Will Watson is a skater from Jacksonville Beach. In July of 2017, he and his wife Kristin had the idea to convert a bus into a permanent living space. A month later they found one–specifically a 1992 Bluebird formerly used by the U.S. Air Force. New challenges and ideas would keep the Watsons busy with the buildout for the next year and a half.
“It wasn’t a full-time effort,” says Will, who was also busy during that time with the couple’s wedding and welcoming their baby into the world.
In December of 2018 the Watsons received news that the lease on their home would soon be terminated, ultimately giving them a new deadline to finish their project. After four months of hard work, the bus was ready for Will, Kristin, their new baby Roam, and dog Rush, to move in.
Since moving in, the Watsons have traveled the entire East Coast from the Florida Keys, up to Nova Scotia, and back to Jacksonville, all while documenting their travels via YouTube and Instagram; amassing a handsome following on both. Their mobile home, which the couple dubbed “Number Juan Bus” even earned a national television audience when it was featured on the Rachael Ray Show. “They saw one of our YouTube videos and sent us an email,” explains Will. “It was really cool driving the bus in New York and Rachael and her team were so friendly. It was an awesome experience.”
Through their adventures, Will has gotten to skate a myriad of different skate spots. I recently met with the Watsons and asked them about all of the Number Juan Bus’s bells and whistles.
Jax Pier-Cribbed Countertops
It’s always nice to have a little piece of your hometown with you regardless of where you travel. Some people have knick-knacks; others, a family photo. The Watsons have actual pieces of the Jacksonville Beach Pier, leftover from when Hurricane Matthew took a big swing at the structure a few years back. Reclaimed then epoxied, the pier became the couple’s countertops, complete with embedded sharks’ teeth.
For skaters, finding a new park or sport is always at top of mind when traveling. Although Will gets to sample public skateparks while on the road, there are still towns where such facilities are lacking. Luckily, the Watsons planned for just such a scenario: attaching a retractable and fully skateable bench to the side of their bus. A skater’s dream, to be sure.
An Unbeatable and Ever-changing View
For prospective home buyers, a view is certainly a perk. For the Watsons however, it’s a daily and ever-changing reality. On top of Number Juan, a handbuilt, wooden deck provides the Watsons a place to do yoga, have a picnic, or take in the view.
#Buslife isn’t always convenient. Things as simple as parking, or quick runs to the grocery store can be arduous undertakings. That’s why the Watsons extended the bus’s back bumper to store a small dirt bike. The supplemental vessel allows the Watsons to run small errands and explore their surroundings without having to move the bus.
Follow the Watsons journeys on Instagram @numberjuanbus.
This feature originally appeared in the January 2020 issue of Void Magazine under the headline “Home is Where you Skate it.”