In 2015 Patrick Schmidt wanted to escape the rat race, and he had a plan to downsize his life. After selling his car, ditching his apartment and quitting his job, he set out on a new path. It came in the form of an old school bus, which became his new tiny home on wheels to take him on adventures across the United States.
Schmidt knew his dad struggled to keep himself busy, and in quiet times tended to sink into depression. So, to occupy his time, the adventurer invited his father to help him renovate the pale blue school bus. Schmidt bought the bus for $4,500, and spent a further $9,000 on the refit project, which took him and his dad three months to finish.
With his dad’s help, Schmidt stripped almost all of the interior. They fixed the bus up with electrics and plumbing, and laid a solid wood floor. Using supplies mostly sourced from Amazon and Home Depot, they built a couch and bed frame, small kitchen area and bathroom, all incorporating clever hidden storage. There’s even a wood-burning fire and roof deck.
The day the bus conversion was finished, Schmidt set off on his travels. He went on to discover America, and covered nearly 10,000 miles across 30 states on his initial trip. And the frugal traveler has since managed to stop off in all 50 states, writing about his experiences on his SkoolieLove blog. However, as fulfilling as his new life was, on his first adventure Schmidt felt there was something missing.
Traveling solo, Schmidt had a lot of time to think and reflect. He realized he was missing the love of his life, his ex-girlfriend Mary. So he wrote her a letter, which was actually about the length of a novel. Whatever his words were, they made an impact: she moved into the bus in September 2017, and the couple married eight months later.