By Mark McConville
MEET the couple who gave up their lives of luxury to pack everything into a van and travel the world.
Lisa Felepchuk (33), from Stouffville, Ontario, Canada was the editor in chief of a women’s luxury lifestyle magazine and would be flown to the likes of Paris to watch Chanel fashion shows while her boyfriend Coleman Molnar (31), from Merritt, British Columbia, Canada was a digital editor of a men’s magazine and was once flown to India to sip $30,000 cognac.
Despite this luxurious lifestyle the couple decided to ditch their nine-to-five jobs for the freedom that living in a 1983 VW Vanagon Westfalias gave them after spending $8,000 refurbishing it cosmetically and mechanically.
The pair continue to be journalists but now have their own lifestyle publication (lietco.com) while they document their travels on Instagram @lietco.
“Ditching the monotony of a nine to five desk job for a schedule that we controlled was a big draw,” said Lisa.
“And the market being the way it is for digital-savvy writers like us also beckoned–we just seemed to be in the right place at the right time.
“We saw the opportunity to launch our own boutique content creation house and manage it from anywhere there was a Wi-Fi connection. Why not take our business on the road and travel while we’re young(ish)?
“It’s exhilarating to be on the forefront of a new type of travel. Being digitally employed, we’re earning as we’re travelling, something that, up until just a few years ago, was reserved for a few types of jobs.
“We believe there’s a real market here of young(er) people who want to have meaningful travel long term and are able to support it with digital employment.”
The couple met in Toronto and after buying their van they have travelled coast-to-coast across Canada before making their way into America.
They drove down the west coast through Washington, Oregon, and California into Arizona and back up through New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, and to Ontario again.
“Living in a van is great in the sense that when you’re on the road, your home is with you,” said Lisa.
“And in a smaller rig like the Westfalia, this can be downtown in a big city, down back-country roads, wherever.
“If you share this wild dream, start towards it today. It might take you years to make it happen, but start right now.
“The whole idea for Li et Co was born on a run on a cold winter day in Toronto. From there, we brainstormed on poster paper, drawing out what we wanted, how that might look and how we could make it work. A year and a half after that, we hit the road in our new van/home.”