I’m super nosy. Like I want to be all up in people’s business regardless of if I know them or not. I don’t want to talk about it or offer unwanted advice I just want to know. How do you organize all your stuff? What’s your dog like? What do you have hiding in the closets. What do you do for a living? You know…totally normal and not invasive at all.
Luckily, I realize that that’s weird and can contain myself. Although I totally google neat looking RVs and campers so that I can see the tours that the companies always put online (and then criticize the poop out of them- why is there so much brown??).
ANYWAY. One of the big things that I’m always curious about, especially for people that live on the road or are going for the nomadic lifestyle, is what do they do for a living that allows them to travel so much? Is their life really as fabulous as the blogs and instagrams make them look? Also, what in the world do they do for such a steady internet connection. Someone, please!, give me a cheap, reliable, and travel-friendly way to access the interwebs whenever I want and for as long as I want. I want to be able to binge watch makeup videos without paying an arm, a leg, and the soul of my first born child.
So, in the spirit of openness. This is what Mike and I do right now. It will change in the summer.
Right now, we live off of Mike’s paycheck which is part of his funding for his PhD program. In addition to taking all of the required classes and dissertating, Mike teaches a low level history class (think American History or World History- the usually required history classes for undergrads) every semester or is an assistant to one of the professors at his university. He is required to work and take classes in order to receive his funding. It is not a lot. At all. If we didn’t live in the bus we wouldn’t be able to make it.
I was working as a children’s librarian (that funded a lot of the actual conversion) but when we got word that we needed to return to Texas I quit. We decided that if we lived very carefully and followed a very strict budget (haaa) we could make his single income work and I could focus on our business.
We own a small media company and I am responsible for managing it. We have about 7 websites that we run and like 5 YouTube channels (although most of them are not currently active) with plans to add 2 more. I do videos and blog posts most of my day ranging from makeup videos to puppet shows to videos about the bus and our experiences. Right now, we are very much in the “getting it up and running” phase and I am constantly learning about filming and editing. We do pull a small amount of profit from our online activities but not anywhere close to supporting ourselves. We probably make enough to get a nice-ish dinner date a couple of times a month. But we have a plan and we anticipated this when we decided to go for it.
Mike will be done with his PhD, hopefully, at the beginning of the summer 2017 and we haven’t decided exactly what we are doing at that point. We can go anywhere at that point and both of us will be able to focus on making our business work. If all else fails we go back into academia and libraryland. Or we settle down and open a coffee shop. That is really my backup plan. I worked for many years as a barista and manager and am very familiar with the industry.
What we need to do is get a studio and go balls to wall. Right now, the bus isn’t conducive to the business we want. We don’t have the space to have different sets set up all the time and set up takes a while if you are constantly rearranging lights and all that. Nor do we have the storage space for props and materials and extra lights. We are doing the best that we can but are realizing the limitations that only having the bus presents. What we really want is to rent a warehouse space where can also park the bus and then live on the bus right at our studio. So that’s in the works. We just have to sort some things out.
So the long/short answer is that Mike’s PhD pays for our cost of living and we are trying to get a small business off the ground. We are really having a go at it, it was a risk we were (and are) willing to take. We want to be able to say, at the end of everything, that we gave it all that we could. We don’t want to look back and go “man, I really wish we had tried that when we had the chance”.
Mostly though, we are really really broke. But the future is looking hopeful 🙂