27-year-old Jessie Lipskin was like any other young people who were struggling to make a living in New York City. After endless busywork, she decided to start a whole new life. Escape the clamor of life beyond her control. It was all Jessie wanted.
When Jessie was a college student, she was well aware of her love of nature. She had dreamed that one day having a home on the road and exploring nature while sleeping in a comfortable bed. It sounds far-fetched, but she has come up with some ideas.
People say that things come to you when you really need them. It was true in Jessie's case. Just when she was struggling with what movable room to use, she was inspired by the documentary film Garbage Warrior. She decided to use recycled materials to build her home. Would she get what she needed?
The first option was an RV, but the design didn't match her dream house. After all the research work, she went for a vintage bus. Although many reformations needed to be done, she believed that it was her perfect home to be. Spent $7,000 on the bus; she was ready to rebuild it.
It was a 1966 Greyhound with spacious 400-square-feet possibilities. It allowed Jessie to move as much as she wanted. However, bigger problems followed. The first problem is that the bus had to be delivered across the State, from California to New York. Second, Jessie didn't have a driver's license at that time.
While Jessie was busy learning how to maneuver a vintage bus with a stick shift, her friends helped her drive the bus all the way from Perris, California to the east coast. After a long journey, the bus finally arrived in New York, and the remodeling project began.
To start the renovation project, Jessie and her friends stripped out all the seats inside the bus and sold them to a restaurant. They also used metallic white paint to cover its grime. Removing the furniture and the paintwork was the easy part though. Building an actual home requires a lot of harder work.
There were many problems yet to be solved concerning her mobile home project, and Jessie couldn’t do it alone. At a bare minimum, a livable home would need self-powered air conditioning, plumbing, and an electrical system, all of which required specialist knowledge that Jessie didn't possess. So, she assembled her friends into a work team so they could brainstorm together how to carry out the project.
Converting a vintage bus into an inviting and comfortable home was far more than just deciding what would be where. Jessie needed to make sure whatever was built inside remained sturdy while the bus was in motion. And that required a lot of precise calculations, which were complicated and time-consuming. However, Jessie managed to overcome all the difficulties and started to realize her dream bit by bit.
Luckily for Jessie, the ceiling of the bus was high enough to build a standing shower. Beside it was a slotted floor made of mahogany wood, which served as a part of the water recycling system. Water dripping down through the wooden boards would be channeled into a gray water tank mounted on the vehicle's underside.
One might think the interior space of a bus cannot possibly be enough for all one's belongings. But as it turned out, Jessie could accommodate everything she needed in her tiny home. The converted bus was equipped with a lovely kitchen, a comfortable bedroom, and even housed three closets!
The converted bus had a fully-functional electric system and was able to support all the electronic appliances you could imagine. One by one, Jessie bought a refrigerator, a washing machine, a spin dryer, a water heater, and a propane tank into her tiny home. All these household appliances were carefully chosen to fall in line with her energy- efficient and Earth-conscious philosophy.
One of the best things about living in a bus lined with windows is a close contact with the fantastic scenery. Jessie set up her kitchen by the window, so now she can cook while enjoying the beauty of nature.
Jessie has built a cozy bedroom in her mobile room. While decorating it with velvet curtains, Jessie has set up a miniature library by her bed within arm's reach. Nothing is more wonderful than reading your favorite book in bed while breathing in the fresh morning air from the woods.
Jessie and her friends had been working hard for three years to complete the project, and it was worth it. The chic mobile home was fully functional and had a delicate design. Its electrical and water systems are environmentally sustainable. Jessie had finally escaped her hectic Manhatten life and realized her dream of owning a mobile home.
As well-equipped as it might have been, Jessie's tiny home did not have everything that a typical home might home. For example, the converted bus was not installed with a television. However, Jessie did not see that as a flaw. “I love not having a TV. I had the option to have a TV, but I really like waking up in the morning and hearing the birds outside my window,” she told the Insider.
As well as equipping her tiny home with essential facilities, Jessie also managed to spruce it up with a touch of color. Here is a picture of a painting hung up in the central hallway of the converted bus that Jessie snagged at a Goodwill sale.
Jessie saw the converted bus as her personal sanctuary, and she brought with her what truly mattered: a set of china dishes which had been passed down many generations in her family. It was a way for her to carry her past wherever the road might take her.
Although Jessie was satisfied with the final product, she did have several gnawing regrets. In particular, she had been too busy completing the project without reading as much as she would have liked. She said she would again repurpose the converted bus given a chance.
Despite years of effort, Jessie eventually decided to sell the converted bus. She put the bus up on Craigslist at $149,000, and it is now being rented out as an Airbnb for travelers in Joshua Tree National Park in eastern California. For Jessie, the dream had run its course. She has moved on from her brainchild. Where is she now?
Jessie is now employed in a job that allows her to work remotely, and she plans to travel abroad while working. Maybe she doesn't want to be tied down by the responsibility of tending to the bus. Freedom has always been her life philosophy, from the moment she decided to build a mobile home until now.
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