Taking action for greater personal and collective wellbeing within the bus life community, and the world.

This article is a collaboration between Bunny White and Christina Hadly. Bunny and her husband Nathan have spent two years slowly converting their skoolie. Once it’s complete they will be moving onto their off-grid property to build up a permaculture homestead and steward the land. Christina is a writer, thru-hiker, and nomadic bus-dweller. After quitting her corporate job in 2018, she hiked the 500-mile Colorado Trail, bought a bus, renovated it, and has traveled over 20,000 miles around the western US.

 The Skoolie Alliance Bunny and Christina

Bunny: To start this conversation, Christina and I would each like to share a bit of background on what has informed and motivated us to write this article. I would like to first bring your attention to the many positive words associated with the bus life community. Words like creative, kind, free, helpful, outgoing, and welcoming. I know we take immense pride in such descriptions and how they speak to the joy that is so commonplace within the bus life adventure. We fight for this joy when we make the choice to handcraft a life that goes against Western societal norms. We are rewarded with this joy each time we overcome a technical challenge related to converting a bus into a home. And we protect this joy as we live out bus life and continue to redefine what health, wealth, and happiness look like. This joy is really the promise of bus life, and it is our reward for taking the risk.

So it is with great discomfort, but also great purpose and much love, that I risk interrupting that joy to deliver a message this community still needs to hear. To remind us there is still much work to be done in order to live up to the virtues we so proudly proclaim. And in order to continue dismantling a legacy of oppression still experienced by those with marginalized identities. I risk interrupting that joy to make space for more joy.

To do this we must first be open to considering that there’s a story here we’re unfamiliar with (and possibly unaccepting of). One that explains how erroneous discrimination and prejudice is perpetuated by everyday people like you and I. A story that details the normalization of whiteness, and a near blinding accommodation of, and preference for, the success and joy of white people.

As racism gets called out at the level we’re currently seeing, as marginalized people of all kinds increasingly demand, claim, and create liberation from oppressive forces, and as we collectively evolve our understanding of ourselves and of the world, I’m personally starting to feel a previously unknown freedom to fully be who I amー as a biracial Black woman and as someone with other marginalized identities. I’m horrified by what it’s taken for us to get here, and it’s clear to me that we've got a long way to go. But I’m hopeful. And I’m committed to doing the multidimensional work involved in building a future that doesn’t inherit the deeply flawed and dangerous value system of our recent past or present.

Christina: We all have an opportunity to experience greater freedom by entering into anti-racism work and releasing the ways in which the systems of oppression have taught us to see everyone else, and ourselves. With that comes the chance to expand our understanding of who we are and re-establish who we want to be. But, diving into, or even dipping a toe into anti-racism work can feel scary. I can empathize. As a white woman, writing my portion of this article feels scary even though I’ve been investing in my own anti-racism education and actions for a few years now. Publicly participating in this conversation, on the record, is intimidating. A voice in my head nags me: “What could I possibly have to contribute when so many people of color have already spoken out about racism?” I procrastinated on writing this for many days, a procrastination I know is born out of fear. It’s a fear many white people can relate to. We’re scared of messing up or saying the wrong thing or, heaven forbid, being racist.

But here’s the thing—we’re all racist. We were born into and raised in a society that rewards whiteness. We’ve all absorbed racial messaging and stereotypes. We were steeped in this tea. We’ve spent a lifetime in this water. And as white people continue to talk in hushed voices amongst ourselves, or proclaim that we “don’t see color”, people of color continue to be harassed, discriminated against, arrested, beaten, and heartbreakingly, killed. When we’re just starting out on our unlearning journeys, this can be hard to read. But it’s important to bear witness. And while we’re getting our feelings in order, people are dying. Racism is a life-and-death issue. This is a human rights crisis.

We didn’t have a choice about our skin color or the society we were born into, but we have a choice now. We can choose to look around, see what isn’t working, and work to build a radically different future.


