The Lills Skoolie Story (@thelillslife)
Very soon after we launched National Skoolie Association on Instagram, we connected with The Lills, an incredible skoolie / bus life couple, who are all about helping the community. They built us this amazing website and they are helping skoolie people turn their adventures into successful brands.
Their story begins with an act of courageousness. After being displaced by Hurricane Matthew in 2016, they jumped in their 1978 VW bus (with $3,000 to their name and just a few belongings) and took a leap of faith. With no planning involved, they simply drove into the unknown! Crazy, right? See their video from the first year on the road in their VW bus, in this post.
What could have been a 2 week road trip, turned into a 2+ year adventure in their 80 square foot VW bus! Not knowing what tomorrow would bring became an exciting experience to The Lills. They learned how to get creative to keep traveling and they even traded their web & graphic design skills to stay in beautiful places along the way. They went through so many ups and downs, while traveling the U.S. with their dog and cat, but ultimately, they couldn’t see living any other way. As they put it, “our simple life with big adventures has resulted in a more meaningful and purposeful life”.
They had an incredible adventure that has inspired so many people and their story doesn’t end there. The most amazing part of their journey is what happened next: the rescue and conversion of a vintage 1961 GM metro bus.
While on the road in 2019, The Lills were guided to a 1961 GM New Look / Fishbowl transit bus, sitting in the New Mexico desert. It had sat in the same spot for 10 years, just waiting to be found. Incredibly, the previous owners of the bus were happy to trade them the vehicle for custom web & graphic design for their small business. The Lills spent over 2 weeks in the desert, working on getting their bus running.
The Lills have been going the distance to bring their vintage transit bus back to life and it’s been too cool to watch the transformation! We can’t wait to see what happens next!
The Lills Q&A
What’s your Skoolie’s Year, Make & Model?: 1961 GM New Look / Fishbowl
What’s your Skoolie’s name?: After experiencing a freedom like no other on the road in our ’78 VW bus, we decided to name our big GM transit bus Freedom.
Why did you choose Skoolie Life?: The two of us were displaced from our home by a hurricane in 2016, so we jumped in our VW bus and took our life and work on the road. After 2+ years of travel, we dreamed of just a bit more space to grow our family and continue our simple life with big adventures!
Did you convert your Skoolie?: We’re in the process of converting our 40 foot vintage bus as we speak! We’ve learned so many new skills, how to use tools we’ve never touched before and it’s amazing to stand back and look at what we’ve accomplished!
How long have you been experiencing Skoolie Life?: We lived and traveled in our VW bus for almost 3 years and we’ve been working slowly, but diligently, on our bigger GM bus for 2 years. We believe in taking our time and doing the jobs right, when it comes to our bus conversion. It’s exciting to picture what life will be like soon!
Do you have kids on board?: Not yet. We’re so excited to grow as a family, once our build is complete! To be able to guide a child through life, non-traditionally, and show them a variety of different perspectives through travel, to be able to live, work and grow as a true family unit – this our next big dream.
Do you have Skoolie pets?: Yes! Sunday, our dog, and Squishy, our cat. They’ve been traveling with us for years!
Best part of Skoolie Life?: There are so many best parts. To be able to continue on our path of learning through living, removing distractions, collecting memories together, owning our own home (that can be stationary or move) and inspiring others to see the beauty in simple living is priceless. To connect with like-minded people and nomads, who together have created a community that is growing each and every day and to be part of something bigger than ourselves is a gift.
Toughest part of Skoolie Life?: When it comes to building a bus into a home, there are so many tough decisions to make regarding the structure, the paint scheme, the floor plan…the list is soooo long and every choice we make is going to play a part in our future experiences. The time it has taken us to just take care of the exterior of our vintage bus is incredible and we have had to learn a greater patience and really enjoy the journey. The tougher the challenges we have been given, the greater the growth there has been.
What do you hope to gain from Skoolie Life?: Our goal is to build a life/work, work/life, all under the roof of our bus and to inspire as many people as we can to see the beauty in simple living.
@TheLillsLife on Instagram
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It was the first time since New Mexico that our furbabies got to see their future home. Squishy Cat and our dog, Sunday, were happy to get to check out all of the progress we've made! It was fun to picture what life will be like with them and the bus someday soon! #gmbus #furbabies #buscat #travelcat #traveldog #newlookbus #adventuremobile #fishbowlbus #skoolie #busconversion #tinyhouseonwheels #tinyhome #skoolieconversion #buslife #skoolielife #transitbus #skoolie #homeiswhereyouparkit #travelcouple #tinyhouse #tinyhomeonwheels #skoolielife #creativetravelcouples #futurehome #tinyliving #simplelife
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.