When Richard East decided to quit his job and travel around Australia in a sleeper van, he found an unlikely travel companion in his pet cat, Willow — and now their bond is inspiring the internet.
After what East calls „the most well-prepared mid-life crisis in history,“ he and 6-year-old Willow embarked on a road trip throughout Australia. Three years later and that trip still has no end in sight. Along the way, the pair has seen beautiful sights and have bonded in remarkable and heartwarming ways.
INSIDER talked with East about their travels to learn more about their journey and their incredible relationship.
It all started back in 2014 when East quit his job as an IT professional to travel long-term.
„I had spent 10 years with one company and though my career ahead looked promising, I felt lost,“ he said. „I had the thought of taking off traveling for six months, but the idea of returning to the same problems lead me to think up something longer term.“
He decided to remodel a Volkswagen van into his forever home.
„Then the idea of van life came up. I could sell my house — everything I own — and travel cheaply while I figured out what I wanted to do with my life,“ East said.
He sold off all his possessions, but couldn’t part with one thing: his cat, Willow.
„To be honest, Willow wasn’t in the original plan,“ East said. „But as it happens, I soon realized that I just couldn’t leave her behind. She had always been there for me, so I made a promise to never leave her — and it was one of the greatest decisions of my life.“
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Source: Business insider