Sometimes the simple life is all a person and a feline really needs.
That’s what Richard East and his rescue cat Willow have done, with East giving up the hustle bustle of a corporate job and a relatively comfortable existence for a life on the road in a campervan.
“I wasn’t happy at work,” East told Mashable Australia, who had just arrived in the warmer climes of Mount Isa, Queensland in the last few days.
“I was at work for 10 years, and I needed a change. I didn’t want to go overseas for six months, and then return to a similar job, with the same situation. That’s why the van came in, so I could make a change for the longer term.”
East sold his house in Hobart, Tasmania, and started living in a campervan before travelling around Australia in May last year. The travelling life has treated East and Willow well, where the outdoors have become their domain.
“It’s amazing, because we just rock up anywhere, and if it’s a safe area… I don’t have Willow on a leash. She just explores, comes back to the van and usually climbs up onto the roof to have a nap.
“She knows the van is her home, but the only thing that changes is her backyard,” East said, who adopted the cat from the Hobart Cat Centre.
“For me, I don’t want to make money off it,” East said. “I just see that people are enjoying the photos so much, that I want to keep it 100% pure like that… It’s a place where people can log on and forget about the shit in their day, without people trying to sell to them. I’m trying to make good of social media.”
East is not the only person who has been travelling around Australia with their cat, as he meets couples and grey nomads along his journey.
Where they go next on their travels is made up as they go along, with the occasional suggestions from locals and travellers. As for when the trip will end, it’s not likely to finish anytime soon.
“I sold my house in Hobart, so it’s not like I can cruise back into town, you know,” he said. “I think it’s unlikely I’ll be back in Tassie at the end of this year, or early next year.”
If and when East does return to his home state of Tasmania, he’ll continue to float around the land in his campervan as he is doing with his life currently. “But maybe with a good puffer jacket and few better blankets,” he laughs. “I’ll continue the dream.”
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