Right now, it’s nearly impossible to plan for life after college—or even over break. So, keep all your options open before you’re required to “adult” full-time. One possibility is the “skoolie” lifestyle trend. More individualists are converting buses for on-the-road travel and adventure. The increasingly popular reasons to live on a school bus make it perfect for the young and restlessly curious.
It Doesn’t Have To Be Complicated
School buses are usually retired after 20 years but they have to conform to such high federal standards that they’re not prone to engine trouble, and are considered the safest vehicles on the road. A school bus can be reclassified and registered as a motor home, and depending on your state, you may be able to use your regular driver’s license. When you need a few more amenities, you can hook up at an RV park, camping site, or truck stop.
No DIY Skills Needed
There are jaw-dropping images of tricked-out skoolies with hot tubs, and skoolies converted into adorable tiny homes. But if you don’t have the time or inclination for a major rehaul, you can pretty much get up and go. And if you want to customize your bus, you can hire someone handy or do it on your own schedule.
If you don’t have a permanent job or home yet, let a school bus be your starter apartment. You can buy a decent preowned model starting around $3,000 and establish a payment plan with a bank. You’re avoiding a lease or a mortgage, and can always resell it to a likeminded explorer when (or if?) you’re ready to return to real life. When you need some cash, you can work from a Wi-Fi enabled bus or take temporary jobs as you travel from town to town.
It’s Socially Distant
In a skoolie, you can be as distant as you want to be. It doesn’t hurt to be ready in case of a pandemic, and life on wheels means you can avoid neighbors, public transportation, and civilization altogether. It’s clean living, too; with an air purifier, it’s far easier to eliminate airborne contaminants in the closed interior of a bus.
You Deserve a Gap Year
If you forgot to explore the country before college, there’s still time to indulge in that wanderlust before you settle down and start a family. Whether or not you onboard passengers, you won’t be alone. One of the best reasons to live on a school bus is the growing skoolie community here and abroad. The National Skoolie Association connects travelers for tips and ideas. Every year (at least, up till this one) Arizona hosts Skooliepalooza in the desert, and racing skoolies is a new tradition at tracks. It’s a chance to taste the minimalist life and shrink your carbon footprint as you start the journey toward your future.