The Skoolie Alliance

As part of building that future right here in the bus life community, we’d like to extend a special invitation for you to join us in co-creating an official bus life alliance. A proposal for this alliance was drafted in direct response to witnessing racism surface within online bus life spaces, and it introduces a vision to help us do better in a multitude of ways that are not limited to the offenses of racism itself. The proposal imagines a holistic and revolutionary way of organizing ourselves, of identifying our collective needs and wants, of maximizing our pool of resources, of distributing decision-making rights and responsibilities to all members, and of increasing the wellbeing and potential of our unique community.

You can view and vote on the proposal by visiting www.TheSkoolieAlliance.com. While the site will remain up for an extended period of time, the poll will close August 31. If you would like to help get this project off the ground please review the proposal, share your feedback in the poll, help us spread the word, follow @TheSkoolieAlliance on Instagram to stay updated on progress, and consider joining the “founding circle”.


Charting Your Course Through Anti-Racism Work

Anti-racism work is about taking action to end systemic oppression and the worldview that supports it, because that is the source of racism (as well as numerous other forms of oppression suffered by many marginalized groups of people). By engaging in this work we can start to address racism within the bus community, and help to strengthen the shared foundation on which we aim to build The Skoolie Alliance. And we understand that it’s a lot to navigate. But if we take some time to consider the broader scope of anti-racism and how we’re each personally suited to participate in it, we position ourselves to be better at it.

So let’s now explore a few frameworks that provide us with greater perspective and a heightened sense of direction. These models are like maps, and when you’re going somewhere you’ve never been before, especially somewhere that feels threatening, a map is surely an invaluable resource.

To continue the metaphor, if our ongoing destination is anti-racism, then our vehicle would be all the educational anti-racism materials that exist, and our map would provide a contextual overview of the anti-racism landscape we’re traveling. Just like a geographical map, ours would pinpoint where we currently are at various scales, and help us decide which path we want to take to get to where we’re going.

* The images that illustrate each model below can be viewed more closely by visiting the links provided in each section, or by opening the image in a new window and zooming in.

 Skoolie Alliance Anti Racism Venndiagram Activism Ally Empathy Empathy

I. Equation of Allyship and the Becoming Anti-Racist Framework

At the micro scale, we have two helpful models that deal directly with racism. First, there’s anti-racist academic and activist Rachel Cargle with her ‘Equation of Allyship’. This framework expertly illustrates the relationship between the domains of Knowledge, Empathy, and Action, thereby demonstrating how a truly supportive and effective ally exists at the intersection of all three areas.

Then there is the ‘Becoming Anti-Racist’ framework which was inspired by the work of Ibram X. Kendi and originally illustrated by Dr. Andrew M. Ibrahim. The three domains of this model are the Fear Zone, Learning Zone, and Growth Zone. Identifying yourself within these zones is intended to illuminate where you are in the process of becoming anti-racist and help keep you accountable.

B: Understanding that these models are really aimed at white people, I hesitated to offer personal reflections on these frameworks as a mixed-race Black woman. But, I recognize that there isn’t just one type of privilege and white people looking to be actively anti-racist aren’t the only ones being asked to learn what it means to be a good and effective ally. The reality is that these models are a great gauge in general for personal integrity, growth, and accountability. So with Rachel’s model, I find myself highest in Empathy and about equal in Knowledge and Action. I’m definitely putting a lot more energy into those two areas lately, and this entire article speaks to my interest in being able to sustain that work. For the Kendi/Ibrahim model, I’ve got one foot in the Learning Zone and one in the Growth Zone. I’m zero percent interested in hanging out in the Fear Zone and have really made it a priority over the last year or so to recognize when I’m in the grip of illegitimate fear, and overcome it.

