You can always make more money, but you can’t make more time; time with yourself and those you love. Discovering those little moments of bliss that come out of nowhere and the new situations that inspire growth and progression, THAT is living.
My husband Ben and I have known each other for 15 years and have been married for almost five. We quit our full time jobs in December 2017 and left Maine in our ’89 retired prison bus conversion a month later. We traveled over 5,000 miles through 22 states since then.
When you live tiny and mobile, in our case 165 square feet, you’re surrounded by change. Challenges are inevitable. We develop our micro routines for health and fitness but outside of that, there is an incredible amount of unknown. We’re facing new experiences, terrain and situations together, as a team, every single day.
We’ve driven our bus through El Paso traffic at night, white knuckled and not knowing where we were going to sleep that night. We’ve woken up to single digit temperatures in southern Utah where our bus wouldn’t start for hours. We’ve gone weeks without showering indoors. We’ve also run hundreds of blissful miles on wild trails, side by side and smiling. We’ve sipped coffee in the shadow of the majestic Sierra Nevada, watching the sun rise in pure silence. We’ve looked at each other and said, “Is this real life?!”
Social media is often a highlight reel, omitting what happens in the other 23 hours and 58 minutes of our day. There is so much we DON’T share, but that is the stuff of real bus life: the raw, unedited adaptation and continuous evolution of our relationships in time. The road gives us this gift. This proximity magnifies our emotions, whether it’s stress or bliss. We feel it all.
Three months ago we both still had full time jobs, spent 10+ hours a day apart from each other and lived in the same place we had for years. We knew what to expect around every corner and we chose to leave it all behind for this daily unknown.
Sometimes we forget how much growth is possible when we step outside of our comfort zone. I had mastered my life, the routine and predictability of it all. It wasn’t exciting, it wasn’t a challenge anymore. What fun is that?!
The blank page that each day presents us in our new life is still a stretch for me, but less so each day. For years I created structure, organization and lived for setting a tangible goal (usually work related), reaching it and repeating the process. That’s part of how we got here. Now, I am rewiring my brain to find productivity, accomplishment and success outside of the traditional work world construct and I’m realizing this takes time.
As Ben and I move through this adventure together, we develop new ways to communicate and compromise, even after 15 years of knowing each other. What fuels us is our passion to live this life and write the story WE want; free flowing and uninhibited. We’ll take it all, the highs and the lows. We will run toward the unknown without question because in my gut, I know we made the right move.