This millennial couple travels the country in a converted bus after paying off all their debt

Instead of paying off a mortgage or paying rent, Will and Kristin Watson just have to pay for gas and insurance on their bus

Will and Kristin Watson have only been living in their converted bus for eight months, but they’re already accustomed to it.

The couple is originally from Jacksonville Beach, Florida, and are in Florida visiting family for the holidays. Even after just a week, Will Watson, 31, told FOX Business that their visit already felt like a long time in one place.

“I feel like … we need to travel or go explore somewhere else already," he said. “You get used to this lifestyle, a little bit of the change of scenery.”


However, once the holidays are over and things warm up a bit, the couple, their 13-month-old daughter, Roam, and their pitbull, Rush, will go right back to driving their bus -- which they’ve named Juan  -- around the continent.

The Watsons agreed to quit their regular 9-5 jobs and give their unique lifestyle a try back in 2017.

Kristin and Will Watson moved into a converted bus in about April 2019, along with their now 13-month-old daughter, Roam, and their pitbull, Rush. (@numberjuanbus)

They bought the 31-foot 1992 Blue Bird Air Force bus in about August 2017. (@numberjuanbus)

The bus has 190 square feet inside, which can fit Will and Kristin's bed, Roam's crib and a bathroom. (@numberjuanbus)

Kristin Watson, 29, told FOX Business that she had been trying to convince her husband to live on a bus or a van or in a tiny house for years before one day, he told her he wanted to try it.

“He  was working really, really hard and he had this huge project and he was just super burnt out and in the midst of this project, he came into the room one day and was like, ‘I was just thinking, when I’m done with this project, we should just buy a bus and convert it and travel around,’” Kristin Watson said.

Of course, she was immediately on board.


By August of 2017, the couple had bought their vehicle of choice, a 31-foot 1992 Blue Bird Air Force bus, for $8,000.

While Will Watson and his dad spent the next couple of years renovating the bus to be liveable, Kristin Watson worked on paying off all her debt, which consisted of a student loan from college and some credit card debt.

“It was just important to us to make sure that we didn’t have any debt before we jumped into this kind of lifestyle, because we didn’t want to have anything pulling us in any other direction than in what direction we wanted to go,” she said.

“It was about $24,000, and I paid it all off in a year right before we moved onto the bus and now we don’t have any debt,” she continued. “We’ve actually been able to save and invest our money.”

The couple traveled about 16,000 miles since April and have visited places all along the East Coast of the U.S. and in Canada. (@numberjuanbus)

The bathroom on the converted bus is pictured. (@numberjuanbus)

It also helps that they don’t have to pay off a mortgage or pay rent, Will Watson added.

“We still have to pay for, you know, gas and insurance on the bus, but it’s cheaper than a house and a mortgage payment,” he said. “So we’re saving that extra money and just putting it into savings. So for the long term we can have some money saved up and not be struggling.”

By April of this year, the Watsons had moved into the bus, which has 190 square feet inside -- with enough room for the couple's bed as well as a crib for Roam -- and a bathroom.


Overall, the bus and renovations cost $30,000, Will Watson said.

“That’s our house,” he said. “That is really everything. And crazy enough, everything we own is inside that tiny space.”

However, neither Will nor Kristin Watson feels like the bus gets crowded.

“I mean, we have lots of space,” she said. “And you spend lots of time outside, too, whenever you live like this.”

“That’s the purpose,” Will Watson added. “We have different backgrounds all the time. We go to national parks and state parks and kind of see all over the country and still work from those places. So we spend time -- at night time, obviously we’re in the bus working and doing all that, but in the daytime, we try to explore and hang out and spend time outdoors.”

The couple still works, but their jobs are flexible and allow them to work remotely, for the most part. (@numberjuanbus)

The interior of the bus. (@numberjuanbus)

Because they both still work, they have plenty of responsibilities, but both their jobs allow them to be flexible and to work remotely often.

Kristin Watson is a communications manager, and Will Watson started his own video production company, which includes making the videos that document the couple’s journey on their YouTube channel and Instagram account.

Will Watson sometimes has to fly into specific locations to film and produce content for clients, but once that’s done, he’s able to fly back to his wife and the bus and edit as they travel.


“I guess it’s just like, we can do both, so we don’t really see the point in not working,” Kristin Watson said. “We’re investing in our future when we continue to work and bring in money that way and invest it in different accounts and things like that. I mean, because we do have a child.”

“We have responsibilities now,” Will Watson added.

However, even though it might seem difficult to raise a baby on a bus, Kristin Waston said Roam does a great job.

“She’s a  great traveler,” she said. “She doesn’t really know any different, so I guess she’s just adapted to it.”