VW-bus Brian Jen

As Bryan and Jen peeled back the layers of their life, auctioned off their unnecessaries, bowed out of the 9-5 clockwork and unloaded the weight of their mortgage, it was if they were finally joining-hands with the freedom they had long sought at the core of American life. It started with a van and a year of sleeping roadside, or in national parks and opened spaces. But the real beginning would require the conjoining of home-values and reckless liberation.

The couple bought the bus back in 2009, and in 2012 they traded their jobs and home for a life of freedom and dauntless exploration. The bus, which began as a rusted, decrepit box of post-Woodstock hippy-trash, is now a full-blown house on wheels. With solar panels, a propane stove top, refrigerator and a lounge-couch that pulls out into a complete bed, Bryan and Jen’s design is a tribute to the off-grid lifestyle.

The cabinet doors and fridge face is designed from Kirei, an ecologically-friendly material made from recycled materials.On the roof sits their removable Kyocera 135W solar panel, attached to the roof rack, which charges two 12 volt batteries that are hidden beneath the seats. They even sound proofed the bus with foil backed butyl and closed cell foam to combat the VW bus’s signature “deafening road noise” as Jen says on their website. In their rearview, Karma (their golden retriever) lounges on the back couch and pokes his head out the windows to swallow the warm desert air.

VW-bus Brian Jen2

“Our journey began in E, our 1967 VW bus as we drove slowly through Mexico and Central america for a year.  We tried to find ourselves by getting lost and hoped to see life through a lens that just wasn’t possible in the day to day grind.  We didn’t know what to expect or where we would end up, but assumed it would be on a small beach somewhere warm.

Instead we found ourselves returning to and creating a “home base” in Portand, OR that can serve as a jumping off point for our travels and a place for us to call home near those we love. We converted our garage into a tiny home/adu for us to live in while someone else pays our mortgage and we make decisions based upon happiness rather than money.”

Zen Box Room

“Someone else pays our mortgage and we make decisions based upon happiness rather than money.”

zenbox design:

We are living an unconventional and fairly nomadic lifestyle and trying to see if/prove that its possible to survive off almost nothing but enjoy life fully…even in the middle of an urban environment.  So far we’re doing just that thanks to our “creative home use plan”…



We are also offering small space design services to others looking to simplify, downsize or change their life for the better and in hopes that we can bring both our and their financial freedoms even closer.  If you have a project we can help with or a dream you want to chase…let us know how we can help!”


constantly shifting perspective and refocusing on what matters most- a simple life, creative and financial freedom and travel.    no plan, only a mantra…leap and the net will appear