VALRICO (FOX 13) - Imagine selling all of your things, paying off your debt, and moving into a school bus. That's what one family from Georgia did. Now, they're living life on the road, exploring the United States one mile at a time.
The Cobia family is driving through the Tampa Bay area this week. We caught up with them as they spent some time in the Valrico area.
One glance at the interior of this home and you'd never guess it's actually a school bus. It's decorated like something you'd see in a magazine. Derek and Amy Cobia, their 2-year-old daughter Payson, and dog Britches live here full-time.
"Everybody thought we were crazy," Derek Cobia said. "People still do, but I think, as we've gotten some traction on social media, people are starting to buy into it."
A few years ago, they'd had enough of the rat race. They decided to quit their jobs, sell all of their stuff and buy an old school bus for $3,000 on eBay. They spent $14,000 on renovations and then, they hit the road, debt-free.
"It's been a great adventure so far," Amy Cobia said.
"Today, we're in a cow pasture and tomorrow, we might be in a national forest," Derek said.
Living simply definitely takes creativity.
"These are actually barn doors that we turned into our pantry," Amy said, showing off the kitchen. "They also lift up into tables."
The kitchen opens up into the bathroom. The bath is a water trough they bought for $90. The faucet from the kitchen sink extends to the to the tub and acts as a shower head.
Instead of closets, they store their clothing under their best. To save space, the composting toilet has curtains around it instead of walls
"We decided to do curtains for our walls, which bothers a lot of people but it doesn't bother us," Amy said.
No utilities is a pretty nice perk, too. "No electricity bill whatsoever," Amy said. "No water bills, either."
They make money selling solid lotion at flea markets, festivals and online at their Etsy store. They also pick up jobs along the way.
Derek, a registered investment advisor, understands that money is important. But, for them, making memories has been truly priceless.
"I want people to know that you can live happily without a bunch of stuff," Amy said. "You can be free, you don't have to be tied down to anything."
"There are a lot of people who are afraid but life is too short," Derek said. "Just pull the trigger. You figure it out along the way."
What's next for this mobile family? They plan to drive up the Gulf Coast, stop by some tiny house festivals, and then, they're headed west.
You can follow their adventures on social media. They go by the name "The Frugal RVer."