In January of 2018 my family and I headed off to camp at Hillsborough River State Park near Tampa Florida for my daughter birthday. This also happens to be the park where I asked my wife to marry me.
On this trip we had the privilege of meeting the Smiths!
Blake and Lindsay with the help of their children Sawyer, Oona, and Mavi converted this 1996 Thomas International School Bus into their new home.
On a walk around the campground loop with my wife, daughter, and grandson we met Blake and Sawyer out riding his bike getting some practice before a second attempt at removing his training wheels. As kids often do my grandson was instantly drawn to someone closer to his own height and began following his newly found friend around.
This gave me some time to talk to Blake. He told me that his family own the School bus.
Now I had noticed the school bus on the loop the second we pulled in, how could you not. School buses converted into motor homes are not that uncommon, as the size and structure lends it self to easily house all the proper amenities.
What is a little more uncommon is the fact that the bus was not their home away from home it is their actual home.
Blake explained that the couple just wanted a simpler life, one that focused more on enjoying time with their children and having experiences as a family. To do this they would need to let go of a lot of “Stuff”. Declutter their life so they can focus on what truly matters, Family.
I got an opportunity to get on the family’s bus, named “The Fair Warrior” . The name actually comes from the meaning of their first daughters name Finley who tragically passed away at just 2 weeks old.
Once on the bus I was very surprised how much like a home it actually felt. Blake and Lindsay showed me around as any proud homeowner would. It had all the basics, Kitchen, bath, toilet, master bedroom, bunk beds and a great open living room area. It was hard to believe that what was once just some old brown green bench seats that carried kids back and forth to school is now all of this!
I can truly tell you that this family had a closeness that I can’t explain with words. Letting go of the 9-5 work day, stress, mortgage payments, car payments... really changes the family dynamic.
The family is doing volunteer work at the park. This allows them to stay and enjoy this life they have created with each other. Once the work here is done they will find another place to volunteer and travel. I wish them all the best and I am truly blessed for having the opportunity to meet them.
How many times do you meet people who are actually living out their dream?