In March 2015, Patrick Schmidt, 29, picked up a 1990 school bus in Long Beach California. The blue bus, which he named “Big Blue,” had the perfect built-in gear and roof rack with stairs, and it drove smooth. The interior, however, was about to look a whole lot different.
Patrick drove Big Blue to Vegas where his parents live. He and his father started converting the former Catholic school bus into an 189-square-oot retro motor home. “My dad and I did all the work ourselves, sourcing mainly Home Depot and Amazon.” Patrick wrote on his blog. his mom was also there every step of the way, making sure the two of them were fed and hydrated during their work.
Three months later, Big Blue’s interior was completely removed and refurnished. There’s a bedroom, toilet, kitchen seating, air conditioning, LED lighting, water and heating, solar power and more.
Since August 2015, Patrick has covered almost 10,000 miles across the United States, from Las Vegas to New York. He celebrated in Rhode Island, making the last of the 50 states he wanted to visit. Now, his home is a driveway at a house in Ocala, Florida.
“Living on the bus has been exactly what I was looking for,” Patrick says. “During the road trip portion, I hand washed most of my laundry. I listened to more music, and wrote more than ever in my life. I went wine tasting in the hills of Santa Barbara, hiked in the Rocky Mountains, met friends in Boston and ate home-made pizza, drank local beer, jammed out to Tom Petty at the Niagara Falls with my best friend. I met moms, dads, brothers, old people, young people. Students, teachers, construction workers, bus drivers. You name it. People from all walks of life, in some of the coolest places America has to offer.”
“The scenery changes, but my home is always with me.”
If that doesn’t inspire you to take a road trip yourself, I don’t know what will.
Here are some images of the construction process.