C: Over time, I’ve found myself in all areas of these models, depending on where I was in my anti-racism journey. Currently, I’m in the Growth Zone of Kendi and Ibrahim’s model, although I know the Learning Zone is my comfort zone, so it will take life-long work and education to continue growing. I can’t get too comfortable or start patting myself on the back. In Rachel Cargle’s equation, Empathy and Knowledge are my comfort zones. They’re where I’m most strongly rooted. Over the past 4 years, I’ve worked to make Action a habit. As an introvert who easily gets exhausted from calling representatives or going to protests, I have to push myself to make sure I’m finding different ways to take action instead of simply letting myself off the hook. If you’re just finding your footing in either of these models, please don’t be discouraged. We’re glad you’re here. We need you. I share my story in hopes of illustrating how this work is an ever-evolving, life-long process. Let’s get to work.

 Skoolie Alliance Mapping Roles Social Change Ecosystem

II. Roles in a Social Change Ecosystem

At the meso scale, there is a model like the one developed by Deepa Iyer of the Building Movement Project. This framework for ‘Mapping Our Roles in a Social Change Ecosystem’ presents 10 archetypes that describe various roles we may occupy in the “pursuit of equity, shared liberation, inclusion, and justice”. Obviously we all have different energy and aptitude for taking certain actions in times of crisis. This model helps us identify the roles that are a natural and energizing fit for us. In the process, it can reveal how we’ve misplaced our efforts, explain why we’ve been stuck or stagnant, and realign us to our purpose.

B: I identify most as a Weaver and a Visionary. I’m a multi-passionate person who loves to learn and a problem-solver who is naturally drawn to focus on the source level, or root cause, of issues. And I’m highly engaged by the process of learning, organizing, and designingー whether it be to create something physical like the skoolie my husband and I are building, organizational like my proposal for The Skoolie Alliance, or informational like this article. I have difficulty with the roles of Frontline Responder and Caregiver, so if that’s what’s being asked of me I will exhibit the most resistance in those areas (even though personal experience has shown me that I’m good at handling emergency situations).

C: First and foremost, I think I am a Storyteller. As a writer, it’s a role I’ve naturally found myself in as I’ve shared and educated by crafting stories. At times, I also see myself as a Weaver and a Caregiver, since the more I learn, the more it’s apparent to me that everything in our society is connected. In turn, I tie these insights back to my storytelling and the connections I foster as a Caregiver. So, interconnectedness (Weaver) leads to nourishing connection (Caregiver), leads to sharing stories (Storyteller).

Skoolie Alliance Three Spheres of Activism Consciousness Action Change

III. Three Spheres of Activism

The last model zooms out to the macro scale and invites us to consider a much bigger picture. Numerous authors and scholars have coined the term “The Great Turning” in reference to “the global shift from an industrial growth society to a life-sustaining civilization”. Also introduced as the “Three Spheres of Activism” by Troy Wiley of World Summit, this framework states that “in order for this Great Turning to be accomplished, work needs to be done in the following three distinct areas:” Holding Actions, Structural Change, and Shift in Consciousness.

The domain of Holding Actions is where we find most all traditional forms of activism as they pertain to halting “the destructive and unjust practices that are taking place on the planet”. But the problems addressed in this domain are symptoms of an underlying oppressive and unsustainable system. So this is where Structural Change comes into play. In this domain we don’t focus our energy on minimizing the damage of the current systems, instead, we imagine and create new ones. And yet still, "These structural alternatives cannot take root and survive without deeply ingrained values to sustain them.” That, in turn, requires “a profound shift in our perception of reality”, which is represented by the Shift in Consciousness domain.

The idea here is to be aware of these interrelated domains and understand the value of their various roles. Then, on an individual level, to recognize our relationship with each domain (where we focus most of our energy or actions, and if we feel an affinity with one sphere over another). Finally, it’s to determine if there is currently a pressing need in the world for our attention and action in a particular domain.

B: It only took me a few experiences with activism in the domain of Holding Actions to realize that’s not where I feel I’m of the most service (nor have I felt particularly needed until recently since there’s already so much activity in this area). I would say my heart has always had me engaged in the Shift in Consciousness domain, and my outward actions have significantly been in the area of Structural Changes. This can be seen in how I’ve proposed to establish The Skoolie Alliance as a Teal organization.

