School bus family

Skyler Stewart and Dustin Collins and their daughter, Aria, are pictured on top of their newly-renovated school bus.

DuBOIS — A DuBois couple that transformed a school bus into their dream travel home will be heading on a journey across the country within the coming weeks.

Skyler Stewart and Dustin Collins found their school bus on Facebook Marketplace in May 2020, Stewart said, purchasing it from a school bus company in Chambersburg.

Pursuing this vision for themselves and their daughter, Aria, was something they had been thinking about for years, Stewart said.

“We were inspired, seeing various people online who were living a traveling lifestyle,” she said.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Stewart said they realized it was the right time to carry out their vision.

“We had been saving for some sort of RV, school bus or van for a while, and decided to just jump right in,” she said.

Stewart said the bus has undergone a complete “conversion.” The couple tore out the seats, gutted the inside, rebuilt the interior, painted the outside and also added a custom rooftop deck. The bus has a bunk bed for the couple’s daughter, Aria, a bedroom for them and even spaces for their three dogs, as well as a full kitchen and living room space and full bathroom.

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“We had no prior experience, just a willingness to learn,” said Stewart.

The process has been a learning experience for the family, she said.

“It’s taught us a lot about patience, and has also really allowed us to tap into our own creativity,” Stewart said. “It’s not lost on us that we are very fortunate to be pursuing this dream. However, we’ve worked really hard to make it a reality.”

The school bus hasn’t made any long trips yet, said Stewart, besides to the mechanic and to have its rooftop deck installed. But, the family plans to leave for Florida in next few weeks, kicking off their trip across America.

“We look forward to immersing ourselves into our country’s history, and the ability we will have to experience life in a different way,” she said.

Everyone who hears about this bus journey is very excited for the family, said Stewart.

“Of course, when you do something so out of the ordinary, you are met with questions and curiosity, which we have welcomed,” she said. “Overall, we have received a ton of support, and are extremely grateful for that.”

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