A couple who sold all of their possessions and moved into a school bus with their dog and two cats reveal they are now saving more than $3,000 a month.
Emilie Herbert, 31, and her 32-year-old partner, Matt Rogne, grew tired of their life at home, with bills racking up and working ‘tirelessly’ throughout the week to stay afloat.
After watching some YouTube videos about a couple, from Canada, who renovated a 1993 school bus and traveled the world, the pair decided to trade static life for one on the road.
Now, living in their bus with their cats, Noah and Chloe, and dog Kaia, the two couldn’t be happier and share their journey with their 143,000 followers on Instagram.
Emilie Herbert and Matt Rogne sold their house and bought a school bus to renovate and live in
They were inspired after watching a YouTube series about a couple who traveled the world on a school bus
After purchasing the bus in 2019 for $5,000, they spent $65,000 on renovations. Pictured above is the vehicle while it was being gutted
Now the 300 square foot space is their home. Pictured above is the renovated living space
‘We were experiencing a challenging period and felt trapped in the monotonous routine,’ Emilie, a content manager, told NeedToKnow.co.uk.
‘On a rainy day, Matt returned from a long and grueling shift, drenched and covered in dirt.
‘I greeted him with immense excitement, having spent all day off watching a YouTube couple who had traveled from Germany to North America.
‘In our despair, their story seemed like a magnificent dream, and we started envisioning the type of bus we would acquire and the destinations we would explore that day.
‘Next thing we knew, we were planning out our timeline on how long we would be in our new house and building bus floor plans, envisioning what our life would look like living wherever we parked.’
In August 2019, the couple bought the school bus for just $5,500, beginning renovations immediately.
Due to COVID, they couldn’t travel until restrictions lifted but this gave them more time to focus on getting their new home fit for the road.
Spending a total of $65,000, the pair began their new life with their three pets.
After living on the bus for three years, Emilie and Matt say they are better at communicating with each other
Matt stands on top of the bus during renovations. The couple said they couldn’t be happier with their choice
The empty gutted space before the couple started to the bus’s makeover
The pair love their life on the road with Noah, Chloe, Kaia, who are pictured above lazing on the bed
The couple enjoy giving tips to other campers on social media. Matt pictured with their dog while working on his laptop while on the road
Emilie said: ‘We have been living in our bus for three years.
‘It is only about 300 square feet inside so it’s similar to a small apartment or one big room!
‘It is amazing to be able to bring our home whenever we travel, but at times it can be difficult to get personal space.
‘The most surprising things we have experienced are the different views that we have been able to wake up to looking out our bedroom window.
‘Even though it is a small space, we still make it work and live comfortably.’
So far Emilie and Matt, who are both from Canada, have traveled across British Columbia, and even ventured into Alberta and the Yukon.
Since moving into the bus, the couple managed to cut their bills down by half, saving about $3000 per month.
‘During the period when we owned our own house, our monthly bills were more than $6000,’ Matt said.
‘Now, depending on where we’re staying and how often we move the bus, our monthly bills come to around $3000.
‘This includes the investments that we contribute to, our life insurance policy, weekly grocery bills, pet food, and occasionally eating out.’
Despite the benefits of living life on the road, Matt and Emilie have admitted there were some downsides, with both struggling to adapt to the small space.
‘Finding personal space to relax and gather one’s thoughts can be challenging,’ Emilie said.
Emilie said it was a struggle to adapt at first to the small space, but they’ve adjusted and love their nomadic life
They’ve traveled across British Columbia and ventured into Alberta and the Yukon so far on their three-year journey
The pair love waking up each day to a different view out their window. Their dog is pictured in the snow
Admitting they felt ‘trapped’ at home, the Canadian couple love their new nomadic lifestyle
After exchanging their house for a tiny moving home, the couple couldn’t be happier. Pictured is the couple’s car while packing up their house
‘However, living together in a small bus for such a long time has taught us to adapt and communicate better when we need some alone time.
‘The best part is that we can just step outside our door and usually find ourselves in a beautiful area to do just that.
‘It has been getting warmer in the summertime and keeping the bus at a comfortable temperature with ample air flow can be difficult.
‘Another issue is that it can be difficult to find a place to park.
‘We were grateful to have been camp hosts for the last couple of summers but we did not enjoy losing our privacy with having so many campers around.’
Despite everything, they have both received constant support from their family and friends, regardless of initial doubts.
‘Initially, the majority of our family thought we were insane for selling our house and living in a bus that we renovated ourselves,’ Matt, an online market trader, said.
‘However, as the years went by and they witnessed the completed bus and the incredible adventures we embarked on, the idea gradually started to appeal to them.’
Currently, the pair have no plans on giving up their van lifestyle, but hope in the future they can find their perfect home and rent out the bus for other people to enjoy.
Sharing their vision on Instagram, one video garnered more than 40,700 views and 1,000 likes as they gave tips to help aspiring campers.
One person said: ‘Very cool showering system!’
Another added: ‘Ok but your parking spot is insane’
‘How are you guys liking this new rig? Looks amazing & it’s such a cute little van,’ a third person commented.
‘So that van looks like it worked out,’ one viewer wrote.
Emilie added: ‘While the path to our dream property might be more intricate than anticipated, we are genuinely excited to continue residing in our current bus for the foreseeable future.
‘Our vision of owning a property with ample land, a spawning river to fish from, an abundance of berries and veggies to forage for, surrounded by mountains, trees and wildlife remains a cherished aspiration.
‘Envisioning a scenario where we park a bus on our land, using it as our cosy abode while we gradually construct our dream home, fills us with enthusiasm.
‘Embracing this journey has allowed us to find happiness and satisfaction in the present moment.’