C: Because I don’t consider myself a visionary, I’ve participated the most in the Holding Actions domain. Even though I know we need Structural Changes and I deeply want them, I’m not the best at imagining what those Structural Changes can be. Once I’m introduced to the ideas of someone else and evaluate them, I’m on board completely and start championing for Structural Changes. As the model explains, we also need Shifts in Consciousness in order to achieve those Structural Changes. I spend time and energy self-reflecting and educating myself so I can make my own Shifts in Consciousness. These shifts don’t always come easily to me, but they sow rewards in so many areas of my life.

Let’s Reimagine A Better Future

A global paradigm shift is well underway and a new world is emerging. Right now we have an opportunity to make choices that aren’t merely reflections of the old worldview. We get to participate in the revolutionary creative act of reimagining. This is clearly something that appeals to all of us in the bus life community. It’s something we’re already doing. We reimagine what home, work, or retirement can be. We’ve looked at the status quo and decided no, I want something different. I want something more. Let’s now harness our imaginations and our creativity for something even larger. We get to radically reimagine inclusivity, representation, diversity, safety, support, leadership, resource sharing, and our collective wellbeing.

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How a lifetime yogi balances her nerves as a full-time nomad with her husband in their skoolie, Eula Mae.

Iana  Sundari on the road

 Written by: Iana Sundari

We were living in Miami when John and I decided to sell everything and buy a bus! When we’d met, John was planning on buying a boat to convert into a home, and I was two seconds away from fleeing to Italy to find myself in good wine and too much pasta. On a random tip, from a Youtube video on gardening, we heard about the United Tiny House Festival in Elkton, FL. By the time we’d left the festival, we were on Craigslist scouting ads for a bus.

Both of us had dreams of settling in another country but agreed that there was a TON yet unseen in the US and I’d never stepped foot in Canada. What started as a way for us to see this country, soon morphed into a full-on Wellness tour with 22 Meditation workshops in 22 cities! We brought Sponsors on board and after 8 months of demoing, roof-raising and building, we took off.

 Iana  and John Bliss Out Bus SkoolieBliss Out  Skoolie  diy bus project forestRace & Wellness Yoga Class Joshua Tree

When Paint Matters

A few weeks before we left, a good family friend pulled me to the side. He glanced at our all-white bus and asked if we’d considered adding a little color. The way he asked tipped me off that he was actually asking something else, and he was. He is 68, White, and from the Midwest. He said that our bus looked like a prison bus and that the last thing we needed was to be two Black people climbing out of anything that reminds people of jail, in the deep south.

After telling the scorned painter inside of me to, “Shhhh” and “Listen.” I heard him. We had removed most of our windows for temperature control. We have one window in our bathroom on one side, and french windows in our kitchen. We also have skylights on our roof. Upon inspection, you can see the windows are covered in beautiful grey curtains John stitched by hand. But Black people only get a first glance in America, nothing more. And at first glance, and with John behind the wheel, we were inviting trouble.

And so we took his wise advice and we painted a beautiful green stripe down each side. John hand painted our logo "BLISS OUT" and added a small scene of a nature trail. When we set off on our trip a Native American Reverend came at sunrise and blessed the bus and our travels. On the front grill, she tied a string of prayer bundles filled with traditional herbs and flowers. Eula Mae, my home, looks like a beautiful peaceful solar powered rig. And yet none of that matters. Not the paint, the fancy stripe, the hand-drawn Willow trees, or the Indigenous sunrise prayers. To many, all they see are John and me, and our skin color becomes an immediate threat to their existence.

