by Rich East
She may only be a rescue cat but this little black cat has travelled more than 50,000kms around Australia in a campervan with her owner.
Willow the cat and me, Rich (read that as chauffeur, cuddle provider, and snack time attendant), have been travelling since we left our hometown of Hobart, Tasmania back in May 2015.
I sold my house, all of my possessions, and quit my job so I could take the trip of a lifetime. But one thing I couldn’t say goodbye of was this little cat so the obvious decision was to take her with me.
In February 2017 we finally made it to South Australia, marking Willow’s official completion of visiting all 6 states and 2 territories of Australia! This is what is known in Aussie adventure cat slang as a Purrfect Eight. We’ve achieved so much together and seen some amazing places. I can’t imagine being on this trip without her by my side. We’ve sailed the Great Barrier Reef, camped up mountains and travelled thousands of kilometers of gravel roads from Bourketown in Queensland, all the way up to Northern Territory.
Some people think it’s odd that I’m travelling with a cat, but Willow is so chilled out and absolutely loves our new lifestyle. Willow is kept safe with a tracking collar which allows me to always know where she is. She spends most of her time off the leash and is always keen to explore around our camp. 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.
It’s been so much fun sharing our adventures with the world. It makes me so happy when someone messages me and says that they saw our photos and it brightened their day. It gives me the motivation to keep on doing what we are doing.
We have well and truly settled into the travelling life and spend our days in forests and beaches just soaking it all in. Although we have almost made it back to our home state there is no sign of us stopping anytime soon. We have adapted to life on the road and have made it our life now, you have to choose what makes you happy in this life and while we can keep going, why would we stop?
I’m so proud of Willow, she’s the cat that made my van a home and the whole of Australia her backyard. She’s the best travel buddy ever!