Roaming Wilsons Skoolie Story (@roamingwilsons)
Thomas, Kelly and their dog, Ayva, have been living full-time in their self-converted skoolie for almost a year and a half now. About two and a half years ago they decided to take a nerve-racking (and exciting) leap and bought a 38ft bus. They had no experience in building/converting and they had never set foot in an RV, but they were all in and ready to make their dream of traveling and living life differently, a reality. It took them 1 year to convert their bus, working mainly on the weekends. It took a lot of research and trial and error, but they did it! When the bus was ready, they left their 8-5 jobs and started traveling full-time. Since living in their skoolie, they have been able to take travel occupational therapy and social work contracts for work when they need to. Kelly will soon be providing telehealth part-time from the road and they have continued to be creative and adapt, in order to make sure they can continue living the skoolie life!
There isn’t one thing that led to them living the skoolie life, but the main goal for them, was to get out of the “rat race” they were in and focus on gaining experiences, not stuff. They both love being outside, trying new things, and hiking and they knew that they wanted to get out and explore as much as they could together. So far, they have traveled to 5 provinces in Canada, 25 states, and lots of National Parks. Living life on the road hasn’t always easy, but it has been all that they hoped it would be (and so much more). One of the most unexpected aspects of skoolie life has been the amazing people, and now friends, they have met on the road or via social media. They value these new connections/relationships with fellow nomads so much!
Recently, they have been staying in Arkansas, where they have been working and spending much needed time with family and friends. Towards the end of this year, they have exciting plans and will be heading to Taos, New Mexico to ski!
Roaming Wilsons Q&A
What your Skoolie’s Year, Make & Model?: 2001 International Am Tran with a DT466 engine
What’s your Skoolie’s name?: N/A
Why did you choose Skoolie Life?: There were a lot of variables in choosing skoolie life but ultimately, we wanted to challenge ourselves and get out of the cycle we were in. We had always had the desire to travel and explore new places and when we learned about skoolies, everything was set in motion.
Did you convert your Skoolie?: We did the conversion ourselves, with the help of family for our electrical/solar. We relied on fellow skoolies, research, and Youtube (a lot of Youtube), in order to learn how to do our electrical, plumbing, propane, etc. There was a lot of trial and error as we built, but it means so much to us that we were able to build it on our own!
How long have you been experienced Skoolie Life?: We have been living in the bus since July 1, 2019- so almost a year and a half!
Do you have kids on board?: No.
Do you have Skoolie pets?: Yep. We have 1 dog on the bus. She is a yorkie/miniature schnauzer and her name is Ayva. She plays a huge part in skoolie life. We love having her company while on the road and she loves being with us 24/7. Ayva has gotten to experience lots of new things since living in the skoolie (her favorite being the beach) and she seems so much happier than when we worked our 8-5 jobs.
Best part of Skoolie Life?: Traveling and getting to experience new places together has been our favorite part but a close second is the amazing people, and now friends, we have met while on the road.
Toughest part of Skoolie Life?: The toughest part of our skoolie experience has been being away from friends and family. Another tough part of the skoolie experience has been the size of our bus and the added stress this can add at times (parking, exploring parks, etc).
What do you hope to gain from Skoolie Life?: We hope to continue to learn and grow as people, to see/experience as much of the world as we can, and to continue to meet new people and connect with others.
@RoamingWilsons on Instagram
At National Skoolie Association, it is our mission to connect you with the most inspiring skoolie enthusiasts and owners. We want those of you who are dreaming of this lifestyle to be encouraged to pursue your Skoolie Life and we want to connect all of the wonderful people who are already part of this amazing community.