On the road with Luke, Rachel and Charlotte from Midwest Wanderers
It’s not uncommon to take a bus to get from A to B, but it IS uncommon to do it with as much comfort and style as the Davis family does. This little family has been on the road in their converted school bus for 10 months, and as of two days ago they no longer own a sticks and bricks house—freedom awaits! They tell ROVA what's in store for them.
How would you describe your full-time RV life in three words?
Spontaneous, family, adventure.
Where are you now?
Nashville ’til tomorrow, then Georgia.
What does home mean to you?
Home is wherever the bus might take us as long as we are together. We sold our house and don’t plan to move back to our home state of Illinois. The mission is to, through our travels, eventually find a new part of the country to call ‘home’ in the more conventional sense.
You live in a beautifully built-out school bus. What’s your favorite thing about living on the bus?
Luke: The functionality of the bus and layout itself work very well for us, but I would have to say my favorite thing is the lifestyle it allows. A minimalistic, nomadic, and simple kind of way on my own terms without debt or excess.
Rachel: My favorite thing about living on the bus isn’t necessarily anything inside of it, but the fact that we get to see new places that we wouldn’t get to see otherwise. We are able to explore more than most, and that is something that is truly a blessing.
You also have your gorgeous daughter, Charlotte, with you. How has she adapted to living on a bus?
Charlotte truly LOVES the bus. It took her less than two weeks to really get the hang of it, but now it is her norm. She has become well-versed in making new friends on the road and giving ‘bus tours’ to people who are usually new acquaintances or curious strangers.
You’re high-school sweethearts (cute!), so you’ve obviously spent a lot of time together. Is there anything you’ve learned about each other from living in such small quarters?
Honestly, after dating in high school and seven years of marriage, not many mysteries remain. But that’s not a bad thing. The close quarters have actually helped us grow our ability to work together as a team and communicate more thoroughly. Living tiny and traveling almost demands these elements. You have to learn to swallow your pride at times; there is not much room in 240 square feet to let stubbornness get in the way.
What is the very best thing that’s happened to you in your travels?
I honestly couldn’t narrow it down to a single experience, but without hesitation it is the hospitality of complete strangers. Although social media has its downfalls, for us it has been a way to connect with like minds and share meaningful conversation with friends we have just made via Instagram. We are always blessed with invites to park in the driveways and on the land of generous people that want nothing in return except to talk over a cup of coffee.
How about the very worst thing?
The worst thing has be the breakdowns. We’ve had our fair share. Call it a rite of passage for life on the road, but in the moment it can be overwhelming. We recently had the transmission cash out on us, which we replaced ourselves in the middle of the Chicago winter—not fun!
How long do you plan to stay on the road?
So far, we are 10 months in! I could see doing another year or even two if it works out that way. Ultimately, we are leaving the timeline open-ended and we’ll see where life takes us.
If you could invite one person to travel on the bus with you, who would it be?
Luke: If I could bring one person along for the ride, I’d pick Michael Scott [from The Office], yup!
Rachel: Well, if we’re going the imaginary person route then I’d have to pick Jess Day [from New Girl]: she’s the perfect amount of nerd, sweet, brains and quirkiness! (Nick Miller, you’re welcome too!) Can you tell we like our sitcoms?!