Man Quit Corporate Job 4 Years Ago, Now Travels Around Australia with Cat


It’s something we’ve all daydreamed about: quitting our 9-to-5 job and traveling the world!

Ok, I realize that might not be everyone’s dream, but it’s definitely one of my most tempting ones.

Well, one man in Australia did just that and has found the furriest, most cuddly travel companion in his pet cat, Willow!

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“I had spent 10 years with one company and though my career ahead looked promising, I felt lost,” Rich East told Insider. “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.”

Would you want to quit your job and travel the world with your pet?

The idea of living out of a converted van really appealed to East, so he sold everything he owned in hopes of traveling cheaply and figuring out what the next step will be.

But there was one very precious thing he couldn’t get rid of … his devoted feline companion, Willow.

“I soon realized that I just couldn’t leave her behind,” he said. “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.”

He just needed to figure out how to acclimate Willow to a traveling lifestyle — something wildly different from her house-bound life. As East was working on getting his new van up and working, Willow would spend time with him outside and soon learned that the outside wasn’t so scary.

“I took Willow away for weekends, then whole weeks, and not only did she cope — she thrived,” he told Insider. “We both had a lot to learn about the intricacies of living in a small space, but we have truly found our feet (paws?) now.”

Now the pair travels all around Australia going on the grandest adventures and taking the most wanderlust pictures together.

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East admits that having Willow along for the ride has taught him to slow down and appreciate the here and now.

He said, “Traveling with a cat slows you down and helps you sit back and watch the world go by.”

As for Willow, she has completely adjusted to van life. And now even demands her outside time!

But she and East have an agreement that ensures Willow will never run away.

“She will always come back to the van, and I will always wait for her,” he wrote on his website. He also said that even though she rarely wanders more than 300 feet away from the van, he also bought a tracking collar for her so that if anything were to happen he could find her.

Basically, they are just simply enjoying their newly-found lifestyle.

“I don’t think she actually cares that we travel,” he said. “All that matters is that we are together, we have our home on wheels, and we get to spend lots of quality time together.”

East recognizes that this lifestyle may not last forever, but, for now, he and Willow are enjoying every moment together.

“When I say every moment is precious I truly mean it. I try to enjoy every day with Willow but in the back of my mind I know nothing lasts forever,” he wrote on Instagram. “I know I shouldn’t think too much about what-ifs. So I bury those thoughts. We are happy and healthy now and I think we make the most of every day with head butts and little afternoon chats.”

To follow more of Rich and Willow’s adventures, you can follow their Instagram account here.

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Kayla has been a staff writer for The Western Journal since 2018.
Kayla Kunkel began writing for The Western Journal in 2018.
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