Dani Lunardi, 34, from Sydney, NSW shares her story with Take 5.
I opened the door of our campervan and my two cats, Gatinha and Jon Snow, jumped down the stairs and onto the grass.
In the distance, waves crashed onto a white sandy beach in Far North Queensland.
“The views are unbelievable,” I marvelled to my partner, Wade.
“We’re living the dream,” he agreed.
A month earlier, Wade, 35, and I quit our office jobs to travel around Australia in our Mercedes Sprinter that we’d transformed into a home on wheels.
It was something we’d always dreamed of doing.
Along with saving for the trip, we’d set up a website, travelwithwadeanddani.com, to make money while we were away, along with renting out our home.
Knowing we couldn’t leave our two rescue cats behind, we decided to bring them with us.
After doing some research, I discovered that while many people travel around Australia with their dogs, seeing cats on the road is rare.
“We won’t let that stop us,” said Wade, when I told him my concerns.
It took seven months to renovate the inside of the van, using online tutorials.
First, we insulated it, and then we built a shower, bed and kitchen.
We even made a specialist litter box between the two front car seats for the cats.
To acclimatise them to their new home, we brought them into the van while we worked.
Then, after renting our unit out to tenants, we began our journey in March 2022.
“Here we go,” I smiled, waving Sydney goodbye.
Our first stop was the Pink Caves on the Central Coast of New South Wales.
“What are your thoughts guys?” I asked the cats, as we arrived at our first campsite.
For the first few days they stuck to the inside of the van, but as days turned to weeks, they gradually grew more confident.
It wasn’t long before they were curiously sniffing the grass around our campsite.
After the Central Coast, we travelled all the way north to Cooktown in Queensland, before crossing into the Northern Territory and travelling through Alice Springs.
Stepping out of the van at Uluru was breathtaking.
Wow, I marvelled at the stunning rock formation.
We made a quick trip back to Sydney for a wedding, before driving to Victoria, South Australia, and into Western Australia.
Along the way, we shaped a routine, where the cats explore the campsite while we have breakfast.
“You don’t see that every day,” another traveller laughed, when he spotted the cats.
Amazingly, neither of the cats have ever strayed far from our campsite and we trust them to wander freely.
From around 10am to 4pm, we leave them to sleep in the van while Wade and I explore the local area.
The best thing about travelling with our cats is they sleep most of the time!
We share our adventures on our Instagram page, @wadeanddani.
Now, we’ve travelled over 40,000km in our van in 15 months and we’ve no plans of stopping.
Looking back, leaving the city life behind to travel was the best decision we ever made, and our cats make the purrfect companions!