If you’ve ever dreamed of packing in your job, hopping in a van and travelling the world, then let Lee MacMillan and Maxwell Bidstup be your inspiration, because that’s exactly what the couple decided to do after a chance meeting in Australia.
Lee, 25, from Barrie in Canada was working in Australia for a year when she met 29-year-old Max from Wangaratta and the pair hit it off straight away – bonding over their mutual love of travel.
As Lee’s working visa came to an end the couple moved to Canada and began saving their cash to buy a 2006 Dodge Sprinter van for around £6,500 and then spent the next five months – and a further £5,700 – converting into a mobile home.
Once finished the couple set off on their adventure, with their pooch Occy, and have clocked up more than 18,000 miles since.
Lee said: “Life in a van for us means being in the present moment wherever we are.
“We are almost always present for the sunset and when we make a point of it for sunrises too. It can at times be difficult, uneasy and uncomfortable, but overall we feel we gain so much more than what we give up to live this way.
“We love the unpredictability. We love having the freedom of choice, each and every day about how we want to spend our time.
“We are able to see beautiful parts of the country in between all the touristy areas. We love the ability to take Occy with us on all our adventures.
“We love living a minimalist lifestyle because we find having less ‘stuff’ frees us to live only with what we need and everything else we get out of life is an intrinsic feeling that is not tangible.
“We get new experiences every day. We meet new people and make lifelong friends who share a common interest. We are enriched with learning culture and geography as we travel. We cannot say enough positive things about living this way.”
So far, the couple have travelled through Canada and America, right down to Mexico and are currently in Playa del Carmen.
They share their adventurers on their Instagram page and YouTube channel, which has 13,000 subscribers.
“We promote this minimalistic, nomadic lifestyle for no other reason than we love how we are living,” added Max.
“What we would like to say to anyone who wants to do this too is if you really want it to happen you will make it happen. We made adjustments and certain sacrifices along the way to save up money to travel.
“We opted out for spending a night out drinking at the bar and opted in for an extra shift working instead. We stopped shopping for clothes that we didn’t need, we cut down unnecessary payments i.e. switched phone plans, bought a cheaper vehicle, sold anything we no longer used.
“We both really wanted to take this trip and if we loved it, turn it into a lifestyle therefore we both worked our butts off to make it happen.”