For John Bloem, Assistant Location Manager at Glacier Park Lodge, the biggest difference between living in a bus instead of a house is, "the freedom to go wherever you want."
John, his wife Ericka, their cat and their restored blue and white school bus are role models for the seasonal life. Four years ago, John and Ericka chose the seasonal lifestyle and spent their first summer at St. Mary Village. For a couple of years, they moved back and forth between Glacier in Montana and Snowshoe Resort in West Virginia. Inspired to see more of the world, they decided to invest in a home that would let them make the most of their new lifestyle – a home on wheels.
Home is Where the Heart Is
John and Ericka started by looking into RVs, but realized that these hefty vehicles weren’t the best fit for them. With a lower price point and a lot more character, they were instantly attracted to the idea of restoring a sturdy school bus. "These buses were made to protect kids. They meet all of the government’s regulations- they’re like tanks," says John.
John and Ericka have refitted their bus with a fully-functioning kitchen, complete with a freezer. Renovating the bus is a labor of love that won’t be ending anytime soon. The Bloems are part of an active online community – it’s where they originally found their bus and where they now go for tips and tricks about restoration projects. They fit these projects in between, and during, their adventures.
John and Ericka spend each summer working with Pursuit’s Glacier Park Collection team in Montana. When winter comes, they hit the road. The couple spent this past winter working on a pumpkin patch and hanging Christmas lights in San Francisco, CA. They lived exclusively from the bus from October until January. It was the longest length of time they’ve spent living in their bus – for now.
Life Lessons on the Road
Every lifestyle comes with its highs and lows, and the seasonal life is no different. Some of the highs John mentions for seasonal life are having places like Glacier National Park as your backyard during the summer and having the freedom to travel wherever the road will take you. On the flip side, forming great friendships and then having to say goodbye at the end of the season is never easy. The seasonal life is packed with surprises and no one can say what the next adventure will bring. One thing is for certain - the memories made will stay with you forever.