Love is a journey. You embark on this challenging road with someone who you deeply care about and will do anything for. This is literally what happened when a cute couple took a school bus and transformed it into something truly special.
All Aboard The Love Bus
Lovebirds Felix Starck and Selima Taibi transformed this bus into what has essentially become their vessel for love and life. They used it as their main mode of transport in what can only be described as a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.
Starting From Scratch
The couple was sick of their routine lives in Berlin, Germany. For them, the wild Americas were their most desired destinations. Upon acquiring their bus, they had a vision of how they wanted their home to look. “We got all of the flooring out yesterday, but we found one huge hole in the floor,” they wrote. “The bus has a lot of rust, but that’s the problem or the risk when you buy a bus located in Florida while in Germany. I’m pretty sure we can fix it today [though].”
Do It Ourselves
The couple knew the challenges ahead of them. Felix and Selima didn’t want to spend every night of their adventure worrying about finding a new hostel to stay in. They thought it would be much easier making a mobile home that reflected their personalities. Throughout the bus’s transformation, Felix refers to Selima by her stage name Mogli. She’s a professional musician. “Mogli is trying to get these nasty stickers off – much more work than you would think! Pumped to get some sub-flooring and insulation in today.”
There is no doubt that the project was a big investment for the couple. Felix and Selima bought this 1996 Thomas International school bus for $9,50o. After flying to the U.S., where their new home was waiting for them, the couple were ready. “We found more rust yesterday,” Starck wrote. “We gonna fix the holes by screwing in some metal sheets but before we have to get rid of the rust.” However, the rust was just the first of many issues that they needed to consider…
Zero Construction Experience
One obvious obstacle that was in the couple’s way was their severe lack of experience in construction. They didn’t really have any whatsoever. However, they ended up getting a little help and advice from a North Carolina couple, who had previously transformed a bus into a home. It wouldn’t take long before Felix and Selima were comfortably using pallet wood and building their own bed. “Mogli just built us a bed… no big deal I guess!” Starck wrote.
Rudi, Rudi, Rudi!
One thing was for sure: Felix and Selima certainly couldn’t do everything by themselves. They needed some help along the way. One key figure who was by their side every step of the way during the bus’s transformation was their loyal dog, Rudi. He was an absolute inspiration for the couple throughout the project and not a day went by when the adorable hound wasn’t keeping an eye on his owners with that long tongue dangling from his mouth.
A Long Way To Go
It got to a point when Felix and Selima could see their home starting to take shape. However, there was no denying that there was still a lot of work left to be done. With most of the cabinets fitted in the kitchen area, the couple was confident that everything was going to plan. “The kitchen is coming right along,” Felix wrote. They knew that they would need a lot of storage space for their big adventure.
Creating The Bathroom
The couple envisioned a bathroom that would be split in two for separate purposes. One part is the toilet room, which is very small and can only fit one person. Then there is the shower room, which, as you can see, Selima had a great time fitting in some beautiful handmade tiles for some stylish decoration. She also enjoyed painting the toilet room in white, to make it feel bigger than it actually is. “Painting our teensy tiny toilet,” Felix wrote.
Nice Paint Job
The reality was that it was going to take a huge amount of work for the couple to make the exterior of their new home look like anything other than a school bus. In the end, Felix and Selima decided that not much needed to be done, except for a paint job. They went for white. However, the end result turned out looking more like a light grey. “Gray! It turned out gray! Black parts will be cream,” Felix wrote.
When building a mobile home, every single inch of space must count. So don’t be surprised if a bus-turned-home has a few multi-functional areas. One part of Felix and Selina’s home has a kitchen on one side of main walkway while a desk with two computers is situated on the other side. The end result is a cool kitchen-office combination. This means that the couple can cook, eat and work at the same time. The kitchen has a stove, a fridge and a sink.
At the back of the bus is where Felix and Selima’s bedroom is. It is situated on a higher platform than the rest of the home, which clearly separates it from the rest of the living space. Cleverly, the couple used the emergency ceiling hatch for a unique purpose – for a natural source of light. They even built shelves on the bedroom wall to store their favorite books. It looked like the couple had extremely good sleep on that bed.
How Does The Bus Get Its Power?
There are two efficient ways that Felix and Selima’s home can use power. Solar panels on the roof generate electricity for their home, while the couple can also plug the bus into a grid. It makes sense that all of the excess electrical appliances are located at the back of the bus. Felix and Salima use the rear door to access the power station, which is also where “Mogli’s” musical equipment is stored.
Not only did Felix and Selima take their own personal needs into consideration, they also designed the house with Rudi’s needs being a priority. They wanted to take their beloved dog on the adventure with them and wanted him to be as comfortable as possible. Therefore, they made sure that the living space was as spacious as possible, meaning plenty of room for Rudi to walk around and feel safe. Also, the sofa opens up, providing extra storage.
So Much Storage Space
It seems like this couple had every single detail, no matter how small, jotted down in preparation for their dream home. Felix and Selima knew that they need plenty of storage space, especially after packing up and relocating in such a unique way. As previously said, they left no space wasted. This means that wherever you look in their bus-turned-home, the likelihood is that a storage space is being concealed. They measured exactly how much space they needed for storage and designed accordingly.
After all of the furnishings were fitted and the final touches were applied to their new home, Felix and Selima hung up a canvas that “simply” says “live simply.” This simple mantra doesn’t go without a strong sense of irony. Here is a couple from Germany who decided one day to pack their belongings, buy a bus, fly to the U.S. with their dog, transform the bus into a mobile home and travel cross-country with it. Doesn’t sound so simple to us…
Ready For An Adventure
When the last coat of paint was applied and everything was done, Felix and Selima sat on the roof of their new home and celebrated. “After 12 weeks of daily failure we are quite done with the conversion and now we are ready to take our beauty all the way down to South America,” they wrote. “If we make it that far – I have no idea, probably not! Are we going to have a great time? For sure!”
