Lonely Planet Writer

Why I packed my life into a bus and drove all across America

Meet the blogger who turned an old school bus into his home and hit the road after graduate school to explore a world outside his textbooks. Striking images show Michael Fuehrer (25), from Stockholm, New Jersey, USA, relaxing with friends in his refurbished 2004 Thomas Freightliner bus, eating dinner at his spacious table and driving the vehicle. Other stunning shots show the bus during its refurbishment as Michael converted it into a cosy home, and Michael and the bus in some breathtaking locations.

Front exterior photo of the Bus.. Image by Michael Fuehrer / mediadrumworld.com

Michael has travelled a total of 18,000 miles so far and explained why he packed his life into a bus and where he has travelled so far.
“The idea of remoulding a school bus into my home came to me during my last year in graduate school,” he said. “I lived in a small one room apartment, maybe 100 square feet. and love the comfort of my space. I felt that it had everything I needed and it felt cosy. Also, I desired to explore outside of my textbooks into the world. I was seeking an experience.

Driving down the Alaskan Canadian Highway through British Columbia, Canada. Image by Michael Fuehrer / mediadrumworld.com

“The comfort of small spaces and the desire to travel led me to consider living on the road. Originally, I was looking into vans, tiny homes, and cargo trucks until I discovered old school buses. “I did not have a five year plan to be living in my school bus. I simply knew this was what I wanted to do and I would figure out life as it came along. My life was so scheduled previously and I wanted to try something different.

Driving the bus through the Mt. Hood National Forest. Mt. Hood can be seen in the distance. Image by Michael Fuehrer / mediadrumworld.com

“The first major journey was to Alaska for the summer. I drove the bus with a few friends, who moved in with me, across America and then through Canada up to Alaska. “We spent eight weeks exploring the backcountry and all that the landscape and people had
to offer. After Alaska, I headed south making my way to southern California to visit some other friends. “Soon after, I headed east to Florida and then back to New Jersey where my family is for the holiday season.”

Interior photo of the Bus
Image by Michael Fuehrer / mediadrumworld.com

Michael, who has a Masters degree in Cultural Anthropology, took nine months and spent $35,000 refurbishing the old school bus. He explained how he only plans two or three months ahead and what life living on the road is really like. “Bus life is everything and nothing I expected at the same time,” he added. “Before bus life, I had lived on the road doing month-long road trips with friends. So, I knew
what to expect in terms of ‘road life’. What is different is the bus. “The bus is my home not just a travel vehicle. This fundamentally changes things. Everything I own is within the bus, everything I need is inside the bus. I like to think of the bus as a character in my life story.

Buslife Potluck Dinner. Everyone in this photo lives on a bus. Image by Michael Fuehrer / mediadrumworld.com

“When people ask me about road life I tell them, it’s not about the number of miles or places you visit, it is about the things and people you encounter every mile along the way. My favourite part of my lifestyle is the freedom to invest time with people. Whether that be, people I meet or old friends around the country. When I decided to live on a school bus, I made a promise to myself. I would always try to make time for people. That could be from a random email I get online or in a store’s parking lot. Time is something that I think people take to seriously. Time is the most abundant thing we have in life.”

By Mark McConville/Media Drum World