A Life-changing Move
Jessie was disillusioned with her fast-paced job in finance, and she was sick and tired of the rat race. She felt completely burned out – emotionally, spiritually, and physically.
She couldn’t stop thinking that there had to be more to life than working a nine-to-five just to make ends meet. But, one day, Jessie stumbled upon something online that would change her life forever.
It all began in 2015. At the age of thirty, Jessie Lipkin decided that enough was enough. She was tired of stagnating, so she decided to do something radical.
She moved out of her upmarket New York apartment and left the life she had built for herself behind. She spent three years building the new home that would allow her to get out and see the world. And now, for the first time, she’s allowed cameras inside her breathtaking space.
A Crazy Decision
Jessie was aching for change when she stumbled upon something life-changing on eBay. It was a 1966 GMC Commuter Greyhound bus on auction.
She was feeling impulsive when she placed her bid and ended up winning it for just $7,000. Now, she was committed. Even though it was crazy, there was no going back. But there was already a problem.
Following Her Heart
Jessie didn’t even have a driver’s license, so what was she doing buying an old bus?
“I was working long hours in finance at the time and I felt like there was something else out there,” Jessie explained in an interview. She had decided to downsize and live a minimalist life by living in the bus. And she had a profound reason for the sudden change.
Something had been troubling Jessie for years. It was all well and good to eat a plant-based diet, recycle, and save water in her upscale New York apartment, but she felt that she wasn’t truly living up to her values.
Until, one day, she happened to see a documentary that made her pack up her life, leave her career, and throw caution to the wind.
Jessie first learned about sustainable living from a documentary called “Garbage Warrior.” The documentary follows architect Michael Reynolds as he upcycled trash to build “Earthships.”
“[It] really resonated with me,” Jessie explained. “I began to consume everything I could read, more about sustainable lifestyles. Ultimately, a home on wheels seemed like a perfect solution: I could easily explore new places.” Now that the documentary had inspired her, she just had to take that difficult first step.
Getting Rid Of Her Possessions
Now that Jessie had begun her journey, she began to get rid of her material possessions until she was living a truly minimalist life.
“People waste a lot of time focusing on physical items: purchasing them, misplacing them, and subsequently looking for them. Most of these items… felt superfluous to a meaningful life,” she said. And Jessie didn’t just want to live like a minimalist. She had far loftier ideas in mind.
Living A Life Of Meaning
Jessie had lived in Manhattan for most of her life. Now, she vowed to never be chained to one place ever again. It was her life, and she was going to live it. She wanted to see the world in her portable house.
And, over the years, she moved seven times while working tirelessly on the bus’ interior to make it a place of comfort that she could call home. Just take a look inside…
The Bare Bones
When Jessie bought the 1966 Greyhound bus, it had been stripped down to its bare bones. She withdrew all her savings and got to work. 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.