By Mark McConville


THIS DEVIL-may-care couple packed up their life into a converted van home to travel across North America after a chance meeting in Australia brought them together.

Lee MacMillan (25) from Barrie, Canada was working in Australia for a year when she met Maxwell Bidstup (29), from Wangaratta, Australia and their mutual love of travelling saw them hit it off immediately.

Max, Lee and Occy relax with their ocean views. @vantacruz_ /

When Lee’s holiday working visa came to an end the couple moved to Canada where they saved money, bought their 2006 Dodge Sprinter van for around £6,500 and took around five months to convert it into their mobile home at the cost for a further £5,700 before setting off on their epic road trip.

The trip has so far taken the couple through Canada and America right down to Mexico, totalling 18k miles. They are currently in Playa del Carmen.

Max drinking coffee and enjoying the incredible views. @vantacruz_ /

“Life in a van for us means being in the present moment wherever we are,” said Lee.

“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.

Max and Occy in Alberta. @vantacruz_ /

“We love over landing in our van because 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.”

Max and Occy relax at the Havasupai Canyon. @vantacruz_ /

The couple currently document their lifestyle and adventures on YouTube where they have 13k 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.

Max installing insulation in the van. @vantacruz_ /

“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.”

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