Meet the couple who sold all their possessions to live debt-free on a $8,000 renovated military bus - along with their baby daughter and dog

A couple have told how they sold all their possessions and renovated an ex-military bus to live debt free and travel 16,000 miles with their baby daughter and dog.

Will and Kristin Watson, from Jacksonville, Florida, met at work in 2013 and had always longed to hit the road and travel but their 9-5 office jobs held them back from taking the plunge.  

But when Mr Watson, 31, a creative video company owner, and Mrs Watson, 29, a marketing manager, got married in 2018 they decided to quit their jobs, buy a bus and travel full-time.

The couple's dream became a reality when they purchased an ex-military bus in Layton, Utah, $8,000.

Mr Watson sold an old truck and also paid off $24,000 worth of debt before they moved on-board and began the renovations.

He said: 'We have always enjoyed travel. Kristin spent her college years backpacking around different countries, and I was in the boy scouts. We both also traveled a lot for work'.

We actually both met at work in 2013 and then in 2018 we got married. But we really wanted to travel together so we started looking at vehicles we could renovate and move into full-time.

'I sold an old truck for it and we also paid down about $24,000 worth of debt before moving on-board. We wanted to have the freedom to live this kind of lifestyle. We could have done it with debt but wouldn't have felt 'free' and didn't want to be dictated what we could do or where we go.

'Being debt free feels amazing. When we check our bank balance now, we feel a sense of peace and security. We have even been able to save money since moving into our tiny home and we are in the best place we have ever been in our entire lives.'

The couple transformed the old bus into a stylish home, complete with a kitchen, sofa, bed, office and a bathroom.

And the renovation was going smoothly until Mrs Watson discovered she was pregnant. They were unsure if they would be able to continue their nomad dream, but decided to take their baby on their travels. 

Their daughter Roam was born on September 2018 and the family moved onto the bus full time in April 2019 when she was just six months old. 

'In January 2018 we were about five months into our renovations and we unexpectedly found out that Kristin was pregnant,' said Mr Watson.

'It was a little bit of a curve ball. Neither of us had planned on having any children, but we knew this was a miracle baby and was meant to be. After the initial shock set in, we were very excited to welcome our little one into the world.

'We had already met so many other families living on buses and vans with multiple kids and we thought 'if they can do it, so can we'.       

The family of four, including their pet dog, Rush, have since traveled over 16,000 miles from Florida Keys up the East Coast to Nova Scotia, Canada.

The biggest struggle has been having to stop every few hours while on the road so that their daughter can crawl around and be given something to eat.

Family and friends have been very supportive of their adventures and they enjoy seeing their journey documented through social media.

As winter draws closer and the days shorten and become colder, the family have started heading south towards Florida again.

'We have zig-zagged from the Florida Keys all the way to Nova Scotia, Canada. We have traveled over 16,000 miles and seen so many incredible places,' Mrs Watson said.

'On longer travel days we have to stop every few hours so Roam can crawl around and eat. At night when we put her down to sleep, we have to be very quiet, so we don't wake her. Other than those two things we don't have too many difficulties.

Roam has grown so much since she moved on board at six months old. Back then she was hardly able to move, and now she is climbing all over the bus exploring.

'Our family has been super supportive of our adventures and they especially love that we document them all on YouTube so that they can watch Roam grow up. 

'Roam has been the perfect baby for this trip. We haven't been getting in each other's way even though we live in close proximity to one another.'

The Watson family say traveling with their baby was 'scary' but that she has been adaptable and they are grateful they took the plunge.

Mrs Watson said:  'I know it can seem scary to take your baby places that aren't technically baby friendly. I know it's a hard choice to live a life with a baby that doesn't fit the 'norm', but something we have realized in the last year is that babies are incredibly adaptable and they want to experience the same things as you,' Kristin said. 

'Remember that someone else's reality does not have to be your own. If you really want something you can have it. You just have to work for it and believe it's possible. We are living proof of that. Now go get it.'

stella Posted on November 11, 2019 16:44

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