We are two Canadian teachers & a five year old living our dream of taking a year off to travel, see our families and experience skoolie life.
In 2019 we bought a 2002 GMC Bluebird school bus and over the next ten months converted it into a ‘skoolie’, a custom-made RV which we designed as a rolling summer home. We started this website to document our planning and building process, both as a record for ourselves and to help others who are working on similar projects.
After one summer in the skoolie, we knew that living small suited us. We started learning about ways to simplify and downsize and decided to move more quickly towards our five-year-plan of taking a year off to travel and homeschool our daughter. We took leaves of absence from our high school teaching jobs in Flin Flon, MB, sold our house, got our double vaccinations and our masks and said goodbye to our wonderful community in Flin Flon MB/Creighton SK. So far we’ve driven through Manitoba, Ontario, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, with lots of family time in Southern Ontario and Cape Breton Island, and explored Newfoundland and PEI in September. We aren’t sure where exactly our path will take us this year, but we are thrilled to be on this journey (96.5% of the time, at least)!
The best way to follow our story & our travels is via Instagram @acanadianskoolie.
In September 2020, Dan launched a podcast because he wanted to learn about other Canadians who have made skoolies a part of their lives, and share their stories. He published one a week until July 2021 and met so many wonderful, inspiring people living their dreams and exploring the country in skoolies. The podcast did its job for us: we were both so inspired by their stories that we decided to take a year off and take to the road full time! After a couple weeks of life on the road in the skoolie, Dan decided to take a hiatus from podcasting until we have consistent wifi access and a more predictable schedule. We have some plans for sharing more skoolie stories in the future, so stay tuned!
And here’s an interactive map of all the skoolie owners featured on the A Canadian Skoolie Podcast episodes so far (click on the location markers to get a link to each podcast).
We designed our bus as a custom RV for travelling eastward to see our families in Ontario and Nova Scotia on our summer breaks each year. We wanted a space that we would be comfortable living in off and on for the whole summer, and a vehicle that could handle the endless highways of a cross-Canada road trip. We designed the layout together, with lots of guidance from the worldwide skoolie community, Youtubers, and this book. Dan did all of the conversion work himself, with assistance from Libby and cheerleading from Sophie. Some of our favourite features are the tiny woodstove, the custom counters handmade by Dan (photos to come – the counters in the pics below were earlier versions), the pine ceilings (also the most labour-intensive component) and the beautiful artwork, most of it created by our Flin Flon artist friends from the NorVa Centre. The bus is a labour of love, Dan’s most ambitious project yet, and a lovely home on the road.
A Glimpse Inside
Tonight we published our first episode of the A Canadian Skoolie podcast. You can listen in here. There are so many Canadians out there who have built or are building incredible custom homes as skoolies. With this podcast, we are hoping to share their unique stories, learn from their experiences, and connect with the broader […]
Who doesn’t want to see star-gaze from bed? To bring in more natural light, and more of the outdoors, we decided to add skylights to the bus. This involved cutting some pretty big holes in the roof (yikes!). Dan got creative with sourcing the material for this DIY and the results are pretty beautiful. Here’s […]
Aside from the actual bus itself, our tiny wood stove & chimney set has been our biggest expense
…In which Dan’s patience and fortitude are tested
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