At 29 years of age, Patrick Schmidt had had enough of his job as an airport worker in Seattle. He wanted more from his life. He also wanted to “live tiny”, as he put it. So, he bought an old 1990s school bus and converted it into a DIY motorhome. He spent three months on the project. Then he quit his job at the airport to go live his dream of spending his life on the road.
He wants his entire life to be one very long road trip. Schmidt started his road trip in Las Vegas and drove through 30 states until he reached Florida. He’s staying there for the winter, but he says he’ll continue his trip as soon as spring arrives.
The vehicle was previously a school bus but it wastransformed into a cozy home in a matter of months.
The 29-year-old former airport worker brands himself as having ‘No job, short on money, living in my dream tiny home.’:
“I was tired of wasting money on rent for an apartment that I was never using because I worked so much,” Schmidt said. “It didn’t feel natural to spend my free time in my car, to and from work, and feeling too tired on my days off to do anything.”
“There had to be something better, there had to be more. Tiny Living, I thought, might be the answer.”
Patrick Schmidt wrote on his blog Skoolielove:
“It’s the lifestyle that I want to live. I want to live fully on a bus, and make that my life.”
“I have moved over 20 times since I was born, and I feel like in the bus, I came home.”
With his father’s help, he transformed the $4,500 bus into a tiny 189 sq.ft. motorhome with materials bought from DIY shops and online stores. The project cost him around $9,000.
Inside the motorhome, there’s all the facilities you usually find in a caravan, such as a bathroom, kitchen, and air conditioning.
The dining area of the bus has wooden floors, while the kitchen has storage cabinets, a deep sink, refrigerator and freezer.
The bathroom has a running hot-and-cold shower and working toilet, both drain into a 32-gallon waste tank.
‘When I left my parents house in Vegas on August 15, I had no idea where I would be spending the night,’ he wrote on his blog.
His 10,000 mile journey traversed 30 states, including California, Colorado and New York.
Schmidt said that he has used the money he has saved over the last ten years to survive, but he only spends on the essentials.
Parking the motorhome was a big issue and Schmidt mostly stuck to rest stops and road sides along his journey.
There were camping spots for motorhomes where he could stop to empty the waste tank, charge up his vehicle and have a hot shower.
But having a skoolie plate – which converted school buses often showcase – also helped.
“Everywhere I went I can see heads turning, smiles on peoples face,” Schmidt said. “People give me thumbs up, the peace sign, waves, all sorts of ways to show their love and appreciation.”
After winter, he planned to continue his journey throughout the United States:
“I would like to continue to grow Skoolielove, and promote Tiny Living. Continue to drive the Highways of America, meet people and continue searching for new experiences.”
“Most likely make my way back to Vegas, see my parents, and get back up to Seattle to start a Bed and Breakfast.”
“I plan on living out of the Bus for years to come.”