ONE couple cunningly transformed a dilapidated bus into a “tiny” but totally comfortable home – and, with their rent costs halved, they gained the freedom to spend more of their lives on the road.
During a several-month stint of traveling through Europe, 33-year-old Ailsa Gardner and her partner Paul saw an ad for their dream home – a bus they adopted and called ‘Otto’.
As soon as they’d spotted the classic American school bus, it had been love at first sight – and when they saw he hadn’t been “snapped up”, they made a beeline back to the UK to start their new life.
We haven’t done this because we have no other options,” Ailsa was quick to add in conversation with The Mirror.
“We’ve done it because it’s a better way of life… we’ve lived in penthouse apartments in Melbourne and city centre flats in Liverpool and are happiest living on the bus with our dogs.”
Before bus life beckoned, they had been “spending silly amounts of money living in rented apartments in city centres”, meaning that “huge portions of their wages” were spent on paying the bills.
Taking on the motto “Home is where you’re parked”, they ripped out the original seats and embarked on a new journey – just them and the open road.
Incredibly, self-taught Paul learnt how to do the plumbing, electrics and the conversion itself after simply watching videos on the internet – and in less than three months, their new home was born.
That marked the end of a stint living in another bus under a bridge by the motorway in the North West of England – and Otto proved to be far more of a good choice.
The wanderlust-prone couple didn’t struggle for mod-cons, either – after weeks of working on their new dream home, it was complete with hot running water, a fridge and stove, cosy wood-burners, a washing machine – and a flat-screen TV – not that they’d have much time to watch it, as travelling beckoned.
However after over a year “creating the best life” off grid, it has now come full circle.
Talking on the couple’s Instagram page, Ailsa revealed that they have decided to share Otto with others so that they can enjoy him too – whether it’s a temporary measure or becomes full-time.
“We are offering aspiring van lifers a chance to give it a go before taking the plunge by staying in Hank at the beautiful @bertskg here on the Llyn Peninsula,” she revealed.
“Hopefully Hank inspires a few of his guests to go for it and enjoy everything van life has to offer, and if not, at least you get to enjoy the beautiful views!”
In other transformation news, one man completely renovates a run-own house with amazing results.
Meanwhile this woman revamped a rubbish-filled garden.
Plus a woman completely transformed her boring fireplace with the use of a stencil.