“You’ve got a solid 75 years on this Earth, and my question to everyone is: if you’re 30, are you proud of the last 30 years? If you’re not, then start changing that.”
Adam Sauerwein does not live life by a society-set standard. He refuses to adhere to the idea that one’s path must follow the timeline of school, to college, to career. His lifestyle stems from an attitude of seeking that next adventure, shaking hands and experiencing what the world has to offer. Adam lives The Pursuit - doing whatever, whenever.
Halfheartedly working a 9-5, Sauerwein knew that he could not - would not - live in monotony for the rest of his life. So last year, he bought a school bus.
“The idea for the bus came from paying a lot of money to rent some not-so-nice places in a ski town,” he said. “I wanted something that was mobile, cheap, and efficient. Trolling the Internet, I came across the Tiny Home Movement, and thought that was a pretty good idea. I pass a bus garage on my commute every day, so one day I stopped and asked if they had anything for sale. Two days later, I was tearing seats out.”
The 2001 Chevy 3500 Corbeil became Sauerwein’s home for the winter. Wanting to share the stoke, he envisioned it becoming an adventure mobile with the ability to sleep 3-4 people. He spent over 100 nights in it, oft-times solo. And if you remember, last winter was one of the coldest we’ve ever had.
“I only had propane heat,” he reminisced. “Propane heat is very wet heat. It was almost like a sauna (laughs). Between my wet clothes, ski boots, and constant mouth breathing, it was pretty damp and gross.”
Sauerwein spent over 100 nights in the bus’ inaugural season, traveling between western New York and Vermont. He figured finding a spot to park could be pretty difficult … until word of his endeavor spread.
“I went to Allegany State Park a lot,” he said. “You can park there for up to three days without having a permit, so I did that a lot. The first night, two Park Rangers came up to me rather … apprehensively. But then I explained to them what I was doing, showed them around, and they loved it.”
“Then Moose (owner of the Ellicottville Depot) caught wind of it, and not to quote terrible music, but he welcomed me with arms wide open. I’d park it at the Depot, kind of make sure no one was being sketchy around the restaurant, then wake up and shred. It was awesome.”
Come springtime, Sauerwein knew the bus had seen its best days. The thing was a mess, and he figured that was that. But this past fall, he saw a newer bus at the same spot he bought the original … lo and behold, The Pursuit was reborn.
“I’ve made some better modifications to the new bus that are better suited for actually living,” he said. “I installed a solar panel on top for power, put a wood burning stove in for heat and food, and it has rotating seats so people can face front or back. I’m ‘roughing it’ but it’s still living.”
Sauerwein worked with former WNY native Chris Damiani on the logo for The Pursuit. Through trial and error, they created something iconic that represents what Adam’s pursuit is about.
“It’s a buffalo with ‘Whatever, Whenever’,” he said. “We originally thought of ‘Wherever, Whenever,’ but that’s a Shakira song (laughs). The logo, or even The Pursuit, is not about my bus. It’s the mentality, the lifestyle. Stop making excuses, and just go do it.”
If you follow Adam on Instagram (@mradamx), you know full well what it’s about. Jumping off cliffs into water, skiing, taking (many) selfies with a smile plastered on his face.
“At the beginning, the bus was about saving money on rent. But when I started doing it, people would come up to me and say ‘dude, your Insta is so rad and I was so inspired by it.’ People really care about it, which sounds so silly to me on the surface. That’s why I started doing the web series, in hopes I could further inspire people.”
Sauerwein and former WNYer Corey Potter (now working at Killington Mountain, and founder of Chief Co. Video) created a concept for a video series revolving around Adam’s Pursuit. The first episode, which dropped last month, features an introduction to the Pursuit and some skiing at Killington.
“I think, by doing this video series, it will further to encourage people to step out of their comfort zones and go do what they want,” he said. “The whole thing ... life changes, life grows. I don’t think I’ll ever regret taking a couple years of my life and chasing it. By following that - you’re dream - you’ll figure it out. I’m not going to tell people to do things or how to live their life, but if I can leave a lasting impression on them, then I think I’ve helped.”
Follow Adam’s adventure on Instagram @mradamx, or look for The Pursuit around Ellicottville this winter.