Meet the parents who are raising their son in a $20,000 (£14,000) converted bus dubbed the School of Life.
Texas-born couple Tamra and JT Lane, from Rains County, Point, first met wile they were in high school, but married eight years ago.
Previously, they lived a conventional life in three apartments and two houses before buying an old Blue Bird TC2000 bus, which they converted to travel across America. Joined by their baby boy, Kalon, and two canine companions, they made the life-changing decision after realizing they were simply ‘living to work’.
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On the road: Texas-born couple Tamra and JT Lane, from Rains County, Point, travel the USA by bus with their son, Kalon Sage
‘One of the main things that pushed us towards a lifestyle change of a simpler more conscious life was when we realized we were stuck in a cycle of working just to live,’ explained Tamra.
‘Right before purchasing our bus, we had just sold our house in a suburb in North Texas and purchased a house in East Texas on two and a half acres. We thought this might be our forever home.
‘We had plans of a homestead and dreams for the house that needed remodeling. One thing that inspired us to leave the suburb was our recent lifestyle shift to try and lessen our environmental impact.
‘Once we were settled into our new house, we started the remodeling little by little. JT was working one hour away from home, longer in traffic, five to six days a week for nine hours a day. We quickly realized that something had to give, this change was not drastic enough, we still wanted something different.
All mod cons! The vehicle is fitted with a flushable toilet (left) and a heated shower, which allows them to bathe on-the-go
Cosy: The coach – an old Blue Bird TC2000 – is cleverly designed with a double bedroom and built-in wardrobe space
‘We knew we were not going to be fulfilled in the direction that our life was going. We felt the urge of wanderlust, as they say. We wanted to see more and experience more out of life and not just work away our best years. We had kicked around the idea of selling everything and traveling off and on sort of as a dream.
‘Then one day, JT came home from work and said, “We should just sell everything and move into a bus and travel.” There was just something in his voice and his face that convinced me at that moment.’
Since then, the family have clocked up 10,000 miles so far.
They’ve travelled to Pajarito Mountain in New Mexico, to Red River, NM, to Red Feather Lakes, CO, to Granby, CO, through the Rocky Mountain National Park, to Fort Collins, CO, to Arlington, TX, and to Dallas, TX.
Tamra explained what life is like living in the small confines of their converted bus home and what they love the most about it.
Relatively spacious: Inside, the mobile home also boasts a sofa, TV and computer access, plus a wood-burning fire
There it goes! The conversion took the pair more than six months of hard work, plus $20,000
‘For us living in our bus has been great,’ she says. ‘The transition of downsizing was a process, but the longer we live in our bus the more we want to continue to simplify our lives even more.
‘Living in our bus and getting rid of a large part of our debt has been very freeing for us.
‘It has allowed us to spend every day together as a family and really nourish those relationships that mean the most. Our stress levels have severely decreased since we are able to work jobs that are not as hectic and pressuring on us.
‘Of course, living in a small space with two grown adults, a toddler, and two dogs can get a little crowded at times. That is the perfect excuse to get outside which was one of the reasons we wanted to go tiny anyways.’
Eat your heart out, fellow travellers: A fitted kitchen – complete with sink and oven – allows the couple to cook together
The helm: The couple are regularly at the steering wheel and driving seat (left), while the vehicle’s name is written on the fridge
The adventurous couple also had a message for anyone thinking of following their example and taking their life on the road. We want to be the change and inspire others to live, added Tamra.
She said: ‘The best advice I could give anyone considering this lifestyle is to sit down, write down your needs, draw and redraw. Once you think you have a good plan, go inside your bus and tape the plan on the floor.
‘Then walk around your space and think about how it would be to use the area, does it work?
‘I think if you spend the time and really think about what you need out of the space and optimize the functionality to the best of your knowledge that anyone can have a successful venture to bus life.’
Proud of their hard work! JT (pictured) is seen showing off the overhauled bus at a house show in Dallas, Texas
Clever: Keen to maximise space, the dashboard is packed with mint, citronella and aloe plants for medicinal use