Bus Conversion Bliss Out Bus  Skoolie  Roof RaiseBliss Out Bus Skoolie  diy bus Project paintBliss Out Bus Skoolie  diy bus Project water fill

Neither of us are new to micro, or macro, racial aggressions. We expected ruffled feathers in the South. But here’s what I’ve noticed as we've weaved through this country: most racists of the South have long learned to hold their tongues in public and “tolerate” the changing times and the darker hues that come with it. They’ll shake your hand and call you “ Honey” as their drawl drips with hatred. But when the death of George Floyd lit the match on the pressure cooker that held the Black community, we watched a new breed of crazy appear right around Utah for us and the rest of the world is now watching them daily on the news. This bold bunch throw lighter fluid and then light a match and throw it at a Black woman in traffic. They drag Black men, in state parks, to trees and yell obscenities at him as they try to hang him from a tree in their July 4th bathing suits. They pause the news and walk outside to pull AR-15’s on protestors as they peacefully march PAST their house. And if you dare happen to be eating near them they scream “Nigger” at you until you leave and the police are called by strangers trying to defend you. THIS new group is terrifying and they have us traveling in a completely different way than when we began.

Now I check the population of the town before we even think about stopping there. Less than 10,000 makes us nervous. Less than 10,000 means very few people that look like us. I check the local arrest reports, they’re public. I want to see the types of people they're arresting and how often. We Google their town hall meeting notes because I want to know what the people there are complaining about. I also check the Facebook page for the town. Most have one. If they’re planning on a parade where there’s a Confederate flag involved, or there's some townie complaining about the "Coloreds" at the town pool? It’s a hard pass. (And yes, Paw Paw, I SEE YOU! Your town makes me sad) John can't go into stores, in small towns, that are empty or near closing. Black men already made certain folks nervous. And that's when they could see all of their features. Now, these men have to cover most of their faces to avoid a pandemic and again, let's not forget that we only get one glance. Lastly, I look at their police website and see how many cops are Black. If there’s no one at the precinct that looks like us, except for other prisoners? It’s not the town for us. No Black cops mean there's no one whose sister or cousin looks like me which means there's no hope of guilt building in them if I'm kept in that cage too long. No thank you.

Road Life Bliss Out Bus

Boondocking, in remote beautiful locations, is out for the time being. We can’t trust being away from cell service and becoming a statistic. Before this all happened, we were traveling pretty often, enjoying the freedom skoolie life brings! Now we plan to drive to a safe house, a friend, or most recently, two beautiful strangers, and stay for a month or two. It’s too stressful otherwise. In between, we stay at rest stops or right behind a business, where there are cameras. And witnesses.


So What Now?

With all of this said, you’d think we’d be over living life on the road. You’d think we’d be looking to sell and hunker down in a traditional home again. But F*CK THAT. :) We built this home. We love this home. This is the most HOME home I’ve ever lived in. We love full-time travel, this community, and the incredible sense of creativity it’s injected into our lives. I’m not letting hatred take what I love from me. Joy is a form of resistance too you know…

John Bliss Out Bus SkoolieIana Sundari  Skoolie  diy bus Project
And so, we adapt and adjust. He builds more and I spend a lot of time meditating. Both are our ways to remain sane and peaceful. We walk, and cook and laugh and I drink a lot of wine because all balance our nervous system and remind us that it’s not all so ugly. At least not in here, in Eula Mae... Here is where hope lives.

Iana Sundari Bliss Out Bus Skoolie  diy bus Project Ice Cream

Iana Sundari is the author of the blog, Namaste USA, and hosts Collective Reset podcast. She also offers private yoga sessions as well as birth and death doula services. Follow her journey through her website and on Instagram


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Brock and Patrick's recommended books for your bus conversion library

Bus Life Adventure Founder, Brock Butterfield and Content Editor/Social Media Monkey, Patrick Schmidt (@skoolielove) share their top books to have on board your Skoolie.

Brock's top four books.

