I love America! Here's why:
Hello, my name is Patrick, and I currently live in a converted School Bus in Washington state.
Everyday that I am able to wake up and fall asleep in my bus home is the greatest day of my life.
I love America.
In 2015 I was fortunate enough for everything to fall into place, allowing me to completely change my life, and go from being an over-socialized city dweller, to a societal down-shifter. I wanted to figure out what it REALLY meant to live in one of the greatest nations on Earth.
I bought a 1990 All-American International Harvester School Bus and converted it into a Tiny Home. For the past 3 years, the Big Blue Bus and I have driven through 42 states, covering more than 25,000 miles. Throughout the years, I have made it to all 50 states of this great nation.
I FUCKING LOVE THIS COUNTRY.
I was born in a hospital in Hamburg, Germany in 1986. My entire family is German and has been as far back as we know. When I was 10 years old, my parents decided to sell everything, pack up our essentials, and move to America. The three of us were leaving our birth place and settling down in America, working on a new life from scratch. We had been granted legal immigration status and after 2 years of paperwork, health checkups, background checks, etc etc. We were granted green cards, as permanent legal residents.
Recently went back to my 2-4th grade School in Germany. My teacher was still there!
My parents’ decision was between California and Florida. While growing up in Germany, we never traveled around Europe; my parents always decided to spend vacations in America. For one trip to California with our neighbors, my parents sold their life insurance policy to afford the trip. It was only recently that my mom told me that they had no idea how to pay rent some months. These vacations made such a huge impression on us; they were a really big deal.
America was big and cheerful. Everything was possible.
We loved the American people and style of living. Near the beach, beautiful weather, everyone had a pool, and everyone was smiling, greeting us with a “hi” or a “Hello.” Germany had none of those things. It was dreary and everyone has a sour-puss face.
Florida became our pick for a new home. Talk about different! Before, we were living out in the country, and I was attending school in a building located in the nearby forest. It was usually dreary and overcast. Everything around me was German.
Until one day, I found myself in a sunny, humid place attending a school in the middle of the city. The building doubled as a hurricane shelter, so it was a window-less building that resembled a factory more than it did a place of fun and learning.
Nothing here was German, except my parents.
And a few of their friends. They chose Florida because a family friend lived in Fort Lauderdale by the beach. They helped my father get a job, and got me into school. I started 5th grade not knowing a word of English. I sat in the back of the classroom, never said anything. Only occasionally did I participate in what was going on around me. My classmates thought I was a deaf mute.
My mom started cleaning apartments for elderly folks as her first job in America, while my dad washed and cleaned windows and building exteriors. He also found work through our German friend, painting and fixing his rental properties.
My parents worked hard and did whatever they needed to to make our new life here a success. They took a huge chance and risked it all, determined to make it work. Life was going to be better here.
The American Opportunity
It wasn’t easy, and my mom packed her bags twice to head back to Germany, but one thing led to another, and we stayed. My dad then got a job at a car salvage yard, while my mom was applying to customer service jobs, now that her English had gotten much better. Both had taken English classes for several months in Germany before the big move.
We did everything by the book, and immersed ourselves fully into the American way of life. Germans, naturally, are hard workers and strive for success.
After 3 or 4 months, being fully immersed in America culture, I picked up the language and started being on the honor roll for the rest of 5th grade.
From then on, I fumbled my way through middle school, and did well-enough in High School to be awarded a 75% scholarship to attend the University of Central Florida. At this point in time, my parents had started their own electronic part business, buying and shipping obsolete and hard to find electronic parts – LED’s, capacitors, transistors, micro-chips – from the US to Germany, and around the world. Back then, not many people were doing that, and Internet rates in Germany were extremely expensive compared to America – my parents became the middle people in a niche market for finding these electronic parts.
I came out of college alive with a Radio/Television Production degree, with minors in Film Studies and Religious Studies.
With the Florida Bright Futures scholarship, working full time, and my parent’s financial contribution for books and housing, I am extremely grateful and happy to come out of college with no debt. Not everyone is granted such opportunities.
I started in the American Education System in 5th grade, and now with my college degree in hand, I can honestly say it has treated me extremely well. I put in the effort and time, and had the full support of my parents and a handful of amazingly supportive teachers. Some time during middle school, with the language and education barrier, it became difficult for my parents to help me with some of my homework. That was a struggle for all of us.
I am forever grateful for the opportunity, experience and knowledge that I received from the American Education System. It has done wonders for me and my life. I can truly say that it’s not just WHAT I learned, but the way I was schooled HOW to learn and think.
Finding my Path
One of the last requirements for graduation was taking part in an internship. I was hired on at a local 24-Hour News Channel.
It was the most dreadful thing I have ever done in my life.
I remember walking around the newsroom one day, perhaps 3 weeks into my internship- and a guy in his 50’s, beer belly, unhealthy looking, shaven but not cleanly, graying, miserable sad eyes, looked at me and uttered “Kid, if you don't have to be in this industry, don't be. Don't end up here.”
Out of the corner of my eyes I could see the 30 small monitors flickering endless horrific imagery all day, every day. I looked at him, reassuringly saying “You got it!” with a thumbs up and a smile. Not me, no way.
I just spent my entire growing life sitting in a classroom, I was not interested in a job sitting inside all day as a career. And when I did get out out of the production room, it’s to find the worst things happening in the city, to record them for other people to watch. It’s lunacy!
From then on I learned to turn off the Television and instead live my life. I advise you to do the same; for your sanity’s sake. Listen to the old news guy! Get away from news.
After finishing the internship and completing my life’s Schooling Requirement for the American System, I decided to walk from Georgia to Maine. Took me 6 months to hike the 2,183 miles along the Appalachian Trail. It showed me the proper path to life.
