The INSIDER Summary:
• Scott and Emily Manning travelled to 12 countries in 12 months with their son, Carter.
• They bought an old city bus for $3,000 and turned it into a mobile home while Emily was pregnant with Zellie.
• Said bus is currently their permanent residence, as their travels helped them embrace a minimalist approach to life.
For Scott and Emily Manning’s two adorable kids, the classic “The Wheels On The Bus” song takes on a whole new meaning.
The couple spent 12 months travelling to 12 different countries — their infant son Carter in tow — and really took to the minimalist lifestyle of living out of backpacks.
Not wanting to give up this new way of life, they decided to transform an old Denver city bus into a cosy mobile home with their newest addition, Zellie. Said bus is currently their permanent residence, and they document their adventures on their blog, “Where We Roam.”
Scott Manning spoke to INSIDER from his office inside the bus, which is currently based in Oregon.
After graduating from college in 2012, Scott and Emily Manning couldn't find a house that fit their needs and finances. They decided to travel, instead.
'That really kickstarted our desire to travel more full-time, which turned into this project we developed called '12 Countries in 12 Months,'' he said.
'We tried to immerse ourselves in the culture of each, explore some of the things around us, eat as much of the food as we could, and it became such a magical, amazing time for us,' he said.
'We learned more about ourselves, of course -- travel does that to you -- but we learned a lot about how we are together and how we are as a family.'
That led to their next project: buying an old city bus and turning it into a mobile home for their growing family.
Scott's office (he works in online marketing) doubles as Carter's room. Zellie sleeps in a foldable crib underneath Carter's lofted bed.
'Carter loves it,' Manning said. 'He gets to climb up a ladder to his loft area, so it's kind of fun. I imagine myself as a three or four year old really enjoying having a ladder to climb to my bed.'
There's even a playroom with plenty of space for the kids to play. The playroom becomes Scott and Emily's bedroom at night, complete with a pull-out bed.
Living on a bus has helped the Mannings further develop the minimalist mentality they adopted while living out of backpacks for 12 months.
'We like to treat everything that we own as temporary in a sense,' he said. 'If it's not getting used, it doesn't belong in our very tightly-run household because space is definitely the biggest limit to our situation. It's a good way for us to feel like we're using the stuff that we do own, and cherish the stuff that we do own.'
The blog that started as a record of their '12 Countries in 12 Months' project is now 'Where We Roam,' an all-encompassing look at their lives on the road.
'There's always something that we want to do, and we want to have some sort of target for it, so it's really useful to have a website to record our journey, hopefully help others out in the process, but also be a nice, introspective look at what it is we've accomplished and what else we can do,' Scott explained.
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