Posted on : 4:26 PM | By : Nic | In : alternative housing , bus conversion , goals , life , sustainability , voluntary simplicity
There was a time when I lived in a 1500 square foot condo on a golf course. It had a very big kitchen with nice cabinets. We also drove this car:
It was a nice car with all the features, and the best fuel economy ever. We worked hard, had nice things, and even though we had a lot of debt, we had fun times as a family and seemed to be achieving 'the dream'. I wasn't too attached to these things, but they were nice to have. I planned to buy a farm somewhere and retire.
I am telling you this because we are embarking on a journey that will completely change our life and how we live in radical ways. We will be moving into our bus in the next two days, but The Albatross will not be finished. The bus is parked on a farm, and it will only have an insulated plywood floor. We will put our beds on it, and we will set up an outdoor kitchen and we will camp while we finish putting our steampunk home together.
At some point after we left our condo, I started living my life backwards. I started living is if I am an old woman looking back at my own life giving myself advice on what I would regret. Will old woman Nicole regret leaving behind the condo and the BMW? Of course not. Would the elderly me regret not spending more time with my family? Would I regret not going more places, seeing more things, eating healthier, giving more, being more, living more? Yes!
I don't want anyone to think this happened overnight. This involved a series of unfortunate events, and two years of hard work to get out of debt, move into a more modest rental home, exchange our bimmer for a used minivan, and save the money to buy our bus and bring it home. Last night we were talking and we realized we have lost track of exactly how much we have spent on this project, but it must be over $10,000 now. We estimate that when we are finished it will have taken about $20,000, but its value will be at least double that. Don't think it's cheap to convert a bus (although maybe it is if you're not doing it right). In our minds, however, the value will be in the experience and the fun of designing something so unique ourselves. I'm not sure how long we'll live in the Albatross, or if we'll even travel all that much except for in the summer. We love our island and British Columbia is indeed the best place on earth.
I will be posting more videos soon as progress is made and I will show you my outdoor kitchen when it is set up. I also did a footprint calculator for how we live today to compare when we move.
Through our efforts the past year we currently use 38.42 global acres which means if everyone lived like us, we would only need 1 earth (which would mean we would all be sustainable). The average is almost double that. This means that we eat very little meat, have one vehicle, never buy new stuff, buy local food as much as possible, etc. etc. I haven't always gotten this result, and I think it fluctuates, but we're doing pretty well since most people live as if there are 1.5 earths to live on. In the bus we reduce our footprint to about 30.9 acres, and if everyone lived like us we would only need .8 earths. To me, this seems like a win-win. We get to have fun living in a bus, the natural world benefits, and third world benefits because we are not using them for our life of luxury.
Here we go!