A WOMAN quit her job and moved into a converted school bus to travel the country – and is loving every second of it.
And now, Courtney Stutelberg helps others follow in her footsteps – by converting old buses and selling them to eager travellers.
In 2017, Courtney quit her 9-5 job as an operations specialist and decided to hit the road full-time, taking her 1990 GMC Suburban on a tour around Alaska and Canada.
But in April 2018, disaster struck when the transmission in her car failed and as it was a pricey job, the 27-year-old felt at a loss.
Soon, she discovered a retro school bus for sale online, costing $2,500 (USD) (£2,035), and six months later, she sold the abode-on-wheels for an estimated $10,000 (USD) (£8,140).
"I didn't want to let go of the freedom I felt for the first time in my life," Courtney, from Minnesota, US, told NeedToKnow.Online.
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"Initially, the question was to either find a place to live, sell the suburban or buy the bus – and of course, throw a couple of thousand dollars into the conversion and build a home-on-wheels.
"I had never built anything before, but my ex-partner had some carpentry skills, so I learned how to build a bed, a makeshift kitchen and figured out running water."
Within a week, the project was complete and in total, cost her $5,000 (USD) (£4,070).
After six months of living on the bus and travelling across the country, Courtney decided it was too big and sold it on for the aforementioned price, before purchasing another school bus project.
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10 days later, her second home-on-wheels was transformed – and this is when the business venture really began.
She then bought her third bus, which she finished renovating in three weeks and caught the attention of other people, who were intrigued by her designs.
She said: "I noticed that I got addicted to fresh starts and the bus conversions gave me that feeling.
"People started to become aware and attracted to my designs, styles and small details.
"The more buses I built, the better they looked.
Over the next five years, she travelled across 49 states all while renovating multiple buses and selling them off at a high profit.
In March 2022, she joined forces with her sister, Cassidy, who had become tired of her nursing job and also wanted a fresh start.
While she has little DIY experience, their skills combined together have created them a successful business called Nomadic Homes – and to date, they've renovated many buses.
Cassidy said: “Although I have some background in restoring an old car, I came into the business with no experience.
"Now, I am almost as good as Courtney – at least I like to think so."
Full build prices start at $65,000 (USD) (£53,000) and their work has inspired many people, especially women, across the globe to get stuck in.
Currently, they are working on a bus for a solo woman, who will move into the bus as her full-time residence, and the pair claim all but one of their projects have been for single women.
Courtney added: “We strive to encourage women, and men of course, to have the courage in themselves to hit the road solo.
Cassidy added: "I've found a passion in something greater than I could have ever imagined.
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“Courtney and I have the ability to change people's lives – whether it’s building them a home or just being there for support and encouragement.
It is truly something special."
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