She Needed More
It was becoming increasingly difficult for Jessie to cope with her fast-paced job in finance. In terms of her physical, spiritual, and emotional well-being, she felt completely exhausted.
A nine-to-five job wasn’t enough to satisfy her, and she knew there had to be more to life than that.
After finding something online that would forever change her life, Jessie became captivated by it.
In 2015, the whole thing began. Jessie Lipkin, at thirty, decided it was time to make a change. In an effort to avoid stagnation, she decided to take radical action.
It was time for her to leave behind her upmarket New York apartment and the life she had built. Her goal was to build a new home that would allow her to travel the world.
For the first time, her breathtaking space has been made available to the public.
She was in desperate need of a change when she discovered something life-changing on eBay. There was an auction for a 1966 GMC Commuter Greyhound bus.
After placing her bid impulsively, she ended up winning it for just $7,000.
Having committed herself, she could no longer back down. It was crazy, but there was no turning back.
What She Wanted
Jessie considered getting an RV instead at one point. Her space constraints made her realize she would need something larger.
A minimalist design that was spacious was what she desired. Then she researched and found a whole group of people who share her interests.
She was about to embark on a big adventure. As it turned out, there was already a problem.
Her True Desire
It was strange that Jessie purchased an old bus when she didn’t even have a driver’s license.
As Jessie explained in an interview, she was working long hours in finance at the time, and she felt like she had something else to offer.
By living in the bus, she decided to simplify her life and live a minimalist lifestyle. Her sudden change was due to a profound reason.
For years, Jessie had been dealing with something troubling her.
Although she ate a vegetarian diet and recycled, she didn’t feel that she was living up to her values in her upscale apartment.
When she watched a documentary one day, she threw caution to the wind and packed up her life.
The First Steps
As a teenager, Jessie first learned about sustainability through the documentary, “Garbage Warrior.” In this film, Michael Reynolds upcycles trash to build homes called “Earthships.”
Jessie explained that she really resonated with the message. “I began reading as much as I could about sustainable lifestyles.
Ultimately, I found a home on wheels seemed like the perfect solution, as I would be able to explore new places.” Now that she had watched the documentary, the hard part was taking the first step.
Her Ideal Lifestyle
Her interest in van life was inspired by a book she had read. Essentially, people convert vans into living spaces.
There was something in this that spoke to her. As far as she was concerned, it was what she wanted. She had much more than a van, however.
It had always been on her mind to live a simpler life and practice minimalism. In fact, she had been planning on getting this bus all along.
Slowly But Surely
In the course of her journey, Jessie got rid of many of her material possessions and gradually began living a minimalist lifestyle.
“People spend a lot of time worrying about physical items: purchasing them, losing them, then searching for them,” she said.
She wasn’t just looking for a minimalist lifestyle. As far as her goals were concerned, they were much loftier.
Living Her Best Life
The majority of Jessie’s life was spent living in Manhattan. Then she made a promise never to be chained to one place ever again.
Her life belonged to her, and she would live it to the fullest. Her portable house gave her the opportunity to travel around the world.
As she worked tirelessly on the bus’ interior to turn it into a place of comfort, she moved seven times over the years. However, Jessie would face some obstacles.
A Little Help
Since Jessie didn’t have her driver’s license, she had to rope in some friends to help her get the bus to upstate New York.
They drove the bus for her all the way from the auction house and stationed it in Ashbury Park, New Jersey.
This was where Jesse had a huge task on her hands.
Old And Rusty
When Jessie finally received the bus, it was in a state of disrepair. It was rusty, and the inside looked worse for wear. Had she made a mistake in purchasing this bus?
She knew she had to put in a lot of work and effort to turn this into the home she had dreamed of.
She did some research and then put together a list of people she needed to call. It would not be an easy task.
A Dream Team
Once Jessie had made appointments to see the team, it was time for the amazing transformation of her bus.
Everything was ordered online as she didn’t have time to go to shops and pick out what she wanted.
She was switching to a simpler life, after all. But then she was hit with her first big problem.
One of the contractors made Jessie aware that the bus was leaking oil all over the place. This was not what she needed. It would mean forking out more money.
She quickly contacted a mechanic.
He was able to come on the same day to try and fix the oil leak. But unbeknownst to them, bigger problems were lying in wait.
With the oil leak fixed, the mechanic asked Jesse if he could do a once-over on the bus, just to make sure that there weren’t any more surprises waiting for Jessie.
