SO we have been in the bus for about a month now... actually I think a bit more than a month. We have dealt with snow, freezing weather, mechanical issues, frozen pipes, wild life, carbon monoxide, and one very terrible sewer emergency. Its been a month of highs and lows and I thought I would try to sum it all up for you here.
The Highs: We are in the bus and have successfully been in the bus for a month which for all the work we have put in and questions we have had with getting here that alone is a huge accomplishment! Camping has worked out actually smoother than we thought it would. We hadn't actually tested out our camping in state parks theory but a month in and we are still going strong! Ben's commute to work has been cut in half... this was one of our main goals for the bus and it has been nice seeing more of him and being together as a family. We have also managed to stay within our budget which has been pretty awesome and allowed us to continue in this lifestyle.
Another awesome part of this month has just been Jessamyn and her amazing adjustment to the bus. I feel like she has really adapted to life on the move and is developmentally making huge leaps as she explores more outside and creates her own bus routine. As the weather warms up I am excited to explore more with her and just enjoy this unique lifestyle we have with the bus.
One of the best absolute best parts of living in the bus is the ever changing scenery and proximity to wildlife. I can't tell you how much better just my heart and overall energy has been being this close to nature and living in such a quieter way, its more than I could have anticipated with moving into the bus.
The Lows: The day we moved in was freezing... literally freezing I have never been so cold in my life. We didn't really have the stove going or heaters in yet and basically spent a couple cold days learning to adapt and make the bus warmer... I would be lying if I said it was anything but miserable. The good news is we survived and have a very cozy bus now that can handle freezing weather. We also experienced several small mechanical issues this month, one that left us stranded on the side of the road while we were driving to a site to boondock for the night. It was a really rough 24 hours basically all spent driving around in an overheating bus stressed out of our minds. We were able to get it fixed though for a really reasonable price and since then have had no issues. Lastly oner major low that we are working on is a lack of hot water in the bus. We do have water but only cold so doing dishes requires heating water up on the stove which honestly is a nuisance. The truth is it is working so I really can't complain but one of our goals for the next month or two is to get a hot water heater installed because it would literally completely change the way we do dishes.
Other than that things have been pretty good, we did set the carbon monoxide detector off again but have cooked in the oven since then with no issues so I am at a complete loss as to what is going on. Oh and I almost forgot!!! We did have one huge composting toilet disaster where somehow the pee all leaked into the poop side and basically we had to remove and take apart the whole toilet... it was the most disgusting thing ever but we got it figured out, fixed, and haven't had any problems since!
So we keep going, we keep moving forward, dreaming of warmer weather and new views. We are planning on installing a hot water heater, downsizing a bit more to make moving from place to place more efficient, and finding new places to boondock! We definitely have faced a few challenges this month but all in all wouldn't change this experience for anything. Bus life is not always beautiful, not always easy, and definitely not glamorous... but it has its beautiful moments and someday when we look back on this I hope we will have a stockpile of beautiful memories and the satisfaction of knowing we tried, we lived this dream for what it was because really that is all you can do.