Man Quits Job To Travel Around Australia In A Van With His Cat

Richard East and his cat Willow packed up their possessions and are traveling around the country, one Instagram post at a time.

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Richard East and his cat Willow pondering where they might travel to next. Via vancatmeow/Instagram
Cari Jorgensen

I once took a leave of absence at work and left the United States for Australia alone. I brought my laptop so that I could write, rented an apartment in Darling Harbour, Sydney, New South Wales, and spent the next month doing whatever struck my fancy.

That is nothing compared to what Richard East of Tasmania, Australia, is doing. East quit his job, sold his house and packed what possessions he had left into a Volkswagen van to travel around the country. Oh, did we mention he also brought his cat, Willow, along with him?

“I knew I had to change, but I wasn’t quite sure what that change would be,” East told 936 ABC Hobart. “[Willow] was living in my house but was no longer wanted, so I vowed to look after her for the rest of her days. At the time I was making that commitment to her, I didn’t realize what my future plans were. I did the obvious thing and took her with me. You’d be surprised how many cats are traveling around Australia as we speak. I’ve met quite a few people traveling Australia with their cats.”

Traveling and living out of their van since December 2014, according to the VanCatMeow YouTube page, East documents his travels with Willow on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.

A photo posted by Rich & Willow (@vancatmeow) on

He and his cat have traveled in Tasmania, New South Wales and Queensland, and plan on tackling the Northern Territory next, followed by Western Australia, he told 936 ABC Hobart.

“I definitely will be [back in Tasmania],” he said. “Maybe I’ll spend a summer there and then come back to the big island. At the moment I’m setting up a business and if that succeeds I’ll be able to travel forever… It’s a cozy campervan with everything I need. All the snacks I need and a cat falling asleep on my chest. That’s all I need.”

We think lots of people would agree.

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