Wild and Free: Florida family takes old school bus on an adventure

Steve Lawson was looking for a better way to see the country, and his wife Michelle had a crazy idea.

"Michelle said, 'We should do a bus.' I said, 'You're nuts! We can’t do a bus! It's a school bus, how are we going to do that?'" Steve recalled. 

Two years and $31,000 later, the couple has been cruising around in their 40-foot-long converted school bus. It comes complete with a living room, bathroom, kitchen and master bedroom.

"I definitely wanted a king bed because we have lots of kids that jump in bed with us," Michelle said. 

That's right. Kids. The Lawsons have seven children. The family of nine shares 260 square-feet when they hit the road on long family trips.

"We've got beds for nine. Two sets of bunkbeds with three on each side," Steve said. 

The Lawsons are a proud part of the "skoolie” movement sweeping the nation. Families have been converting old school buses, often available for a few thousand dollars, into mobile homes.

"It’s exactly what we wanted and what we needed to road trip more efficiently and for less money," Michelle said.  

Mom and Dad said life on the road offers their children an education they could never get in a classroom.

"We learned about Mt. Rushmore. We actually drove to Mt. Rushmore and got to see Mt. Rushmore; experience it and walk around," Steve recalled.

The family photography business allows the Lawsons to generate income on the road.

"We put up (on the website) where we are headed and sure enough we book multiple shoots along the way," Steve said.

Both parents said the bus allows them to break free of the traditional life path that so many people strive for.

"Get married. Have kids. When your kids get older, you can retire and travel," he said, "and it's like, I want to go hike these mountains with my kids."