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Meet a Vandweller: Trisha & Steve (American Dream on the Road)

By January 12 2015All stories

After spending three months to convert a school bus, Trisha and Steve have been living on the road for the past five years. They like to stay and work in the same location for a little while, and when they feel like going they just move somewhere else! They call this their American dream on the Road and this minimalistic lifestyle seems to work great, here’s a little interview I did with them.

Where is your home town?

We have lived everywhere, even before the bus! We have now been in Topanga Canyon, CA for four months. Prior to this we lived in Miami Beach. We just took our longest journey in the bus — we logged over 6,000 miles this past summer from the Florida Keys to Southern California!  

Which vessel are you driving?

We drive a classic 1993 Ford school bus with a rebuild Diesel engine. 

How many miles/km did you put on your van since you got it?

Over 12,000. We take driving life slow and spend a good portion of our time parked because gas gets expensive. We get about 10 miles to the gallon, surprisingly.

What’s the best thing about the van life for you?

Freedom, change, and minimalism. Obviously the Freedom to just go live wherever we want is the reason we do this. The views are an amazing thing! With all of our windows always open it’s gorgeous to wake up parked in the Rockies or on the beach. After five years of bus life, we both love never buying things (there’s no room for things!) We work very little because we are minimalists in 180sq. Ft. Working less is a perk.

What do you do for a living, and which job did you quit for this new lifestyle?

It was more of a dwindling away from traditional work. We simply didn’t need to work for ‘money’ as much because there were very few expenses with bus life.  Trisha gave up on jobs long ago when she worked with a company whose motto was simply, “quit your job, buy a ticket, get a tan, fall in love, never return..’ I’ve been getting and quitting all types of silly jobs ever since to make this bus lifestyle work, but I’m currently working the production side of still fashion shoots. Steve’s last job was at the Standard Hotel & Spa South Beach and currently he’s at a wellness center in Malibu. It can get tricky because of bus life. We have to each agree on and strategically plan out where and for how long we will work in an area.

Your favorite spot where you ever stayed at?

Trisha would say Malibu on the cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean and Steve would say the mountains of Colorado.

The worst bad luck that ever happened to you on the road?

Ha ha. One of our back braking rotate/drum systems going out in Denver which set us back thousands. Then, four months later the other side went out! 

Do you pick up hitch hikers? Any funny story about that?

No we have not, but we always leave a few bucks. That’s a big rule: give to others. I have said on many occasions, we have a huge amount of room, why not! I get the whole ‘hippie bus thing’ going on trips back in the day – you could pack a ton of friends in a school bus! 

What’s your favorite item you always keep with you when you’re in the van?

Baby wipes!

What is the best road trip itinerary that’s on your mind?

We did the big one last summer, so we need to plan a new one! It’s eventually cruising down Baja I’m sure.

What would look like the van of your dream?

We have our dream, but we could add a rack on the top for our surfboards, solar, and a large fresh water tank. Oh, throw on a hitch for an restored 1973 Bronco. Why not? 

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