And true to form, that’s exactly what the mechanic found.
Jessie could not believe how this bus was turning into a complete money sinkhole. She wanted to just give up and sell the bus.
The mechanic made a list of all the items on the bus that needed to be replaced. This was a huge setback for her.
She had not made provisions for such a big fixing job.
Jessie felt defeated. This bus was in such a terrible condition that she wasn’t motivated to continue with her project anymore.
Too Much To Handle
The mechanic said that all four tires needed to be replaced. If she was planning on renovating inside, the bus needed to have new and strong enough tires.
Then it also needed a brand new battery in order to power up not the bus but all the appliances that she would be using inside of the bus.
With this, Jessie sank down to the floor.
Jessie decided to take a day to think about everything. Was she doing the right thing? She was using most of her savings on this bus, and she wasn’t even sure how it would turn out.
Then she remembered the real reason for this massive change. She wanted to live simpler and reduce her carbon footprint.
This was for the good of the environment. Then she stood up and did the unexpected.
Jessie called the mechanic. She told him to go ahead with the replacements that the bus needed.
She wanted to forge ahead with her project.
There was a lot to get done. She first had to fix the mechanical issues before she could move on with the renovations. This would prove to be more difficult than she imagined.
The mechanic was very helpful, but this was time-consuming, and she had hoped it would be done by the following day.
Little did she know how big the task would be.
Turns out that replacing bus tires needs a whole team in itself. All Jessie could do was look on and wait. Her dream living space was taking its own time.
A New Bus
After a few days, the bus had four new tires and a reinforced battery to power up her new home in the making.
She finally called the contractors to come to start with the renovations. She accompanied the contractor to the hardware stores to pick out all the materials needed.
Things were finally starting to look up.
Project Greyhound House
Everything that was left inside the bus was removed.
It was sanded down and painted. Now the real work would begin.
Jesse needed countertops, shelves, and a new bed structure, all to be made from scratch. This all needed to fit into the frame of the bus. Jesse found out that it would not be easy.
Eventually, after removing the wooden structures a few times and re-fitting them, everything would have its place, and there would still be enough space to fit a fully functioning kitchen.
Jesse’s home was taking shape.
She could see herself cooking in her little kitchen and sitting in the nook by the window reading. She wouldn’t dream of going back to her apartment.
The Bare Bones
When Jessie bought the 1966 Greyhound bus, it had been stripped down to its bare bones. She withdrew all her savings to take on this new project.
With the help of several professional contractors, she made the bus her own.
Three years later, the result of her tireless work had completely transformed it. But not everyone was happy with her radical lifestyle change.
Jessie’s family was extremely disapproving at first. “My mom thought I was crazy. She would tell all the people in her apartment building, ‘My daughter is buying a bus to live in,’” Jessie said.
Nevertheless, it was her dream and her vision.
The most difficult challenge was building everything in a way that wouldn’t allow anything to fall while the bus was moving. When it was complete, it stunned them all.
After three years of blood, sweat, and tears, Jessie’s home was finally ready. Although it had cost her a total of $70,000, she actually ended up saving a lot of money.
For one, the bus was hers, and she owned her home outright.
Secondly, $70,000 pales in comparison to the going price of an apartment in Manhattan! Now that her vision was realized, Jessie was ready to share her creation with the world.
One of the most amazing things about Jessie’s bus turned home is how much space is inside.
“When I walk in, it feels huge,” she said. “It feels even bigger than my New York City apartment.”
Indeed, it has a full kitchen with a washing machine, a bathroom with a shower, a lounge, and even a guest room. But the most beautiful room is Jessie’s bedroom.
A Room With A View
Jessie’s bedroom looks like it comes straight out of a quaint hotel brochure.
She has a large bed below a huge window that gives her spectacular views.
“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,” Jessie said. On the windowsill, Jessie keeps her most prized possessions.
Along the entire length of the back of the bedroom, Jessie keeps all the books she still plans to read.
“I feel like I’ve been so busy these past few years that I haven’t read as much as I’d like. I have the time now to do that,” she said.
“It’s nice to just cozy up in bed and just read a book.”
An Amazing Transformation
When you compare Jessie’s bus to what it looked like three years ago, it’s hard to believe such a transformation is even possible. Jessie is ecstatic to call it home.
It just goes to show how creativity, vision, bravery, and a crazy idea can change your life if you’re looking for a fresh start. Jessie made the impossible possible.
In order to protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events or places or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental