Have you ever wondered what it might be like to pack up your belongings and live life from the inside of a vehicle? Ditching the 9–5 lifestyle can sound both great and unrealistic at the same time. That’s why when TreeEra came across Ben and Mande Tucker (and their pup, Penny!), we felt inspired by their adventure. They have perfectly embraced this on-the-go lifestyle with the coolest adventure-mobile — Fern the Bus. We got to ask them a couple of questions that so many of us were itching to know about life on the road:
What made you decide to take life on the road?
Our daily lives became too habitual. Routine set in as we strove for the perceived security of a financial foothold. Time began whirring past in indistinct and unmemorable time. Taking life on the road is our way of breaking out of those habits and shifting momentum in a new direction. Comfort can lead to complacency, but adventure is deliberate. We want the road to heighten our awareness and offer more vivid and memorable experiences. Our favorite aspect of being on the road and living in the bus is meeting people we wouldn’t have the opportunity to get to know otherwise. The bus is unique enough that people are drawn to approach it, pop their head in to say hello and chat for a while. People everywhere have been warm and kind and hospitable. We’re so refreshed and optimistic because of the people!
What have been some of the unforeseen challenges of living in such a small space, constantly on the go?
In a small space, you’re more tuned in with nature. We adapt to the natural rhythms of day and night and the mood of the weather. Living in our bus, we’re a bit more impacted by the rainstorms and wind gusts, the heat waves and cold snaps. For the most part, this is an absolutely positive thing. However, when it’s rainy for long periods, everything can become damp and we find ourselves confined inside, longing to roll the windows down and let the breeze roll through.
We have to dedicate more time and effort to being clean and organized in our small space. Our entryway is also our living room and kitchen. Dirt and dust and stinky boots are an endless battle but we feel so much more comfortable when things are somewhat tidy and clean.
What tips would you give to someone considering living life on the road?
We’ve found that leaving wiggle room for spontaneity and freedom to take either fork in the road is important. Sometimes we feel the urge to plan and make reservations and put pins on the map, but then we find ourselves driving past somewhere we’d wished we could stop, or pulled away from a special place too soon. We found that it’s best to do research, know what opportunities lie ahead, but to write everything in pencil, keep the eraser in hand and be ready to embrace a change of plans.
What’s Penny’s favourite part of the adventure life?
Penny is the most flexible and adventurous little pup, always down for anything. She growls at bison, plays with dogs ranging from 120 lbs to 10 lbs, and doesn’t stop hiking until we’ve reached our destination. She’s a tough little thing!
Something that many are probably wondering… where do you shower?
We just installed a portable tankless water heater in the back of our bus that gives us hot water and a steamy shower. It’s AMAZING!
What is it about the simple life that moves you?
On the road, we’re able to eliminate the burden of distractions and let hectic routines fall away. In this simplicity, we find that freedom comes to the forefront. When we embrace freedom, we get back to the roots of who we are as individuals and as a couple. We find that we value relationships and experiences over things. We tune-in to nature and embrace a slower pace. The simplicity of a life on the road has been the greatest gift!
What is your favourite feature of Fern?
Our favorite feature is that she’s always in progress, a perpetual state of modification. As we spend more time living in the bus, we find little things to add or change. Since we built everything with our own two hands, we know her ins and outs and are capable of giving her little renovations whenever needed. We love that Fern continues to be our blank canvas and is happy to adapt with us.
Check out a video tour of Fern here — guaranteed to make you jealous! Thanks to Ben and Mande for sharing their tips, troubles and experiences from their life on the road, it’s been a pleasure.