Aaron and Lorena wanted to leave the chilly winters of Boston and ended up down the bus life rabbit hole on Instagram dreaming of a different lifestyle. When they found an already-converted Greyhound bus for sale, they jumped at the opportunity.
They did tons of renovations on the bus to make it match their style and lifestyle, and the result is stunning! During their travels, the couple crafts all kinds of things in their dedicated creative space. They shared their awesome story below. Enjoy!
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Fighting Lupus & Loving Life in Bus Conversion
We are Aaron and Lorena and we live full time in a 1975 MCI (old Greyhound) bus we call CraftsAndTravels.
During the pandemic we lived in Boston, which turned out to be too cold for us. At night, we used to snuggle up watching Instagram videos and we were surprised and intrigued about people living in tiny homes and remodeled vehicles. We thought it was a great idea and we were sure we could make that work.
We found our bus!! It served as a Greyhound bus for a while, got bought by a couple who remodeled it, used it for a few years and sold it to us for $29,000. They did an amazing work converting it, but it was dated and not our style. We wanted to make it our own.
We sold almost everything, moved to Seattle and got the bus. We are a great team so we got to work; Lorena made the designs, painted the inside of the bus, did all the wood staining and treatment, sewed curtains, sofa, headboard and pillows and Aaron took care of all the carpentry, plumbing, electric, installing and mechanic part. Including new solar panels, composting toilet, new gray water tank, we have spent about $20,000 more remodeling it.
We have done everything ourselves so we have learned a LOT, sometimes by trial and error lol. Also, we did not wait for it to be completely finished to start our nomad life. Since we started traveling, sometime in November 2021, we have visited 24 states, 6 National Parks and too many state parks and beaches to count.
We are lucky to live in an MCI; they are designed for the road, they have plenty of storage space under the bus, the ride is smooth and they are 1 foot wider than regular buses. Inside the bus we have a very practical design that allows us to have a full shower, vanity, dinette, kitchen counters and basically every creature’s comfort, including a craft station for Lorena’s sewing and art projects AND a cat station/litter box for the kitty.
It helps, when you have small spaces, to keep everything organized and have multi purpose spaces: i.e. the dinette turns into a twin bed/additional couch and inside the boxes we can store things. But MOST OF ALL, you have to get along and enjoy spending time with your partner.
The pros are so many!! If you remodel yourself you learn a lot. You get to take your house and pets everywhere you go!! You can wake up in so many different scenarios and if you are like us, we are always chasing fair weather. It’s fun, it’s exciting, the nomad community is so open, warm and welcoming we have made great friends. You learn to live simple and enjoy the beauty of nature and the basic things.
The cons… (I’m thinking lol) our bus is 40 ft long, so sometimes it’s hard to find spaces to park or we are limited to enter certain places. Gas/diesel prices have gone up so traveling can get expensive. It can be challenging to find reputable places to give the bus maintenance. If you get too excited traveling, it can take a toll on you, so it’s always good to find the balance for you.
Would we do anything differently? I think maybe leave certain tasks to the professionals, pace our travels better and starting this lifestyle sooner!!
Why CraftsAndTravels? Well, we obviously LOVE to travel and we are quite crafty people. We do our laundry soap, cheese, jelly, soap bars, sewing, painting, crochet, embroidery, almond milk… let’s put it this way if it can be done at home, we do it! Feel free to contact us if you want any of our recipes; we love to share the knowledge.
We both are in our early 50s. Aaron is CTO of his company. He is a fungi enthusiast, LOVES nature and outdoor activities. He is the motor of the equation. Lorena (former artist and psychologist) sells “Land of Legends” top rated Honduran Coffee. If you see us, come try our coffee! We guarantee it will be the BEST coffee you’ve ever tried! Lorena is the heart of the equation, as most Latinas, loves to dance, cook, sing and enjoy life with passion.
Not everything is perfect; two years ago Lorena’s lupus came back strong and damaged her liver. Since then she has been in chemotherapy and, every now and then, dealing with flare ups and pains of this disease; more reasons to live this wonderful adventure!
So if you are thinking it can’t be done, you’re wrong!! When you feel the worst; frustrated, sad or in pain, waking up to a beautiful sunrise, listening to the forest or watching the stars at night might be the emotional help you need.
Our motto: “Life is the experiences you have. So we are LIVING as much as we can.”
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Our big thanks to Aaron & Lorena for sharing! 🙏
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