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Small Bus, Big Dreams

Little did I know as I lurched along an empty parking lot at the Santa Rosa Fairgrounds in Sonoma County, California while learning to drive a stick shift in the green 1972 VW Bus I had recently purchased during my sophomore year in High School, that The Bus would one day would become a cultural icon, immortalized in the pages of Surfer Magazine.

Fast forward to the end of my college years, by which time I had finally figured out how to get The Bus out of first gear (among other things) and landed an internship at Surfer—a position I managed to parlay into a full-time career as a photojournalist at the fabled magazine. After about five years of working with Surfer, I started a man-on-the-street column called Curious Gabe, where every month I posed a different surf-related question to a new set of surfers, both at local beaches in California and at surf spots as far away as Tel Aviv and Uluwatu.

Each column featured a photo of me and The Bus at the location I was doing the interviews that month. Looking back, one of the most delightful aspects of the whole experience was seeing people light up when I’d ask to interview and photograph them for the magazine. But after doing the column for 18 years straight I decided to take a break, and for the last five years I’ve been on a hiatus. During this time, I’ve enjoyed working on numerous projects in collaboration with Men’s File Magazine (a UK based men’s heritage-style magazine), along with creating content in partnership with many extraordinary brands and artists.

The Bus (or Busie, as my nine-year-old-son and I now affectionately refer to our venerable vehicle) has served us well. It still puts a smile on my face each time I get behind the wheel and head out for a new adventure, whether in search of waves along the Southern California coast, a road-less-traveled-by through the Sonoran desert, or a pristine campsite somewhere in the High Sierra.

My hope is to imbue this initial collection of limited edition fine art prints, premium tees, and home + travel goods with the spirit of freedom and joy, adventure and whimsy that The Bus represents.

Gabe Sullivan

Laguna Beach, California