going to buy one. So I had to teach myself. I spent countless hours researching bus engines, bus conversions, expected costs, unexpected costs, looking at buses for sale, etc. Knowledge is truly power. All of this work paid off because I actually had someone try to sell me a bad bus by thinking I didn't know anything about the engine. NOT HAPPENING SIR. It can be overwhelming but diligence is key.
STEP 3: I Did a Lot of Talking
Don't be afraid to ask questions, even dumb ones. Especially dumb ones. It's not good to assume anything. Having absolutely no knowledge of buses and mechanics I had to start off by asking some pretty obvious questions but it was worth it. And I got the most help from the unexpected places. I found a couple accounts on Instagram like @buslifeadventure , sent them a message in the small hope that they might have an answer to my question, and to my surprise, they answered! Not only did they answer, but they were a pivotal part in helping me decide on the bus I wanted to purchase (Go follow them on IG, you won't regret it). I even became pals with the owner and I'm sure we'll be meeting up on the road at some point.
STEP 4: I Believed in Myself Despite the Whispers
When I told people I was buying a bus and gonna live in it full time, people had one of two reactions. The first and most common reaction was that I had absolutely lost my marbles and that I was making a big mistake with my life. The second reaction was that I was a genius who was on the path to living the dream. Through all the eye rolls, scoffs, and whispers, I shook it off and bought the damn bus anyway.
Below is a picture of me, just after I drove her off the lot and got to call her mine. The easy part is done. I have a long road ahead of me (pun intended) and a lot of hard work but I'm up for the challenge. Stay tuned for the reno process and the mess I get myself into. Everyone, please meet Frankie. She's a 2003 Ford 7.3L Diesel adventure on wheels. And I love her.
Cheers to wild life decisions!