Living five people in a 250 square foot bus, it is safe to say Byers Without Borders is not taking up too much room. In fact, it often feels like we’re training the kids for a future in the submarine corps or as the next occupants of the space station. They even refer to their bunks as sleep pods. Hey NASA how about a couple of space camp scholarships? Or some T-shirts? Just none of that flavored styrofoam you’re calling dehydrated ice cream, please.
What’s it like living like this? If you look to the internet to understand life in a skoolie you’ll mostly find Kondo-inspired posts shaming you out of your collection of concert T’s or countless blogs devoted to making your tiny home look like an IKEA fallout shelter. According to the web, living in a bus will make your life a series #nofilter-moments taking you ever closer to parental nirvana.
The truth is you’ll likely arrive at every destination reeking of exhaust, there will always be a line of people at the shoe cabinet, during winter the walls will weep with condensation and during the summer you’ll roast in your tin-box house. These websites never mention that “free-wifi” means sharing a trickle of bandwidth with foil-hat alien enthusiasts trying to upload their latest online seminar about the panspermic roots of octopus intelligence.
The blogs never mention that your sex life will revert back all the way to high school and those hushed, under-the-blanket encounters when your pants acted as a pair of ankle cuffs. With little headroom and no stabilizers, skoolie sex is like a diabetic dessert, a reminder of how much you miss the real thing.
Life in a skoolie is hard!
But it is also one of our most fun and exciting adventure-experiments yet. The tiny space can be a source of frustration, but oddly it is also one of the bonuses of the bus. Our bus has become a cozy little burrow. Maybe its an evolutionary remnant buried in our limbic systems. But don’t we feel more at ease, comfortable and safe in small cozy spaces? Has there ever been a refrigerator box that didn’t spend the week of glory as a kids plaything? Animals make dens, kids build forts, and Byers Without Borders burrow in a bus.
Watch a typical Saturday morning on the bus.