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  • Writer's pictureAlino

She built a Conversion Bus at 18, the life of A Girl And Her Little Blue Bus.

Hello! My name is Lexis. I am a 21 year old girl with a passion to travel and explore new places. Upon graduating high school I knew I didn’t want to jump right into college. I was never into books, nor was I the type that wanted to sit and study in a class room. I didn’t even know what career I wanted to pursue. I felt that I could enjoy my life in a different way other than sitting in a classroom and if down the road I decided college was for me, then I would choose what I wanted to do and make a decision from there. ​ During my years of high school and after I traveled to all kinds of different places with my mom, whether it was a trip to an island or somewhere in the states, it was always a thrill to explore new places, meet new people, and see new things. Working five days a week and saving up my money allowed me to take my time in deciding what I wanted to do.

​ At the age of 18 and shortly after my first outdoor adventure with my mom, I realized my love for the freedom of being outdoors, camping, and the peaceful surroundings in all the various places I have gone. My mother and I used to camp with our 1965 Serro Scotty Hilander travel trailer. It was so much fun to take it out to campsites and set up and enjoy the camping experience. My mom wanted something that didn’t need to be towed so she decided she wanted to start a bus conversion. Watching my mother build and complete hers made me realize how nice it would be to have my own little home on wheels. ​ I was following others on Instagram for a while watching them travel the world in both vans and bus conversions. I was torn on wanting a van or wanting a bus because of the frequent weather changes my state has. Since we have long, cold winters I felt a bus would be my best choice because it allowed me to have more space since I would be inside more than outside for four to five months depending on how bad the winters were.

On February 6th 2017 (Age 18), after months of searching the web and local ads for the right vehicle and saving up my money, I found a little, pale blue, short bus with a ton of bus life potential. I contacted the seller immediately with my fingers crossed after I found the ad hoping that it was still available. After a few LONG hours of waiting for a reply, my phone lit up with a message from the seller telling me the bus was still available and if I was interested he would be around later that night to show the vehicle. My mother and I jumped in the car and drove out to the bus and took it for a test drive. After leaving the sellers house, I went home and thought about what I wanted to do.

The next day we went back, I paid for the bus myself and just like that, the little 1989 short bus was mine. ​ Since my mother already completed her shuttle bus conversion, and knew all the ins and outs to converting a bus into a tiny home, I asked her to teach me what to do and where to start. I never knew how to re-do a floor, build cabinets, hook up solar panels, inverters and deep cell batteries, or even wire anything together. It was all new to me and I’m so glad she had the knowledge, patience and interest to teach me. ​ My goal was that I wanted to be able to get in my bus and drive wherever and whenever I wanted to, and stop anytime, anywhere and be comfortable.

Being only 18 years old, I figured this would be the perfect opportunity to live and enjoy my life to the absolute fullest and it is even cooler that I get to take a lot of trips with my mother and her bus conversion all over the US. ​ I started my Instagram page as a journal to post pictures of my conversion progress, advice, travels, and of course a lot of my bus “ Lola “. It makes me so happy to see how far I’ve come in such a small amount of time. Learning new things, meeting new people, attending events, and enjoying every little bit of bus life. I never expected to gain a large following or to receive messages that I have inspired people both young and old from all over the world.

I also opened my own online Etsy business to be able to fund my travels and work on the road. ​ When I purchased “Lola” she was completely gutted. I decided on an interior layout that would best fit my living style. I wanted to be able to fit the most I could for the small amount of space I had to work with. Putting the bed in the middle allowed me to fit a bathroom in the far left corner and an end table with storage in the far right corner.

Putting the bed where I chose also gave me the option to not have the back door blocked. I wanted to be able to enter in and out of the back door, when parked to enjoy the scenic view of where-ever I was. ​ The bathroom has a combined toilet and a shower. The bathroom has a portable shower head, a drain in the floor, and hanging shower curtain that is stowed away when not in use for extra space utilization.

The shower was made to be used both on and off-grid. While on-grid I am able to hookup to a campsites water source, and off-gri-grid I use a portable pressurized shower called “Rinse Kit “.I didn’t want a huge bathroom because I saw that as being rather pointless for the amount of time one is really in the bathroom compared to the time spent in the rest of the bus. The whole object of having a tiny home is going tiny so a big bathroom wasn’t a need for me.

The bed is arranged so that during the day I am able to set up two couches and have maximum floor space available. At night the couches are made into a full size bed. ​ The dining area was kept simple, yet sweet for dinners, including two chairs and a slate tiled, round table. The curtains in the dining room are split into two, so that while eating at the table I am able to look outdoors to watch nature at its best. The kitchen, for cooking, I have a variety of on grid / off grid kitchen appliances. My appliances consist of a microwave, small Keurig, Gas-one Dual burner butane stove top, electric frying pan, pots & pans, Camp Chef Camp Oven and a mini fridge in the back of the bus.

I decorated my space with nothing but my own vision, which gave “Lola” character and made her so unique. I wanted my space to reflect me and what I loved and I’m so happy with the way she turned out. My style and choice of decorating was what I wanted in my tiny mobile home, and what I knew was going to make ME happy at the end of the day.

Fast forward to today, I am now 21 years old and loving everything I get to experience in my travels. Since my conversion is complete, my plan is to continue exploring and seeing new places, and also being able to share this journey with my mother and her bus conversion. I will be attending Tiny house festivals, Craft Fairs and other events across the US , along with sharing my travels with my followers to encourage more people to live their dreams. Hope to see you on the road!

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