Welcome to The Simple Bus Life Blog! This is our first blog post and we are so excited to share with all of you the story of designing and building our home in the Caribbean. We are the Trattner's Amanda, Joe and our beloved Pitbull Maho and we live in St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands. For the past 2 years we've been working on creating our dream property which includes our tiny school bus home, a modern shed structure (that Amanda likes to refer to as the barn), and the landscaping / hardscaping of our property. For us and our soon to be growing family (surprise we are expecting our first child in November of 2016, stay tuned for "Bus Baby" updates) less is truly more.
We began this crazy, cool, fun journey by purchasing a 1968 Crown Super Coach bus from the Chicago area. We drove the bus from Chicago to Jacksonville Flordia and then shipped it over to St. Thomas on a barge in October of 2014. The bus arrived on island in November of 2014 although we were not able to begin work on the bus until after the holidays. Demo and construction of our bus home began in January of 2015 and in February of 2015 we purchased a half acre of land on the Northside of St. Thomas overlooking Magen's Bay. We spent the next 5 months finishing the construction of our bus, while still managing to keep both of our businesses a float.
In July of 2015 we spent the first night on the One Love Bus, the home that we built ourselves and know every nook and crany of! That first night on the bus was the most amazing feeling in the whole world! We'll never forget it. We are about to come up on the 1 year anniversary of living in our bus home and we coudn't be happier with how everything came out and are so excited to share with you all the project! We are new to blogging and Instagram but we are loving the interest that people have in our project and are loving connecting with like-minded people. We will be posting updates and blog posts on the various building, design, and living practices that have gone into creating our "Simple Bus Life."
After seeing the pictures of the bus you are probably wondering where our bathroom is? We opted to keep the clean sight lines and space for other uses on the bus and built a modern shed structure, which acts as a multipurpose space for our "bath house," dressing area, or "walk out closet," (as we like to call it) and storage space for Joe's ever growing collection of tools ;). This has worked out very well for us! We built the shed structure on footers so that we didn't have to disturb the land. In the Virgin Islands we collect rain water with cisterns. The canteleaver roof of the shed structure helps with rain water collection. Behind the shed we have two above ground cisterns that we purchased from Home Depot (1000 gallons).
The space on the bus has been more than enough room for 2 humans and a super cool Pitbull, and we are confident that we will be able to welcome baby Trattner to bus life just fine as many other tiny home families have. In planning out the vision of our bus / property we knew that for us the key to tiny house living would be to have comfortable outdoor spaces to hang out and play in. Our climate in the Caribbean is also Ideal for this! Throughout our blog, we hope to ignite a global passion for sustainability and self-reliance and inspire others to live a smaller and more simple life. If you aren't ready to take the plunge and go completely tiny, there are still so many advantages to downsizing and leaving a smaller footprint on the earth. This day and age the new American Dream is "less is more." If you agree with this statement please "Like our Facebook Page" follow us on Instagram and send us comments and come along with us for the ride!
Amanda, Joe & Maho