Let me start by saying that I, Brock, am not a book reader. It's hard to find books that keep my attention enough to silence my monkey mind. Recently during COVID-19 I've found myself glued to my phone more than ever and I started to notice never feeling inspired, uplifted or optimistic after allowing the social media vacuum to suck me in deeper. It wasn't until one night when the battery on my phone went on strike that I decided to crack open Nomadland which I had purchased as a gift for a friend that I never ended up gifting (because he already had the book).

So, why would you take book advice from someone who doesn't read very often or enough? You probably shouldn't. Who am I to give good book reading advice when I'm lucky to read one book every couple years. But, if you're like me and find it hard to pick up those cellulose fibers that bonded together to make paper and a book, then here's a few books that were able to catch my attention and may catch yours.

In no particular order, here's a few books I've enjoyed before and during COVID-19. Also, while the links provided are Amazon items, consider supporting your small local bookstore first in these hard times.

Brock Butterfield Hank Bus Library

Brock's one of two libraries on his Skoolie.

Skoolie!: How to Convert a Bus or Van into a Tiny Home or Recreational Vehicle

Author: Will Sutherland
Pages: 208

If you're considering dipping your hairy toes into a bus conversion, this book will guide you in the right direction. I had the pleasure or reading this book before it was published and gave some feedback to Will before it went off to the print house. It covers everything from what to look for when searching for a bus all the way to backup cameras and bike racks before you hit the road. He even has a full break down of the cost of every item he purchased during the conversion of the bus he built for the book. Support a fellow bus lifer and pick up this guidance and picture filled book that would love to live in your Skoolie when you're on the road.

Skoolie How To Convert Bus Into Tiny Home

The Man Who Quit Money

Author: Mark Sundeed
Pages: 272

This book drew me in because I have an internal desire to be able to live without money. I'm the dude that if my life went completely sideways and I lost everything, I'd wonder off into the woods with the bare essentials and attempt to be completely self sufficient. In this book, Daniel Suelo does just that but not quite to the extreme that I had in mind. Suelo decides to give away his life savings and begins to live a life without paying taxes while also never accepting food stamps or welfare. By living in caves in the Utah canyonlands he finds food by foraging and dumpster diving while at the same time experiencing a spiritual journey that we all could use.

 The Man Who Quit Money



Author: Jessica Bruder
pages 251

As mentioned, I picked this book up for a friend but after finding out they already had a copy I kept it and eventually cracked it open out of boredom. Nomadland caught and kept my attention because it covers the journey of one female septuagenarian (someone in his or her seventies) who is forced back into the workforce and without a house. By pulling the last of her funds and buying an RV, she secures seasonal jobs as a camp host in the summer and an Amazon warehouse zombie during the winters. This book will open your eyes to what's happening to many Americans and why we're seeing so many more run down RVs parked in Cities and old forest roads across the US. During my three years living full time in a bus I can relate to the struggle of being able to find a safe place to park and sleep for the night without getting the dreaded "knock". If you want a look into the world of our elders who are still forced to work and live in small cramped escape pods because their social security check doesn't cut it, then pick this book up to read. 


10% Happier

Author: Dan Harris
Pages: 256

This book took me a bit to get into but when it started to grab my attention I couldn't put it down. Dan Harris is a television journalist who had a panic attack on live television during an ABC News broadcast and that panic attack was one of the main driving factors that led him on a journey to understand the voice inside his head and the path to control it. For me this book hit home because I struggle with being way too hard on myself. I set goals and standards to live by that are unobtainable and yet I get really depressed when I don't hit those goals. Dan's experience and struggle with trying to climb the ranks as a television anchorman was completely relatable to me and my life. I had always tried meditating and never had any success but after Dan shares some of his experiences trying to meditate and going on a bizarre spiritual quest, I was able to pick up on a few things that truly helped me to utilize the voice in my head to my advantage.

10 percent happier


Patrick's top six books:

Patrick reads A LOT. He also writes a lot and is currently working on a book of his own. His suggestions for books are probably much better than mine (Brock). Here's what Patrick has to say about each of them in his top picks.

900little free library skoolielove coyote sunrise

Patrick's little free library on his Skoolie.

