Life

By Beth Kilgallon

couple have ditched their house to live in a vintage bus with their two dogs – and they’re even preparing to welcome their first baby onboard.

Laurie Brown, 34, originally from Newcastle, and her husband, Chris, 33, decided they wanted to quit the rat race and instead move on to a vintage bus to travel around Australia with their two dogs.

The couple moved on to the 1968 Austin vintage bus from the two-bedroom house that they were renting in Darwin, Australia, in June and are preparing to welcome their newest arrival into their bus lifestyle.

Since moving on to their bus Laurie are saving over £800 [$1,500 AUD] each month on rent.

After a successful Tinder swipe, the couple met in Australia seven years ago and recently decided to take the plunge and attempt a tiny living lifestyle.

Laurie said: “Chris and I had been in Darwin for a long time and we really wanted a change of lifestyle.

“We had always been interested in tiny homes so we decided to give it a go.

“The bus is like a hotel on wheels and we adapted so well to tiny living.

“Soon it will be Chris and me, our two Moodles, George and Frankie, and our new baby living on the bus.

“It’s going to be a packed bus but we can’t wait.

“We bought the bus just before coronavirus hit, and when we were halfway through the renovations we found out we were expecting a baby.

“We still wanted to continue with moving on to the bus.

“I am due in two weeks and I am not nervous at all about having a baby while living on the bus.

“We have been travelling around the country for the past two months, but we are going to stick to one place to actually have the baby.”

The couple bought the bus for £5,500 [$8,500 AUD] after coming across it online and immediately falling in love.

Chris has his own business where he transforms antiques into lamps and he is able to work while they’re on the move.

The pair wanted their tiny living space to tie in with Chris’s business and when they saw the 1968 Austin bus they knew it was the one.

Laurie said: “The bus has an industrial and cosy feel. We used as much second-hand material as we could when completing the renovations.

“It took us 18 months to fully complete the transformation of the bus.

“It has all the mod cons. We have a microwave,  shower, air conditioning, a toilet and a washing machine.

“At the back of the bus we have the toilet and shower area, we then have our bedroom, and then towards the front of the bus we have the kitchen area,

“We don’t need a seating area as we sit outside most of the time.

“Our favourite thing about our life on the bus is that we can just be wherever we want.

“We have total freedom and no ties.

“Our living expenses are considerably lower now too. Instead of paying £240 [$450 AUD] per week for our rent, we pay a maximum of around £26 [$50 AUD] for sites.

“So we are saving over £800 [$1,500 AUD] just on rent each month.

“You can even get free sites to park up in which makes our lives even cheaper.”

Laurie says that she is excited to introduce her new baby into their way of life and teach them everything she has learnt while tiny living.

The main thing that she has learnt is to be more organised.

She added: “Due to the limited amount of space we had to get rid of lots of stuff.

“But then you realise you don’t really need it anyway and you just had it for the sake of it.

“We can’t wait to continue our travel plans after the baby arrives.

“For us, we believe that home is where you park it.

“We have everything we need on our bus.

“We have solar batteries which also mean we can go completely off-grid, but the only downside to that is we can’t have long showers which is a bit of a first-world problem.

“It’s also a good job that Chris and I get along so well.

“But we love our way of life.”