Sacking off your job to go travel the world has to be one of the all-time dreams. Being able to rely on someone to join you on your adventures would make it even better.
That’s what one lucky LAD did as he got tired of not appreciating life enough and decided to venture out of his comfort zone – with his pet cat right by his side.
Richard East, from Hobart, Tasmania, spent 10 years ‘working in the corporate world’ before setting off with his cat Willow in May 2015, deciding to learn how to be grateful for each day.
Since quitting his job, selling his house and moving into a 5m² camper van, Rich and his furry friend have had sick adventures travelling every state and territory in Australia, including sailing Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Wish I was Rich – or his cat.
“I’m often told there’s very little stopping one from achieving their goals. I will tell these people there’s also very little stopping you from going to the beach tonight with your favourite cheese and watching the sunset,” Rich wrote on his Instagram in May 2017.
“With this mentality we enter our third year, a year I’ve not quite mapped out yet, nor have any good reason to do so. We’ve settled so well into this new life, any need to get from A to B is now impertinent. In previous years I would often wake up wondering where I should be, but lately I realise I’m already there.”

Rich has funded his lifestyle by living in his camper van and working only when he needs to – without the need to pay bills or rent, a few months’ work can support him for a whole year.
He has also set up a blog and Instagram page called VanCatMeow, regularly posting photos and updates of his adventures with Willow, who he calls his ‘fluffy little bundle of joy’.*
According to Rich, Willow spends the majority of her time off-lead under Rich’s supervision, often napping on the camper van roof under the solar panel.
The pair apparently have an ‘unspoken agreement’ when Willow is off the lead, where she’ll always come back to the van and he’ll always wait for her.
However, if the worst ever were to happen, Willow is wearing a tracking collar so Rich will be able to find her right away.
“This means I find places to camp which are suitable both for her safety and the health of the environment,” Rich said. “We do not go into National Parks or Flora/Fauna reserves, but we still get to see some incredible places.”
Spending every minute together for the last two years, Rich and Willow have travelled thousands of kilometres across Australia’s beaches, forests and plains, often only managing around 60 kilometres a week.
Although that might seem slow, Rich says that being with Willow has reminded him to slow down and enjoy having a place to watch the world go by.
“There’s a deep comfort I’ve found in knowing everything I need is in one spot, including my companion, a little cat whose coat is so vibrant, with a temperament to match,” Rich wrote.
“We’re not really headed anywhere in particular and some weeks, calling ourselves travellers seems untrue. Maybe ‘nomad’ would be a better term in that our movements are seasonal as we search for climates that best suit our days.”
Credit: Instagram/vancatmeow
Credit: Instagram/vancatmeow
Rich and Willow will soon make it back to Tasmania, where they plan to visit the places Rich grew up before returning to mainland Australia in 2019.
In the meantime, Rich is enjoying life with Willow, the black cat ‘who’s made my van a home and the whole of Australia her backyard’.
It’s enough to make you want to hand in your notice now.

SOURCE Chris Ogden IN


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here