Angus Luff isn’t the first person to quit his 9-5 job in exchange for life on the road, and he won’t be the last.
But this 24-year-old can still make an impressive claim: He’s the first person in Scotland to turn an American school bus into a mobile hostel! This ingenious idea came to him while he watched Expedition Happiness, a Netflix show that featured a couple traveling around the United States in a refurbished school bus.
Angus, who graduated in 2019 with a degree in business, was doing well for himself as a management consultant, but it didn’t take long for him to realize that it wasn’t the right career for him.
“I managed about 2-3 months and thought ‘I don’t want to do this,'” he said. “I got the bus and quit my job.”
Built in 1999 to take New York children to and from school, it took this International 3800 model around six weeks to ship from the United States. Then, just when it finally arrived… COVID-19 brought the world to a stop.
But even a pandemic couldn’t deter Angus from following his new-found dream. During lockdown, him and his dad worked hard to refurbish the bus so it would be ready to take on visitors once it was safe enough to do so.
He also took that time to learn how to get his business up and running, which included getting his HGV driving license.
“I have learned so much,” he said. “I knew nothing about mechanics.”
After over a year of preparations, Angus was finally ready to take on his first group: His friends. Once they gave him their seal of approval, he officially opened up his bus to the public in the summer of 2021. Best of all, it’s proven to be a hit ever since!
“It was surreal, I managed to sell out,” Angus said. “It completely blew my expectations.”
The surprisingly roomy bus, referred to as The Bonnie Camper, can fit up to six guests. There are beds, seating, a kitchen, and a massive sunroof and windows that are perfect for admiring the beautiful scenery.
“It’s a completely different viewpoint of everything,” he explained. “You are quite engrossed in all the landscapes.”
During their trip across the Highlands, Angus’ guests also have the opportunity to enjoy all sorts of outdoor activities: hiking, cycling, and kayaking, to name a few.
Angus mainly hosts five-day tours that cost $780 per person and includes the cost of all the activities and food. But for those that want a more authentic hostel experience, he’s offering dates for individuals to join in on trips with strangers as well!
“I host the whole week and organize whisky tasting tours, hiking, mountain biking, watersports, and stops at local bars and pubs,” Angus said. “There’s no other company that does something similar in the UK.”
It’s easy to see why The Bonnie Camper is attracting so many guests — not only does the pre-planned road trip experience lower the chances of suffering from decision fatigue, but it’s also a fun way to bond with friends, family, or strangers while surrounded by breathtaking views.
“I basically go on holiday every week,” Angus said. “I’m very fortunate to be able to do this. I really enjoy it and it’s great to see other people enjoy it. Every week you are just on such a high.”
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