Since We Woke Up Skoolie Story (@sincewewokeup)
Their story is a familiar one in the skoolie community – they had a regular “adult life” with the house and the cars and a business and the kids that they sent off to school every morning, and it just didn’t seem to fit them. Instead, they felt trapped in it. Every day was the same. They felt like the kids were growing up in front of them and they only got to connect with them briefly after school and before bed. The business that they’d built required long hours and a lot of energy. The “things” they had worked so hard to have came with a lot of debt. One day, they had just had enough.
During the fall of 2016, when the presidential election was ramping up, they decided to leave the country and gain some perspective. During that two weeks (in Rome) they realized what they were missing – “la dolce vita”, the Italians call it. The sweet life, where your priorities and focus are on the beautiful parts of life that truly matter.
When they got home, they started looking at what truly mattered to them. They knew they wanted more time with the kids and more of a hand in their education and who they were becoming. They wanted less debt and attachment to material possessions and more lived experiences. And they wanted a life where they could choose what each day looked like.
It took them a few years, but in May 2018 they bought their bus. Over the course of the next year, they sold their home, business, cars, and almost all their possessions, while they converted the bus into their new home. It wasn’t easy – they had setbacks, came near bankruptcy when the sale of their house fell through at the last minute, and spent 15 hour days some weeks to make sure everything stayed juggled while they worked. But exactly a year later, in May 2019, they officially moved into Oliver and they haven’t looked back.
Today, their life feels pretty sweet. The kids are homeschooled and spending time with them every day, watching them learn, getting to hear their thoughts and observations through the day and see first-hand, the people they are becoming is just amazing to them. They spend their mornings working remotely, while the kids complete their school work, then, they devote the rest of the day to whatever activities are calling them.
They share custody of the kiddos with their Dad, so they spend part of our time parked at his house, where they all get to be together, eating dinners and watching TV in the evenings. The other part of the time, they travel – sometimes with the kids and sometimes without, depending on their wants. Sometimes they enjoy traveling and sometimes they want to stay home with Dad. It’s a pretty awesome arrangement and one they’re super grateful for.
Getting to this point wasn’t easy, but it was worth every part of the journey that was tedious. Skoolie life has offered them everything they wanted – a life built around shared experiences, more time with their kids, the luxury of travel and adventure in their own little safe haven on wheels.
Since We Woke Up Q&A
What your Skoolie’s Year, Make & Model?: 2004 International RE
What’s your Skoolie’s name?: Oliver
Why did you choose Skoolie Life?: We owned a business and a big house and thought we were doing the whole “adulting” thing right, but we felt so trapped by it. We wanted to travel and spend more time with our kids – basically, we realized our priorities were backwards and bus life seemed like a good way to realign them.
Did you convert your Skoolie?: Yes.
How long have you been experienced Skoolie Life?: Since May of 2019
Do you have kids on board?: We have two teens, 16 and 14, who live with us part-time on the bus. We share custody with their father, so we spend part of our time parked so we can all be together and the other part traveling, sometimes with them when they want to come and sometimes just the two of us alone while they spend time with Dad.
Do you have Skoolie pets?: We have a Great Dane named Apollo who lives with us, and he’s the perfect skoolie dog – he sleeps all day but loves to get out and run when we’re off-grid!
Best part of Skoolie Life?: Being together all the time. It’s exactly what we wanted and hoped it would be. We spend all day with the kiddos, homeschooling while we work remotely, laughing and cooking and enjoying our time together whether we’re parked or traveling. Getting to be with the kids every day as they grow into adults instead of being away from them all day and only being together at night has been the biggest reward of skoolie life.
Toughest part of Skoolie Life?: Not traveling as much as we’d like. We stay parked more often than we’d originally planned since we share custody, and 2020 has presented its own travel challenges with Covid and personal health issues.
What do you hope to gain from Skoolie Life?: Exactly what we have – more time together, no more debt, and a life where we can prioritize what truly matters over the material things that made us feel trapped.
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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.