The hospitality of a welcoming family
A few years ago Val & Tim, two nature lovers, got the crazy idea to purchase an American school bus via a crowdfunding campaign. They removed everything inside the bus to convert it into a moving house and hostel. Inside the bus, they designed a proper bedroom, a bathroom, toilets, a kitchen, a living room and even enough bunkbeds to welcome up to 8 guests into their atypical life style.
Since then, this little family of adventurers has kept moving from one country to another, meeting different locals and discovering their culture. A crazy story that inspired us for our first movie, In Gora, during which the Picture Family have joined this modern nomad couple.
Let’s meet them !
Can you introduce your little family ?
Hi we’re Tim (40), Val (27), our daughter Fenna (2,5) and our dog Lewis. We are originally from Antwerp, Belgium and we sometimes park our home on wheels for a couple of weeks near the city center, but the rest of the year we are on the road, discovering new places all over Europe. We’ve been living full-time on The Nomads Bus, our hostel on wheels for a year and a half now.
Where did the idea of The Nomad Bus come from and what is it all about? What makes it unique?
We were traveling around Central America for about a year and saw a lot of old American school busses being used as public transport and got the idea to convert one into a home. After ten years these busses are not allowed to transport kids anymore so there is an abundance of school busses for sale and they are quite cheap. We created a business plan and only a few months later we did a successful crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo and bought the bus on eBay from Nashville, Tennessee. We drove it to Florida and shipped the bus to Belgium. In a small town in Belgium we converted the bus with help of Workawayers from all the world into a beautiful hostel. It took us a year and a half before the bus could finally legally get on the road but then it finally happened: we were able to pursue our dream of chasing adventure and fresh pow with our hostel and share this experience with our guests…
Because our hostel can literally go anywhere in Europe we can keep discovering new places with our guests. In the winter we like to chase snow in the Austrian and Norwegian Alps and in summer we like to do all sorts of things in Norway. Hiking, fishing, campfires, surfing, MTB,.. you name it, anything is possible.
We have six beds for guests who join us for a week or ten days. We pick them up at the airport, make them breakfast and dinner, drive them to beautiful spots, have lots of fun and adventures together and drop them off at the airport again at the end of the trip.
What do you do to keep your bus as eco-friendly as possible ?
We know it’s still a bus and not the most eco friendly way of transportation but we do carbon neutralize our emissions by donating every month to a non profit carbon neutralizing organisation, CarbonFund.
We also use solar panels on the bus, have sheep wool insulation, a compost toilet, wood stove… and we eat vegetarian on the bus. It’s amazing to see how guests get inspired to adjust their lifestyle and make their footprint a bit smaller when they leave the bus.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years ?
This is so hard to say. Every year is so different. New projects, new collaborations, new plans.. we would love to move to Canada one day but who knows, maybe we have a whole village on wheels one day 🙂 !