If you wish you could quit your day-to-day routine and hit the road full-time, you’re not alone. And it’s not impossible by any means.
One Auckland family is living out this dream in real life. Tired of their daily work schedule, Andy and Amber from Bus Life NZ converted a 36-foot-long 1987 Volvo bus and now travel full-time with their kids across New Zealand.
The couple had no experience in building, plumbing, or electric work. They learned everything from Youtube and Google, and spent nearly a year on the project, dedicating every weekend and hours every night after work.
Andy and Amber and their two kids Jake and Daisy now roam across New Zealand in their converted skoolie. Not only did they want to spend more time together as a family but also lower their cost of living. They were paying over $3,000 NZD a month in rent, and the cost of buying a home in Auckland averages almost a million.
Their monthly expenses now average only about $400. The couple found that reducing costs is just as important as how they make money. They gave up luxuries like going out to restaurants. Instead of staying in resorts with hookups, they scout out free camping locations and produce power from their 850-watt solar system.
To make enough to get by, the couple generated four sources of income. One of which includes their Youtube channel, Bus Life NZ, which features videos about their entire conversion process. They also have a Patreon page, which you can find here.
The interior is more homey than any factory-made RV: featuring wood siding, comfy seating, and a Little Cracker wood stove for heat (though it also doubles as a stove for cooking).
Their kitchen has a sleek modern design including a sink and an oven. Across from the counter they also have a fridge and freezer, as well as slide-out pantry storage.
Further down the bus they built bunk beds for the little ones, a small bathroom with a sink and shower, and added a composting toilet that’s accessible via its own door.
The main bed is in the back of the bus. It’s surrounded by windows for air flow and views, but they also have curtains for privacy.