Meet the Hollywood bartender who hit the open road in a converted school bus

The idea of quitting the dreaded day job and hitting the open road has crossed most people’s minds at some point. American vlogger Jax Austin has not only embraced a nomadic way of life, he’s done it in style – in a converted yellow school bus!

Hollywood bartender gave up his job to travel the US in a school bus
Jax Austin gave up the day job to cross the USA in a converted yellow school bus. Image courtesy of Jax Austin

“I’d been working at a dead-end job for years,” he tells Lonely Planet, “and all I really wanted to do was travel. I had always wanted to be like Anthony Bourdain, traveling, eating, and meeting interesting people along the way.”

However, Jax instead found himself in a series of unsatisfying jobs, including bartending and selling houses. “To put it frankly,” he says, “real estate sucked. I was only in a few years, before switching to bartending, which I did for the past seven years at a high-volume Hollywood nightclub. I’m not a night owl nor a drinker, so the atmosphere was in no way my ideal lifestyle. It was great to pay the bills and network, but that was it.”

Having a bright colored bus, sure has impacted my experience on the road! This day, I was parked on the side the road next to a dry lake bed which had flooded, and a nice guy name Jim pulled up next to me. I showed Jim the bus, and said how I had bathed in the hot river I parked next to, and he told me that he was headed to a private Spring Ranch close by. Well, without hesitation I asked Jim if I could follow him to the property, and to my surprise he agreed. He led me down a 7 mile dirt road in Dan the Adventure Bus doing about 60 mph, which was pretty bad ass for a school bus!??along the way, I passed cattle ranchers letting out their cows of a trailer to feed. It was absolutely beautiful. It turns out, the property has a name called Long Ranch. It has natural spring water flowing onto the property, which they generate electricity from, and supplies water for the property. There are multiple dwellings that are available for rent, and I guess you book it online. After a quick tour, I hiked to the source on the hillside and again bathe myself in pure mineral water from the earth and filled up my water jug. These are the moments that will live with me forever. Thank you for reading this far. The video on this day will be up in a few days on my YouTube channel. … . . . . .#jaxacrossamerica #shortbus #skoolie #vanlife #livingsmall #travelvlogger #travelvlog #dailyvlogger #dailyvlog #adventuremobile #offgrid #projectvanlife #schoolbus #vanlifers #skoolieconversion #schoolbusconversion #buslife #camp4pix #exploretocreate #vancrush #homeiswhereyouparkit #powerstroke #sonyalpha #a7sii #vanlifeproject #nomadiclife #camperlife #campervan #vanlove #vandwelling.

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“My state of mind now feels like a rebirth. In no way can I ever return to what I did before in a big city. I will never again step foot behind a bar, I will never try and hustle a sale to a homeowner or prospective buyer. I am in love with what I’m doing, and I will only do things that I love from now on. You could say that I work every day, but to me it’s not work. It’s pure joy, fun, and endless new experiences.”

Jax’s trusty mode of transport is ‘Dan’, a converted yellow school bus. Making him over has been a real labour of love. “It was quite the undertaking! I had very little vision for the final outcome, but I’m very proud of how it turned out. Is more than a bus, it’s my home. And I take pride in how it looks. Because of this, people smile and wave when they see this adventure bus driving their way.”

“I absolutely love chatting with people who watch the adventures or enjoy the pictures on Instagram. Just today, I spoke with three people who recognized me in Yellowstone Park. I stopped to say hello, took pictures, and thanked them for the conversation. If I can inspire someone to travel more, consume less, or join the van life, then I feel complete.”

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Meet the Hollywood bartender who hit the open road in a converted school bus
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