This is our first full calendar year living on the bus and what a year it has been! Not only adapting to living in 80 square feet with each other but boxing ourselves in by insulating over all the bus windows last winter. We’ve learned so much this past year.
1. We’ve learned that we can stay warm and survive in crazy, cold weather in a bus.
We now know how to insulate the floor and walls of the bus to keep it cozy in here without extra heat even at freezing temperatures. With a heater it is still warm inside even at -20C.
2. We've learned that we actually get along great even in small spaces!
I think we are much closer and much more in tune with each other now than ever. We often joked about putting other couples we know in a tiny space like ours and imagined how it would turn out. We still think it would be a great comedy show. I'm not saying that we haven't had any difficulties but that we both agree that we've had a lot less problems than we imagined we would prior to moving on the bus.
3. We've learned that so much of what we thought we needed is just extra stuff.
Although I had learned most of this a few years ago while thruhiking it really didn't sink in until this year. At the beginning of last year while I was downsizing to live on the bus I was still searching for new matching items for the bus. Yes, it's nice but it is a luxury. It wasn't needed and if I could do it all over again I wouldn't spend so much time or money making everything perfect. In fact, we have downsized the number of items on our bus several times over the past year and a half eliminating most of my extra purchases from last year. Our stuff just isn't that important to us anymore.
4. We are now outsiders.
We live on the fringe of society stepping in only when we need something or to enjoy an evening with friends. Fairly early on this year Michael noticed how every time we were in a town or city people just scurried around like ants going through the same routine over and over again. From home to timmies to work to dinner to shop and then back home again only to repeat it the next day. I get his point we aren't scurrying around, we aren't in a place long enough to establish daily routines and other than a place to park the bus at night shopping malls are useless to us. We rarely eat out unless it's somewhere special. We don't feel obligated to try to fit fifty things into a day anymore. We move at a snails pace and enjoy every minute of it. Our life doesn't revolve around work or making money or shopping. We don't fit in anymore and that is a good thing!
5. No matter where we go we always find what we need.
It doesn't matter if we are in a remote area or a big city, it has been easy to find a place to park for the night, a great hang out spot during the day, amazing trails to hike with the dogs, gas, food, washrooms and showers. There is no need to worry about our needs being met. It's kind of been a huge life lesson because so much of our lives prior had been spent working overtime to make sure we had enough and here we are with the least we have ever had and yet everything we need is still available. And we are enjoying life more!
6. No matter where we go we meet interesting people who we would never have had the chance to meet living our former lifestyle.
Thinking back on this past year it's even hard for me to believe how may amazing, different people we met from all walks of life and how much we learned from them! It's funny we have traveled across the country and taken advantage of the free national park pass this year stopping any so many parks, historic sites and museums but we have probably learned more about local history, geography and culture from the locals we met along the way. People everywhere are so friendly When they find out we are crossing the country they always take the time to tell us of the local places to check out, local folklore and even warnings of things not to do. We have enjoyed all of the people we met and Michael has had fun turning their stories into tales of epic proportions.