• Fri. May 19th, 2023

American van life couple quit jobs, sell home to live in bus

A couple who sold their home and moved into a massive solar-powered Greyhound bus to live the “van life” have dished on the reality of travelling the country with their two kids.

Alex, 32, and Ashley Morris, 33, were living what they called the “American dream”. They had landed corporate jobs and bought a house in the American Midwest in 2017, but said they felt they were missing out on important milestones due to their busy schedules.

After Alex lost his job in August 2019, the couple took the opportunity to bid farewell to their suburban abode and – along with kids Declan, now 9, and Hadley, now 5 – to live in a trailer instead.

“We were both working full-time jobs, so our kids were pretty much being raised by a nanny. We just wanted that time with our kids,” Ashley recently told Insider.

“You get such a short window of time while your kids are little, and we felt like we were missing out on it.”

“We didn’t want to miss out on it anymore. [After I lost my job] I started lining all these other opportunities up, and Ashley was like, ‘Let’s go live on the road,’ because she’d been trying to convince me for years,” Alex added.

The couple joined the thousands of young people across the US and Australia who are ditching corporate culture in favour of living in a van and travelling – though many say the “van life” craze is simply a symptom of unattainably expensive home ownership.

The lifestyle shot to fame in 2021 after the murder of travel influencer Gabby Petito, with many claiming the 22-year-old’s death underscored the dangers of life off the grid. Droves of young Aussies have nonetheless turned to campervans amid a rental crisis and rising cost of living.

The Morris family explained on social media how they used Alex’s severance pay to buy an RV, which they later sold in favour of a $32,000, 400-square-foot greyhound bus.

Another $20,000 transformed the vehicle into their “dream home”, complete with an oven and stove, a four-seater dining area and a living space with a TV and couch.

The bus also has a shower and full-sized bath, a bedroom with bunk beds for the kids and a queen-sized bed that Ashley and Alex share.

Next to their bed is a desk where Alex works remotely as a mortgage broker. Solar panels on the roof provide electricity, and running water comes from a 75-gallon freshwater tank, meaning the vehicle can be taken fully off the grid.

Ashley frequently shares snapshots of their newly adventurous life to Tiktok and Instagram, where she has 90,000 and 110,000 followers respectively.

The kids spend their days riding bikes and playing in campgrounds, while their eldest completes school online.

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