Couple ditch normal life to raise kids on road in converted school bus

A couple swapped their "normal life" to live on the road instead.

Jessica Rucha, 26 and Adam Cerre, 28, bought a decommissioned bus for $2,400 (£1,700) and converted it into their dream home.

They wanted to escape hellish landlords and hefty bills to explore the world with their three children.

So back in 2018, the American couple gutted the worn-out vehicle in a $14,000 (£10,000) refurb using YouTube videos to guide them.

When the huge project was complete, they hit the road with kids Laken, six, Holton, five, and headed to the Upper Peninsula in Michigan, USA.

Jessica and Adam believe going off grid to live in a converted school bus has helped to save their marriage – and they've gone on to have a daughter called Joella, two.

Jessica met her partner in 2011 and they lived together in Lexington, Michigan with their two children.

But the couple reached a hurdle in their relationship when mechanic Adam started battling alcoholism in 2017.

The pair were also struggling to make ends meet in their home.

Jessica explained: "We were struggling with our rental, we lived in an old farmhouse and there was brown rust coming from the well water and it was not drinkable or clean.

"We spent half of time having to camp because we couldn't wash our clothes or dishes.

"Adam's pay changed to commission right when his work went through probably the biggest dry spell in history."

Jessica added: "We didn't have enough credit to buy, we had two kids at the time and loved each other but he had a problem and I didn't see us continuing on the way we were going.

"I knew that as long as we were living this way we would always be struggling and I wanted to be able to help others, not live for just myself forever."

The mum read up online about a family who spent a year travelling in their RV – and drew inspiration from them.

Both Adam, now three years sober, and Jessica gave up drinking entirely, quit their jobs and bought their school bus, or 'skoolie', in early 2018.

They lived with a family member as they spent a year renovating the vehicle and adding electrics, a compostable toilet and furnishings.

Then as soon as the school bus was liveable, they hit the road.

In January 2019, Jessica gave birth to Joella who the couple describe as their "adventure baby".

The family only visits the shops a few times a months, preferring to make their own cleaning products and toiletries.

They try to limit how much time they spend in cities so they can camp in national forests – and have travelled through 12 states so far.

The kids are home-schooled and learn by looking into the cities and states they're visiting, as well as nature and plants they stumble across on the way.

Free-spirited Jessica explained: "We do book work every day where they read, write and do math as well as physical activities like biking, hiking and yoga.

"We learn about the cities and states we are in as well as the plants that grow there and foraging.

"They help with cleaning, bus chores, couponing and cooking. They are young and there is so much to learn all around us."

Once working 60-hour weeks, Adam – along with his wife – earn their income via photography, selling T-shirts, marketing and odd jobs.

The family-of-five gets by on just $1,000 (around £720) a month – only ever forking out for propane, phone bills and petrol.

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Jessica, from Smiths Creek, Michigan said: "This was not part of our plan nor was it an easy decision, we honestly did this because we were hanging on by a thread.

"I'd be lying if I said no one calls us crazy or throws in a 'I could never live like that, have no big closet, be that close to my spouse etc'.

"We own our home and we have a new backyard weekly, sometimes daily.

"This lifestyle has humbled us so much and taught us more than any household job ever could.

"I don't think we will ever be normal or have a normal life again."

You can follow the couple's journey on Instagram at @rollin_ryver.

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