Couple Transforms School Bus Into Their Home And They Haven’t Been Happier

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Meet 33-year-old Derek and 32-year-old Amy Cobia. They recently left corporate America for a different life than what they were leading while living in the suburbs. So, what’s so interesting about their journey? The couple, with their 3-year-old daughter Payson, left their home, mortgage payments, and high-paying jobs to live out of a bus while exploring America on wheels.

This situation may not sound ideal to everyone, because let’s face it, not everyone can live out of a school bus and without the luxuries we tend to afford while living in the suburbs. But, this couple has some amazing reasons as to why they decided to drop out of the rat race.

Derek left his job as a financial adviser, while Amy ditched her full-time job as a teacher, to live out their dream. Derek told Fox News: “Most of America is so glued to their phones, they don’t spend quality family time together.” Evidently, they didn’t want the implications of technology affecting their family life, especially little Payson. 

In 2015, Derek and Amy Cobia decided they wanted to sell their home in Atlanta, Georgia and live on a campground for a more simpler life. 

Talking about the new life the lead, Amy has no regrets about embarking on this journey in 2015: “I never want to go back to our old lifestyle. It’s the greatest thing we have ever done in our relationship.” It all started for them back in 2015 when the two decided to sell their place in Atlanta, Georgia and move to a local campsite with their daughter. There, they say, they were inspired by families who lived on the road and were passing through the campsite; they were exploring each and every corner of the country, and Derek and Amy knew they wanted to do the same.

They started out living in an RV for a year until they decided that it was time to upgrade to a school bus. They bought a bus off eBay for $3,000.

The young dad tells Fox News: “We would meet families who were just passing through too, which is when we first started to think about it. At the time our RV was causing us a lot of trouble. It was poorly built and there were a lot of issues that were costing us a lot of money. We noticed another bus in our campsite and we thought it was so cool. We began to look up pictures on Pinterest and started wrapping our head around the idea.”

They had moved to the campsite in an RV and lived in it for a year before they decided that they would switch it out for a school bus—it would definitely have more space; they purchased a school bus on eBay for $3,000. The two then got to work. Amy and Derek invested a total of $15,000 into the bus and transformed the place into a proper living area; solar panels, a composting toilet, and a large bathtub are just some of the features inside.

The school bus is fully equipped with solar panels, a composting toilet, and so much more. It’s become the perfect living space for Derek, Amy, their 3-year-old daughter Payson, and the family dog, Britches. 

When further probed about the school bus, Derek brought up a good point: “School buses are so highly regulated in order to protect children, they’re usually in really good condition. They are steel-framed so they are so sturdy and safe. We bought ours on eBay that February from a guy in Atlanta.”

The couple spent $15,000 renovating the bus. 

Their bus living space is all about sustainability and being eco-friendly. They have fold-up beds to save space and a livestock trough as a bathtub. Quite innovative, right? 

Although the couple, along with their daughter and family dog Britches, travels across the country and visit numerous states a year, they still have a steady flow of income to help sustain their lifestyle. Derek runs his own financial services company, and Amy takes up remote administrative work; the family is committed to continuing to travel with other people from the “tiny homes” community.

The couple also thinks that living this way has a good impact on their toddler; she is smarter and more in tune with things around her than if she lived in the suburbs. Derek and Amy wanted to get away from a life in which people were always on their phones. 

When questioned about the effects of this lifestyle on their daughter, Derek and Amy have only positive things to say. They feel that Payson is a very “well-rounded” child; she’s social and she’s always expanding her knowledge: “She knows the difference between a mountain and a volcano, a river, and a lake. She’s more aware of her surroundings. We’ve been so lucky to see some of the country’s most beautiful national parks,” Amy said.

The little girl knows a lot about nature thanks to the national parks the family has visited; they have gone to 33 states in the country. 

Speaking more about the home itself, Amy said that a nice bathtub and a comfortable bed were absolutely mandatory—she didn’t need a couch in the house (or bus). 

The family has no intentions of going back to the life they used to live in Atlanta; they’re loving their new home and believe this is the best decision they’ve made in their lives! 


The couple isn’t shy to admit that sometimes things can get hard. Amy, in specific, mentions that sometimes she misses WiFi connection, immediate access to water, and some of the other luxuries they left behind. But, Derek reminds her that it is nice to be disconnected for a little bit.

Regardless of what they may be “missing out on,” this family is very happy with the way they’ve now chosen to lead their life. There’s no going back for Amy, Derek, Payson, and Britches.

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