Tuesday, December 11, 2012



        Have you ever had the turtle-life fantasy? Everywhere you go, there you are, house on your back, the world at your little turtle toes. Or maybe the early American Pioneer's dream is more appropriate. You dream of loading the Conestoga with your family, what possessions you can fit and a desire to live a new kind of life. This is how it was for us.

Who are we?
         Almost two years ago my wife, Heidi, and I made a decision that would alter our life course and our lifestyle dramatically.  The idea, which was born primarily from feeling stunted by the cost of living, was to buy a used school bus, outfit the inside to live comfortably, pare down to our most useful and valued possession and move on (pun intended). Our fantastical discussion took place during one ordinary breakfast on an ordinarily rainy spring morning in Portland, Oregon.
         Today I write to you as the late autumn sun hangs low over our beautifully lit mountain vista in Kila, Montana. I sit at the very same table where Heidi and I talked over breakfast and envisioned our future mobile life.  The table, however, has been slimmed down, like many of our things, and one side is now fastened to the inside wall of our school bus. A fire crackles in the wood stove beside me and cozily warms the 200 square feet that we now call home. We call our bus Wild Blue referencing its brand, Blue Bird, and our frequently recited call to adventure “Into the wild blue yonder!”  

Looking toward the kitchen of our little home.

Why we are starting this blog.
                 We live in a unique way. Being very confined yet hardly restricted has been more interesting and exciting then we ever could have imagined.  Not only have we learned loads of new skills and had countless valuable experiences, but we have also spent a lot of time defining our values and our goals. We are doing our best to live by these evolving principles in our journey toward a more self sufficient and sustainable life.
         This blog, we hope, will be many things to many people.  For us, it is a chance to share our experiences and our lessons as we continue to explore our world both philosophically and physically. We have been so fortunate to have guidance and prior knowledge of so many which have made living the way we do possible. This blog is an opportunity for us to give something back and hopefully serve as a reference for others. Moreover, it would be fantastic if this space could become an ongoing discussion and a communal meeting place for anyone who takes interest. Part of our vision is welcoming others to our lifestyle. While we realize that it is unrealistic for everyone to live the way we do, I think that many will find something useful in our discussions. Partly, this blog is also a selfish act in which we seek the advice, the ideas and even the criticisms of others.  Let us know what you think. Are there better ways of doing things? Are there books we should read? Are there places we should go? Can we park in your driveway? Just kidding… kind of. 

Heidi in our summer garden at one of the beautiful properties where we have lived.
What are we talking about?
         While there is no telling how this thing will evolve and what ground it will cover, there are a few topics that we have become interested in if not passionate about. Among others, we would love to tap into the following topics in our discussions:
-Small space living -Sustainability and self reliance
-Food! (every aspect from production to favorite recipes)
-Modern homesteading skills  and country know-how
-Off-grid life and technology (ie. Solar power, home design etc.)
-Social commentary (Opting out of our society’s misguided expectations and norms)
-Creating healthy communities that better serve everyone
-Travel stories (The people we meet and the places we go)
-DIY (or Do It with a little help) everything

       You get the idea. Our hope is to post at least once a week. The more interest there is, the more we will put into it, so please tell your friends. You can choose to be notified when new posts are available by filling the "Follow by email" form on the right side of this page. You can also share our link via email, Facebook or Twitter by clicking the icons. Go ahead and leave a public comment if you would like to contribute to the discussion. Please join us on our journey as we explore a new world on the Wild Blue Bus! 

This post was shared on: The Waste Not Want Not Wednesday blog hop.


Anonymous said...

Love seeing/reading your blog!!!! Such a great adventure you & Heidi are having! But we sure to miss seeing/having you at the Garden...... Di

elaine in maine said...

Hi Colin, following you and Heidi on life's adventure...a great story is unfolding. Having lived the off grid in a small space life for a long time, it is nostalgic..though we were far more firmly rooted to one spot. Living with your best friend and the love of your life makes the whole world better, and the possiblities limitless. Looking forward to hearng from you...be well

Trish said...

Wow, I have often dreamed of something like this but am not at a place in my life where it is possible. I'm loving the idea of reading about your adventures!

ERICA said...

Im so proud of you sister and brother in law! you have both been such inspirations for me- your blog so far is amazing! excited to see more posts and also know that my driveway will always always be open to you ;)

julesinvt said...

Well, I guess I am already biased, but I LOVE IT! Well done, beautiful, and I can't wait to read more...

L, W and lil xman said...

What an amazing start and a beautiful page! You are a wonderful writer...or writers :) I am so proud an honored to be a part of your little family. You both amaze me in everything you do! Eagerly awaiting more post! I dream of the day we can live in similar fashion (and hopefully much closer:))Lots of love from CA. L, W and X

Abbi said...

How fun! I love how you have transformed your bus. Though I love to travel I also love to put down roots (I don't think you can grow an orchard when moving from place to place) but I do have a brother and sister-in-law that move around all over the country (my brother builds log homes) and they live in a 5th wheel camper with their two kids and they like it. This past summer as they moved around they took with them there tomato plants which had been planted in 5 gallon buckets.

Wild Blue said...

Thanks for the comments all! It's great to know that people are interested and even better to read about your own stories! By the way, I have fixed the follow by email link at the bottom of the page if you would like to receive new post notifications in your inbox. Thanks for visiting!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for taking the time to write this blog! It made me smile to reading what you guys have done and are doing. my family is in the middle of a skoolie build right now and its nice to see what you have done. this is year 2 for us living with out a perment home, before we had our 79 vw camper bus,that was truly a small space for 3 people. I am looking forward to reading more thanks for sharring your adventures!

Anonymous said...

Colin and Heidi,

What an inspiration! The bus looks beautiful. I'm so stoked for you two. Hearing your thoughts on lifestyle, consumption and their relation to satisfaction is an excellent reminder for Cat and me as we toil away over here. Thank you.
Much love,


N8 said...

Very cool! Glad to see people out there as crazy as we are. What a great learning experience. We have been traveling the USA with our 5 kids and ever since we read "Little House on the Prairie" series to our kids, they are dying to homestead.
Our blog: www.hobofamily.com

hornespointhomestead said...

Amazing! Looking forward to following along on your adventures!

Danielle @ Poor and Gluten Free said...

I'm totally gobsmacked by this! I can't wait to read through your blog. Thanks so much for sharing on Waste Not Want Not Wednesday, and I hope to see you back this week :)

Anonymous said...

I saw on your diagram that you have a wood stove, I would be interested in seeing which one you have and how you installed, my bus is called BUBB on skoolie.net