Where To First?
Upon completing their bus transformation, the couple decided to embark on their journey from North America to South America. Their project, “Expedition Happiness,” has been an ever-growing project and for a while, it didn’t seem like it would ever end. The question they needed to answer first was the following: where should we go first? They decided to start as north as possible and their first destination was the land of the Maple Leaf, of all places. First stop? Canada.
One of Felix, Selima and Rudi’s first stops on their big adventure was in the Banff National Park, located in the heart of the Canadian Rockies. If there is one thing that this couple wanted to embrace on their trip, it was nature. This made Banff National Park an ideal place to visit. You can see Rudi staring at Selima as he stands on the roof of their home. “Hell yeah! Banff-Nationalpark we love you!!! Mowgli is enjoying the sun and me and Rudi go for a hike,” Felix wrote.
Rudi The Explorer
For most dogs, a couple of walks outside of their home is considered a successful day. However, Rudi’s life hasn’t been so ordinary in recent times. Felix and Selima have given their dog the opportunity of a lifetime, traveling with them across the Americas. Not many dogs get to see as much of the world as Rudi has in recent times. All of these mountains, forests, deserts and beaches have opened his eyes to worlds that he never knew existed!
Next Stop? Alaska!
It seems like Felix and Selima decided to go further north after their stop in Canada. They were determined to have an incredible time in Alaska and it certainly didn’t disappoint! One of the highlights during their time in The Last Frontier included their visit to Denali National Park. Even in these cold conditions, the sun peered through the clouds, allowing this cute couple to sit on top of their bus-home and enjoy a cup of coffee together.
Love In Death Valley
Another stunning destination that the happy trio spent time at was hauntingly beautiful Death Valley. Completely contrasting the snowy peaks of the Canadian Rockies, it was a testament to how far Felix and Selima’s home had taken them. This wasn’t even the end of their journey. “Death Valley was one of the most impressive place on this trip (so far),” Felix wrote. “Rudi feels ways better by now and kinda gets used to the heat here in Arizona. MEXICO here we come…”
Another destination that added a new flavor to Felix and Selima’s epic adventure was sunny Mexico! In such a short space of time, the couple had traveled to not one, not two, but three different countries! Not only did they get to do some well-deserved relaxing on the beautiful Mexican beaches, but Selima aka Mogli, got some great opportunities to write some new music. “It’s no secret that Mogli wrote some amazing songs while we were traveling,” Felix wrote.
Suddenly, Felix and Selima were left with no choice but to cancel their dream adventure. The reason for this was because Rudi had got ill during the trip. Subsequently, they decided to turn around and seek medical assistance for their beloved hound. “WE’RE GONNA MISS THIS,” Felix wrote. “It looks like we have to stop our trip. Rudi has a serious illness (he is hospitalized at the moment) and his health and happiness are our number one priority.”
Ultimately, the couple decided to put their bus up for auction as they were ready to move on to other projects. The end result was far beyond their expectations. “IT’S OFFICIAL! Pablo won the raffle and will be the new owner of our bus,” they wrote. “He and his wife are waiting for their daughter to be born in 3 weeks to take her and their son on a road trip to Argentina! Can you believe it? Our bus is going to reach our destination after all – even if it’s without us.”
Felix and Selima may have felt upset that they had to put their epic adventure to a premature end. However, it was with Rudi in their hearts that they knew that canceling the trip was for the best. In this family, no one is compromised. Either they are all in, or all out. This obviously wasn’t just a physical journey for Felix and Selima. It was also a spiritual and emotional one. They realized what was most important: their love for each other.
Home Is Where The Heart Is
Wherever Felix and Selima’s bus takes them next, one thing is for sure: they are still very much in love. After executing one of the most daring projects of their lives, the couple then embarked on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. After all of this, they are still happy together and are already planning their next project. You can check out their journey on their Facebook page. Also, their travel documentary from Alaska to Mexico is available on iTunes, Google Play, and Netflix!
The Big Picture
As you take a step back, you can appreciate the thought and care that Felix and Selima put into their interior living space. Everything in their new home has a purpose and no space is wasted. They have a bedroom, a kitchen, a bathroom, an office and a lounge all in one bus. The most amazing thing about this fact though, is that you can virtually see everything when standing at one end of the bus.
It might come as a surprise that the couple took to the challenge of creating their own home so nonchalantly. However, make no mistake about it, they have ventured into the unknown before. Starck cycled around the globe in 365 days and even made a documentary about it. With Selima producing the soundtrack for it, it was the most popular documentary in Germany a few years ago. It’s safe to say that this is one couple who has no fear.
A Home & A Ride
For Felix and Selima, home is wherever they want to be. If they wanted to have Mount Rushmore in their backyard, they could. They might have wanted to be surrounded by New Mexican desert. Well, guess what, they could. Also, if they wanted to look out at the Pacific Ocean, they could. With their new mobile home, the possibilities were endless. They had created a home that was just as effective as a home as it was as a fast mode of transport.
Filmmaker Felix Stark and girlfriend Selima Taibi reached a stage in their relationship where they felt comfortable enough to explore the world. However, one little trip wasn’t enough for them. This couple wanted to become travelers for the foreseeable future. This meant that they needed some sort of mobile home. “365 days ago we bought a school bus and converted it to a… call it what you want. It was the trip of our lives that’s for sure,” they wrote on their Facebook page.