Man Sells All His Belongings and Quits Job to Travel Australia with His Rescue Cat

Rich East Traveling with Cat

Traveling with your cat might seem like a far-off dream, but there are folks who are able to make it a reality. Australian adventurer Rich East has trekked more than 50,000 kilometers (over 31,000 miles) in a camper van with his rescue cat, Willow. Known together as Van Cat Meow, they’ve seen the country’s six states and two territories and done things that many of us only dream of—such as sailing the Great Barrier Reef. Along the way, they've camped on mountains and enjoyed the (gravel) roads less taken.

East gave up a conventional lifestyle in 2015 so that he could begin his massive, life-altering journey. “I sold my house, all of my possessions, and quit my job so I could take the trip of a lifetime,” he explained. “But one thing I couldn’t say goodbye [to] was this little cat so the obvious decision was to take her with me.” Their deep bond is evident in East’s travel photography, which often showcases the two of them relaxing along the coastline or enjoying a swing in a makeshift mountain hammock.

Many cats aren’t meant for these types of adventures, but Willow is well suited for nomadic living. “Some people think it’s odd that I’m traveling with a cat, but Willow is so chilled out and absolutely loves our new lifestyle.” East, however, takes necessary precautions when it comes to her safety and outfits her with a special collar. “With the tracking collar, I have the peace of mind that if she decides to go for a hike I will be straight onto her.”

Although the pair’s giant road trip was completed in early 2017, they have “adapted to life on the road” and don’t have any plans on stopping. East continues to chronicle their trips on Instagram, and he’s compiled some of the best shots into a 2018 calendar now for sale in the Van Cat Meow online shop.

Two and a half years ago, Rich East quit his job and sold all of his belongings, all for the sake of travel.

Rich East Traveling With Your Cat Rich East Traveling with Cat Rich East Traveling With Your Cat

He loaded his camper van and brought his best pal, Willow with him.

Rich East Traveling with Cat Rich East Traveling with Cat Rich East Traveling with Cat

While many people think that traveling with your cat is difficult, East and Willow have trekked more than 50,000 kilometers (over 31,000 miles) together!

Rich East Traveling With Your Cat Rich East Traveling with Cat Rich East Traveling with Cat Rich East Traveling With Your Cat Rich East Traveling With Your Cat

Van Cat Meow: Website | Facebook | Instagram

My Modern Met granted permission to use photos by Rich East.

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Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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