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Majilé, the face behind @gypsybuslady, is newish to the Skoolie life, but with her kitty-cat, Sir Raisin (@sir_raisin), they are building a beautiful home on the road!
Once I stumbled upon the #buslife, it seemed too cool not to give it a try. I love to travel, I’m single, my job is remote, my children are my plants and my cat and my life will never be this simple (for lack of a better word) and readily available for the nomadic lifestyle so I had to go for it.
I love the freedom! I love the ability to wake up anywhere and see some of the most beautiful places real time. I love the ability to always be meeting new people. I love the minimalism because it forces you to be creative.
Right now, I’m in the process of building my Skoolie and this has been challenging! Not because the work is hard but because I’m so eager to get it done and move in but finding the time to do the work while working a 9 to 5 and maintaining a social life is a struggle!
I follow a ton of bus pages on Instagram and I watch their builds with a good jealously. I hate that I don’t have as much time as I’d like to commit to my build and I hate spending my own money. I’ve been saving for this but a $700 bill hurts every time when it’s your hard earned money.
I was inspired by some posts on IG. It wasn’t long before I became obsessed with watching build videos on YouTube and started doing research on buses. For about a month, all that I did in my free time was watch build video and read Skoolie blogs. It was to the point that I was falling asleep on my couch every night because I don’t have a TV in my bedroom.
I realized that I had the physical and mental ability to do all of the work so I just went for it. I found a mid-sized bus in an online auction and after a week or so of bidding, I won! It started as a dream and then it became real once I purchased my bus.
Initially finances were a bit of a challenge so I moved 70 miles south into a smaller apartment which saved me $700 per month on rent. The next challenge was finding a place to work on my bus. I live in an apartment and no one in my family wanted a big bus chilling in front of their house for a year and the townships don’t allow vehicles in the backyards. My parents ended up allowing me to park her at their house because they love me and didn’t need all of the space in the driveway.
Getting a Skoolie registered as anyone can tell you is a challenge, especially in Jersey. I had to do a little work but she’s registered and insured. Working on this project alone has it’s challenging times but I’ve managed thus far. Sometimes it would be nice to have someone to even bounce ideas off of. The Skoolie community is great but every bus is so different that you can’t assume that what works for some will work for all.
I think that being a woman and literally doing anything poses a different scenario than being a man and doing the exact same thing. Just about every time I go to the hardware store, there’s someone mansplaining something to me, telling me that there’s no way that I’m converting a bus into a mobile home by myself or flat out hitting on me. Even on my Instagram page, there’s constantly some guy telling me to visit him when I get on the road. It’s weird and creepy! Men don’t deal with this; EVER! I understand that it may come as a surprise but the better response is “wow, that dope. Good luck on your project.”
My mom! She’s my biggest supporter in everything that I do. When Solstice (my Skoolie) was just an idea, my mom was the first person encouraging me to do it.
Even now, she’s parked at my parents house because I live in an apartment and needed somewhere to work on her. In those times where motivation is low and I can’t see an end in sight, my mom is there pushing me which has it pros and cons but overall she just wants to see me finish this thing.
I’ve barely even got started on this journey but thus far there are quite a few things that I would do differently if I could go back in time.
I spoke with one of my Skoolie friends and I joked about how I wish I had gone for a van instead and she told me that she had the same feeling during her build. I wouldn’t go for the van life just yet though because of Raisin. He’s small but cats need space to play,
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