Into The Wild

Author: Jon Krakauer
Pages: 231

I’m sure many of you have read this book, but if you haven’t, you might want to. It’s one of the greats. It has wildly influenced how and why I am currently living my life. When I look around in my tiny bus home, and look at myself in the mirror, I can see McCandless staring back at me. This book was a LIFE CHANGER.

 Into The Wild Book

Walden on Wheels

Author: Ken Ilgunas
Pages: 320

Ken lived out of a Van while attending college, parked illegally the whole time, to cut down on rent and make it through college without any debt. His story is amazing, and hits really close to home. He’s a wonderful writer, and the story is one that will keep you entertained and asking yourself “Is tiny living and adventuring for me?”

 Waldon On Wheels


Planet Walker

Author: John Francis
Pages: 292

John walked the Earth for 22 years, not talking 17 of those years. What an amazing feat! He saw an oil spill down in Southern California and it changed his life forever. He had a gut feeling and went for it, he simply started walking and appreciating the Earth. He did not speak the next 17 years, in defense of the planet. Do what you want to do, some people will never approve. You must do what you feel! Love the environment. Absolutely mind changing read.

 Planet Walker

The Alchemist

Author: Paul Coehlo
Pages: 208

I carried this book when I was hiking the Appalachian Trail. It is such a wonderful read! Traveling and life is a journey. There will be ups and downs. You can consider yourself lucky if you realize that you have everything you need right where you are. Pick this up for a gentle and kind read. This will tickle your spirituality.

 The Alchemist

Throw Out 50 Things

Author: Gail Blanke
Pages: 304

I read this book while I was down sizing for moving into the bus. GAME CHANGER! What “thoughts and emotions” do you have associated with your STUFF? Negative feelings? Those items have got to go. Positive feelings? Keep them. Eh feelings? Get rid of that stuff. When you throw out 5 pillows, that only counts as 1 item out of 50, because they are the same type of item. 49 items to go! It’s tough. As you throw out physical stuff, you’ll soon realize that you’re also shedding mental stuff. Best book I’ve found to help me get rid of my things.

 Throw Out 50 Things


The 5 Love Languages

Author: Gary Chapman
Pages: 208

Want to love yourself more, as well as respect and understand the people around you? READ THIS BOOK! Love for many people is a foreign language, they simply don’t understand what to do, and don’t know what they're doing wrong. They feel empty and hollow and not appreciated by the people around them. This book plainly lays it all out, how to learn how to love and fill your inner “love tank.” LIFE CHANGER. A MUST READ.

Five Love Languages


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This lifestyle isn't an escape from reality.

This is about stepping into who you are and creating your new reality... One that has been designed for you, by you.

Guest Writer: Kara Allen - Soulsom.Buslife on Instagram, YouTube

family living bus life adventure soulsom searching australia

We had the house mortgage and all the material things that went in it, everything we grew up thinking would make us happy. We soon realised it wasn’t.

We were living someone else’s idea of "happy" and "home." We wanted something else for ourselves.

We are soulsom.buslife from Australia - Kara, Luke, Jayden, Savannah, and Dakota.

How did we get here?

It started with my (Kara) crazy idea of renting out our home and living in a caravan. So we did that.

8 months of living the van life is all it took to realize this was it. This was the life we wanted to live.

4 weeks later we upgraded to our beautiful bus home, which we built ourselves. A Home on Wheels, something small, but still big enough to sustain the kids growing up. We sold everything and hit the road.

This lifestyle is not an extended holiday, so you can't expect that it's all smiles and relaxation. The kids are not going to just run outside with excitment at every new place. We thought "home schooling will be so easy" because the kids won't need to do the same long hours as at school.

They'll be so grateful for this opportunity.

home school bus schooling bus conversion soulsom adventure

 For "bus schooling" we have registered with our State to homeschool our kids. We utilize online resources a few hours in the morning, and the rest of the day is hands-on, out in the world learning.

