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How a Trip to Iceland Inspired Their Skoolie Life

This couple ran into a coffee shop in skoolie while traveling in Iceland, and that sparked something inside of them. Before they knew it, they converted their own short bus, so they could hit the road.

Their bold blue bus has a cozy interior, with dark wood and paint, that makes it feel like a comfortable den. They have a nifty collage table, a comfortable bed at the back of the bus, and a slide-out chest fridge. Read their story in their own words below.

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Their Short Bus with Cool Collage Table

Tiny living was always an interest for both of us. We love container homes and wanted to build one for years (we still will someday).

The pandemic came along and like so many others, we really struggled to find what was truly important in life. We knew we needed to make some changes for our mental health.

Marcelo was a professional skateboarder and never had a “regular 9-5” he was always telling me to just quit my job! I could never imagine how that would be possible, though.

In August of 2021 we went to Iceland and absolutely fell in love with the landscape, the people, and the the slower way of living.

We met the owner of Skool Beans, a skoolie turned coffee shop and our love for school buses was born. We didn’t realize it at the time, and still considered van life for several months, but as the next 9 months unfolded we found our way back to the skoolie community and it just felt like the right fit.

We bought our bus in Texas on May 15th 2022, and spent the next 6 months building. We built full time, just the two of us, all day everyday. Youtube videos for breakfast and then battling the Summer heat all day.

Tiny living has made us both more confident. We know we can do hard things, and we can work through hard things together.

We learned a ton of new skills throughout the process, and we are still learning every day. I always knew there had to be a better way to live, and now I actually believe it. I’m proud to be part of the nomadic community.

The hardest part of tiny living for us is the fact that our vehicle is our home and our home is our vehicle. Quick trips aren’t so quick. This rig is meant for the slow life, and sometimes you just want to run to the store for butter.

If we need any mechanical work done on our engine, we are also left without our home temporarily. It’s a little tricky, and the reason so many people have dirt bikes, or tow a car – something we will be considering in the near future!

The most rewarding part of tiny living is knowing we are doing what’s right for us and making a positive impact on the planet. Yes – we drive a vehicle, but we are always leaving places better than we found them, conserving water, and not wasting food. Everyday feels like a win!

I think the advice is always the same – if you are thinking about going tiny – JUST DO IT! If you are considering it at all, you have a genuine interest and you should explore it. It’s hard, but if you want to make it work, you can.

Worst case scenario is that you realize it’s not for you and you go back to living your traditional life, but at least you tried it, and I guarantee you learned some valuable lessons along the way.

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Our big thanks to Salina for sharing! 🙏

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Natalie C. McKee

Natalie C. McKee is a contributor for Tiny House Talk and the Tiny House Newsletter. She's a wife, and mama of three little kids. She and her family are homesteaders with sheep, goats, chickens, ducks and quail on their happy little acre.

Latest posts by Natalie C. McKee (see all)

{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Liz
    January 30, 2023, 11:08 pm

    You have a really nice home. Looks cozy. Get yourselves one of those tiny cars (the Cube) to tow behind. We lived in a diesel pusher and had to have a car with us. Much easier than having to pack things up for a trip to the grocery store. An emergency can be an issue if you need to get help fast. Blah, blah, blah. 🙂

  • W
    January 31, 2023, 11:50 am

    From what I understand of Texas climate, maybe working in the
    morning and saving the afternoon for shopping runs and utube might have worked better, but of course, I wasn’t there.

  • Norrie
    February 15, 2023, 3:23 pm

    Hi. I admire your making the move. When you say you found the Skoolie community, what is that actually like? Is it a group that communes together, traveling together, or was it more of a general online community? I think I would like to be part of a traveling group at times. I’m an 65yr old single woman and just starting to plan a van life for myself and my tiny dog. Also, can you tell me anything about how some people are able to travel from country to country in their vans or busses? Surely they aren’t paying to have their rigs shipped all over? Thanks for any info.

    • Salina
      April 16, 2023, 12:34 pm

      Hi Norrie,
      I’m just realizing there were comments and questions here. The community is mostly an online one, but we have regular meetups, and often caravan to a new location together. We just had the best 6 weeks in Baja meeting up with nomads all along our route. As far as traveling overseas- everyone really does ship their rig! Seems crazy, but it’s actually not that expensive.

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