- Show up and Start
- Mindful breathing
- Nourish yourself – good food, clean water
- Don’t take life too seriously
- Be humble
- Be Patient
- Be in the moment
- Make friends, be a friend
- Work towards small and large goals
In what other country can you safely and comfortably walk through nature and small towns, through 14 states and meet incredibly unique individuals from each corner of the different states without a passport or needing to know another language?
America is huge and plentiful. This land provides you with everything you might ever need. You can literally do anything here.
Living on an Island
After the trail, I decided I wanted to live on an Island, so I moved to Key West, Florida – the southernmost tip of the islands at the bottom of Florida. The requirements for a job were: Be on time, and don’t come in drunk. Be OKAY to work with.
I went down there, willing to work any job – bar-tending, helping on a fishing boat, cleaning hotel rooms – I went to any job interview which allowed me to apply. Young, eager and wiling to make money.
I ended up getting a job as a baggage handler at the airport. The most beautiful job I’ve ever had.
Working outside in the elements, getting a tan, smelling the salt water and getting a workout at the same time. I could see the beach from the check-in counter. I did not even realize when I was at the interview that this job entailed free flights! That was a perk I came to take advantage of fully, once I had the job. I flew all over the world – for pennies!
Spent a weekend in Amsterdam – cost me $70 in taxes for the return flight.
Flew to Germany with a friend - $56 in taxes for return flight.
Couple days in Norway and Switzerland - $60 in taxes.
Flights to Vegas, Portland, Philadelphia, New York, etc. – FREE OF CHARGE.
If you’re a thinker, able, and willing to work, you can get by with making a decent amount of money and live a fabulous life– granted you find yourself with a job that provides you with other opportunities besides money. You have to learn to be efficient with the money you make, and even smarter about what you spend. You might also have to live with several roommates for a while to save money on rent and utilities.
Earn the money you need for bills, working a job with opportunities that also greatly improve your life and your vacations. 2 days off per week, with only possibly 2 weeks vacation a year!? No way, no thank you. Get a job with a flexible schedule and calendar.
When I decided to move to Seattle, I was once again ready to work any job, so that I could seize the opportunity to live in Seattle, a place I had never even visited before.
Once I was settled in Washington, I set out to climb it's highest peak, Mount Rainier. I set positive intentions and made it to the top a year later.
America fully emboldens this ideal – Success through Positive Intentions.
I have the travel bug, the itchy feet, that nomadic lifestyle in me. I’m a hunter-gatherer. Carry only the essentials, making my way to a new and foreign place. I thought “If you’ve done it once, you can surely do it again.” There is no other way but success when you set out with positive intentions. I was going to be successful in Seattle, there was no other way for it to be.
The first call back for a job happened to be another airline. Working at the Seattle airport was the cake topper of all the jobs I’ve had. Benefits galore!
- Great Health Benefits
- Matched 401k contributions
- Free Flights
- Paid Time Off/Vacation Pay
- Double, Triple overtime
- Flexible and Changeable Schedule
- Ability to move up in the Company
My advice is to get a job which works for you, not just you working for a job. Money should be the secondary motivator. Go pick fruits and vegetables for free healthy food, work at a gym for workout opportunities, work at a bank to gain financial knowledge, work at a vitamin shop to interact with people and learn about what the body needs to properly function. Get a job with a company that will pay for your schooling.
Find work to grow yourself, while making money, being the best employee you could possibly be. Which isn't very difficult.
Show up on time, with a smile, and be courteous to everyone. Don't waste people’s time – show effort and improvement. Put in the work to be successful with what you are doing.
I remember one older gentleman telling me, “Don’t work at the rate of what you’re currently being paid; work like what you want to be getting paid.”
If you’re living in America and you’re not successful and not personally fulfilled, perhaps you need to evaluate some of your choices. You’re not seizing the proper opportunities.
Some of the important things my parents and my worth ethic have taught me:
- If you're going to do something, do it right the first time.
- If you set out to do it, then you'll find a way to do it. Finish what you start.
- How to save and appreciate money. Live responsibly.
- If you don't have the money, then you can’t spend it – Don’t fall into the American Debt Scheme.
- Don’t borrow more money than you can pay back without interest.
I’ve stocked the shelves at Walt-Mart, made coffee for you at Starbucks, entertained you through movies while working as a projectionist at two movie theaters. I’ve been on the phone with you troubleshooting vape pens, and interacted with you if you flew into Key West with US Airways/Air Tran, or with Horizon/Alaska in Seattle at some point during the last 10 years. There is an endless supply of jobs and money available to you in America. That is not the case in other countries.
Living in the Greatest Nation in the World
I am grateful and feel blessed every single day to be living in the United States of America.
You can literally do anything here!
Currently I live, work, play, and travel in a 1990 School Bus. Where else in the world can you drive a several thousand pound Bus uninterrupted for an unlimited amount of miles among mostly impeccable roads, and coordinated highways and byways? With no shortage of gas or food, making your way through mountain passes, deserts, big cities, small ghost towns, with no shortage of activities to entertain you. You can mostly do it with free parking, not having to worry about safety or security.
I’m keeping my knees in the breeze, driving around America in this big beautiful blue bus, meeting people, seeing the sights, working day labor jobs where I can, trying to make ends meet being a writer and entertainer.
I am Patrick of SkoolieLove – Digital Nomad, Bus Driving CEO, Manager, Employee, and the Human Resource department all in one.
I no longer live to work a job, but work to sustain my way of living.
Figure out how you can accomplish that, and you’ve got it made.
Learn all the different ways to go do it.
Then go do it.
God bless these United States of America.