I’m a health and Lifestyle Coach, so I teach the kids about mindset, believing in themselves and their dreams.

Do they just sit down and get to work? Haha, yeah! No.

Some days are great and others... not so much. But we can’t blame Bus Life for that.

 bunk beds skoolie bus conversion adventure home school

🌅 Our mornings look a little like me annoying the kids to get up.📣🎶🥁🎺 Well I start nice, wake up Babies,🙋🏼‍♀️ then I try to cuddle them, 🤼‍♀️ 😴 but they are like zombies🧟‍♀️🧟‍♀️🧟‍♂️ growling at me, Ill sit at Jaydens doorway just swinging and talking to myself, as he usually farts when I open his door. 💨😵 But if that doesn't work,
I usually vacuum,😎 ( @bush.princess loves when I do that) she is like a cat swiping at my legs as I go past her. 🐈🤣 telling me to stop.😂 Meanwhile Luke is in the background like girls quick look at me. SMIIILLLE. 😂🤣😂🤣

Home schooling Day One...

Ok so It played out way smoother in my head, but we did it, we got through day 1.

It will take some time to get things going. To get the kids motivated, but once we got into things they were good.

Included in English is a travel Journal, and now being older we have decided that they can blog about it, we are using a free wix account for each of them, they can add photos, and share about each week, seeing our travels through their eyes. Super excited to see how each of them take this on.

Once they have their first blog up I'll share them with anyone keen to read.

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It was an effort at times to get them to school or finish homework in a regular house. As parents, we sometimes forget that we need to find what works for each of our kids and learn as we go.

Are they grateful? Let me ask them...

...the verdict is in: They defiantly are!

If you dream it and put in the work, you can achieve it.

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Old Life chasing the New Life

I grew up never wanting to try new things, following the crowd and just blending into the background. After having kids, I wanted them to see a strong mum, someone who owned exactly who she was.

Through years of studying, working on myself and really putting in hard personal work, I tapped into what my family and I love and realized where we wanted our life to go.

Bus Life, nature, and adventure fit perfectly within that vision, which has only grown with this lifestyle.

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What I realized was this: don't try and run this new lifestyle like your old one, because it doesn't work.

Instead, learn to let go of the expectations that you have, and make your way though it, doing what feels right. When it doesn't feel right anymore, make some adjustments.

Give it time. Don't quit because it's not what you expected. Is anything ever like you expected it to be? Expectations vs Reality.

Our Current Reality

We were on the road in the bus for a year in 2017. After a few rough patches, we returned back to our home town. A little broken, we were wondering what to do. 

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Where do we park the bus? Should we rent an apartment or house?

We couldn’t go back into a house. We love living small, and being minimalists, we stayed in our hometown in our Bus.

Luke started working again and the kids started attending a new school. Here we were, making small adjustments as we went.

It took some time, but we realized that through it all, we couldn’t blame bus life for those hard moments. Life happens, house or bus or van or boat.

Lessons Learned

Learn to sit back and be grateful, grateful for the opportunities, to step out and create yourself. Grateful for what you are creating, grateful that you get to show your kids a different way of living or simply proving to yourself that you can.

If you have kids, find time for yourself, find time for you and your partner. Living small means you know what everyone is doing all the time, so take a step back from controlling what everyone is doing and have 'you' time.

U Got This self care benefits everyone.

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We make sure we all have space. We can get on top of each other a bit, but I definitely prefer this over a house where everyone hides in their own corner.

We are a close family and Bus Life has created that. Having older kids, and us parents going out for plenty of walks, with separate areas in the bus, somehow it just works.

I sit in our Bus often and just smile. I'm so in love with what we have created and although it's not all smooth sailing, we are OKAY with that. Growth and new opportunities don't come from comfort and standing still, they come from stepping out and trying something new.

Don't fear change, as we were designed to evolve and grow.

- Kara Allen, Soulsom Buslife on Instagram, YouTube

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