A year ago, when I first moved into my school bus, I was pursing short-term contract work in the tech world as a User Researcher.
My plan was to live a mobile lifestyle that would allow me to move freely around the country for work, no longer needing to move all my things and find housing in every new location.
This also kept me from having to enter a lease that may be difficult to negotiate amicable terms. I just didn’t want to ‘restart’ every time I moved. The idea of having a home on wheels was attractive because it would allow me to have my ‘apartment’ wherever I went.
It also provided me with the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and different areas of the country between contracts. It was the perfect way to minimize my financial and residential responsibilities such as my car, insurance, housing costs, etc., especially since; I would be planning on moving locations every few months anyway.
Interestingly enough, I am not currently doing what I originally planned or expected. Over the past year, my work has shifted from seeking contract jobs to almost completely online work involving the school bus community.
After living in my bus for a few months, I realized that I could provide resources for people seeking to live the “bus life” and build their own home on wheels.
The information I began providing varied from how to live in a school bus to how to tackle a school bus conversion as well as stories about my lifestyle in a bus.
Fulfilling my passion
Originally, I did not start this line of work expecting to create a career but rather a hobby that could help the community at large and connect me with other people on the road.
So I started by creating a website and various social media platforms directed at supporting the school bus DIY community and sharing my story with others. Over time it grew and I began to learn about ways, through others, how to earn money online while still helping the community at large.
After a few months, I began creating online courses, electronic books, speaking at venues, and blogging about how others can live the “bus life”.
I have never counted the hours I have put in each week, but not counting hours was one reason I started doing this type of work anyway.
Writing blogs and sharing information about bus and road life was and is never about ‘one hour equals a certain amount of money’ it’s a passion.
It might sound counter intuitive to many, but I would rather work harder to live this way then ‘punch in my 40 hours,’ because I honestly have a lot more fun living this way.
After about ten months, I started to see an income from my online work. I began earning money from mainly two income streams; online sales and various forms of affiliate marketing.
It would be hard to give a definitive number to my monthly income because it is directly related to the amount of work I do and how often I am publishing work. If I had to average my monthly income it would be around 800 dollars a month, at the current moment.
Now, you are probably thinking, “that could not possibly be enough!” You would be correct. Right now, my online work does not fully support my needs alone. My current online work is about 60 percent of my income and the other 40 percent comes from manual labor jobs I pick up as I travel.
My goal is that within the next six months, I will be able to fully fund my lifestyle through online work.
What most people in the blogging and online world will tell you, and I learned myself, is that it takes a lot of work and time to develop a network and presence within your niche.
As much as I love doing what I do, living a nomadic lifestyle can make working online difficult.
Two of the biggest challenges I face working on the road are Internet and time management:
- Internet can be quite difficult because most places I would like to spend all of my time at also tend to not have cell service or Internet access. This forces me to leave the woods more often than I would like.
- The other issue can be time management. It is inexplicably difficult to work when also needing to balance finding somewhere to sleep at night and driving. I find that I tend to always be playing between adventuring, driving, and working.
Two tips I would tell someone who would want to enter a similar line of work is:
- That the Internet is a big place and you need to find your niche and start doing it. The only difference between any online influencer and you is that they already started.
- The other thing about working on the road is that I don’t live this lifestyle to make a million dollars; it is to live a simple life where I can focus on people, experiences and my goals.
I always tell people,
"It’s not about the number of miles you drive but rather the people who live every mile along the way
Enjoy each mile; let it teach you something about yourself, people, and nature. If you are only interested in being at the top of the ivory tower, you will be sadly mistaken to realize that being on top wasn’t the point, it was building it with others."
Whatever line of work you choose, remember to do it with others on mind.