Olivia Young and Matthew Picking are exploring the world in a van. Picture: Instagram
Olivia Young and Matthew Picking are exploring the world in a van. Picture: Instagram

Meet the couple who quit their jobs to travel around the world in a van

By Clinton Moodley Time of article published Jul 19, 2019

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It is not uncommon for people to quit their job and travel the world, just ask couple Olivia Young and Matthew Picking. Young, who once worked at a public relations agency in Los Angeles, had been feeling exhausted at work and yearned for an escape. 

She told Business Insider that she quit her job in 2016, sold all her belongings, packed a 70-litre backpack and headed to New Zealand. Once there, she bought a 1995 minivan to explore the country. It did help that there was a bed.

When she met Picking and seeing the happiness that travels brought Young, he decided to quit his office job and explore with her. The couple continued their journey in Australia. They moved into a van with a rooftop tent for a year before heading back to the US. 

That’s when they fell in love with a 13-year-old GMC Savana named Birdie, a former government surveillance van. Young’s father spent two months turning the van into a home on wheels for the pair. 

“Birdie was designed as meticulously as a tiny house. Everything inside has a purpose - or several - and a unique place. I even measured the kettle, shoes, and books before the shelves were installed,” she wrote on Busines Insider. 

She said the van required lots of maintenance, but she enjoyed having a mobile living space. 

The pair- who make their money on freelance work and photography- currently have a $2 000 (about R28 000) budget, which is spent on fuel, food and day pass at gyms where they take a shower. The couple is currently exploring North America. 

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