While their friends were getting hitched and starting families, Nick Cahill and Jessica Perez from Blue Bus Adventure converted a 1988 Thomas Mighty Mite school bus into their traveling tiny home.
Nick and Jessica opted to take their romance in a different unconventional direction and hit the open road.
Four years ago they purchased Thomas for $1,000, which was their first joint purchase and big commitment to each other.
Living the Bus Life
They’ve been living in their bus full-time for almost one year and didn’t have much money saved to embark on their adventure.
The money that was spent prior on rent for a house, has now been allocated to gas and grocery shopping as those are the highest expenses incurred, aside from the mechanic hiccups that occur every so often.
"Good for you, do it while you’re young! You can always go back to the life you left…"
They wear many hats to make bus life work for them and they’re constantly finding creative ways to earn income.
Being on the road has helped reignite Jessica’s passion for photography and videography – growing up she wanted to be a music video director and with the helpful guidance from Nick, she’s learning to fine tune her skills.
Both Nick and Jessica’s images were published in Foster Huntington’s latest #1 bestselling book, “Van Life,” bringing them exposure points and credibility in the nomadic tiny home on wheels community.
Jessica has also written articles and reviews for some cash, but mostly free product. Nick and Jessica have helped with farming, house sitting, pet sitting, and doing odd jobs.
They’ve dipped into the marketing arena and have helped create marketing content for businesses: such as producing high quality images and videos for them to use on their websites, printed brochures, and social media channels.
The hardest part for Nick and Jessica is convincing folks of their dollar worth; not all of these gigs may pay bills, but they usually help offset expenses and create future potential opportunities.
About Nick Cahill
Nick Cahill is an incredible adventure sports and landscape photographer who’s landed the cover of National Geographic’s special issue, “Guide to the Night Sky.” It is amongst the fan favorites which helped catapult Nick’s photography business and credential him as a photographer to be on the lookout for.
His passion is photography and videography, and he is an adrenaline enthusiast at heart – seeking to capture breathtaking moments for others to experience and enjoy from the comforts of their home.
How Nick makes money
He runs his own business Cahill Films and sells his artwork to selected galleries in Lake Tahoe, NV and the San Francisco Bay Area, CA.
Aside from his side passion work, he also has a full time day job as the Media Director for Hurricane Group – the leading online military news and men’s entertainment website – where he oversees and produces all video production ads, documentaries, videos, and photographs.
This job currently is what funds most of the fuel in their gas tank and pays the bills, however his artwork sold in galleries also brings significant cash flow to their bus travels
About Jessica Perez
Jessica Perez is business savvy at heart and has a keen eye for detail, which helped her succeed in the corporate world.
She worked as a consultant for Pricewaterhouse Coopers in Silicon Valley where she gained experience with very successful businesses and sat amongst the C-suite level and top managers, learning more in those meetings than any college course provided.
Her client portfolio includes many impressive high-tech companies that are prominent in the industry (you probably use their products and websites regularly), but no names can be mentioned as she signed NDAs, (sorry folks!).
She took a slight shift in her career path and instead of being in front of the client, she knew she could better help other consultants, “behind the scenes,” with preparing them for their meetings with clients.
She is a PowerPoint wizard and can finesse any boring deck of slides into a stellar presentation, making the consultant look incredible in front of an audience.
How Jessica makes money
She is an independent contractor taking on clients and work as it flows to her, and she now refers to herself as a Virtual Administrative Assistant – able to complete the tasks and duties of any executive admin assistant remotely, from an office.
Both Nick and Jessica are able to manage their workload remotely as long as there is solid Wi-Fi connection. Most business is conducted over email and Skype and they dedicate 2-4 days each week to focus and be “connected” to their computers.
This dedicated work time limits their adventuring and can put a burden on fun when they have quick deadlines to meet. It can be quite stressful as good internet isn’t guaranteed in most remote destinations they often prefer to visit.
However with tethering from their phones and a Wi-Fi jetpack they’re able to have decent reception to respond to any urgent emails and send files. Otherwise you can find them at coffee shops and small markets where internet is provided.