Written by Katie Shpak, University Writer
Two sisters, one Post alumna, and one current student converted a bus into an RV to travel across the country. Having left their home in Orange, CT on April 19, the girls have already been to Maryland, West Virginia, Tennessee, South Carolina, Kentucky, Georgia, and Florida.
Amanda Barone was an athlete on the women’s golf team. She graduated in December 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in human services and a minor in communications. Amanda is actively considering pursuing her master’s degree at Post once she returns.
Noella Barone is a junior, majoring in biology, though she has been taking many chemistry classes with a pursuit to become a cosmetic chemist. Both girls work at Racebrook Country Club in Orange, CT, Amanda as a greenskeeper and Noella as a waitress. They will be returning to work in July once they have completed their trip.
Amanda always intended to travel after college. While she had saved up a significant sum to make this trip around the country manageable, she wanted to be smart about her spending. Knowing that the vehicle would be the foundation for the entire project, she did some research.
In March of 2019, she found a shuttle bus for sale in Plantsville, CT that was a perfect fit to fix up for the trip. With the help of their grandfather, the sisters turned the shuttle bus into an aesthetically pleasing travel bus, equipped with everything they need for life on the road, including a shower, kitchen, and desk space. Overall quaint ambiance. Just enough to make it feel like home.
The past month has certainly been an adventure for the Barone sisters. During the first few weeks of the journey, Noella was still finishing up her sophomore year courses. This presented some additional challenges, such as ensuring access to Wi-Fi when searching for campgrounds at which to stay. Noella and Amanda also stayed with some family and friends in South Carolina and Tennessee, enabling Noella to concentrate on finishing up her semester.
“Campgrounds made it difficult to focus, but I was determined to get all my work done on time, and in the end, I did,” said Noella.
The Barone sisters have been embracing every experience of their trip so far and loving the new areas to explore in each state. There were some bumps along the way, including AC trouble, in Florida of all places!
“The biggest challenge,” says Amanda, “is driving.”
After only four short test drives, the sisters hit the road. “It took a while to get used to, especially on the highway. But after the amount of driving I have done already, the struggle becomes the length of each drive,” said Amanda.
Aside from traveling from state to state, the Barone sisters travel via moped, which is stored on the back of the bus. They have been documenting their travel stories on their Buckle Up Buttercup podcast, which can be accessed at buckleupbuttercup.co/.
With the remaining month of their trip, the sisters plan to visit California, Yellowstone National Park, Arizona, and Colorado.
You can follow their journey on Instagram @bubpodcast.