A post shared by TheVanMan (@philippe_leblond) on
Meet Phillipe LeBlond a.k.a The Man in the Van.
A very attractive man, Montreal-born LeBlond was living the life as a model in Beverly Hills. Those good looks held him in good stead in the cutthroat industry. But, four years ago, he decided to give up his high life as a model and travel around North America... in his van.
“This is the best life lesson. Living in the van. I have learned so much about myself. Before this, I had that Beverly Hills kind of life but I wasn’t happy. I decided to leave. I went from a really, really big house to this. And now I’m happy. Van life makes you a 'millionaire', life-wise."
“Just before turning 30 I decided to give myself the van," he says, in his latest interview, below, with Dylan Magaster on YouTube. “I did a trip from LA to Vancouver visiting every national park, and drove back along the coast. I came back to LA totally addicted to the van life. Now I'm in Canada falling in love with my own country again."
LeBlond showers from a shower bag. He fills up when he can, usually at campsites. His days are filled with plenty of activities from surfing to kayaking.
“Don’t be too serious," he says. “Normal is boring."
Although living in a van and travelling sounds like a dream, but is a reality for LeBlond, his years on the road has not been without challenges.
“It’s not a 4x4. I got stuck a couple of times but that’s part of van life. As soon as you get out of your comfort zone, that’s where the adventure starts. When you get stuck you have a four or five second ‘fuck’ but then you’re like ‘what to do? No problem’. That’s where the fun starts. It’s $16,000 to convert a 4x4 so I’m not going to do that."
What is LeBlond’s advice for those considering the Van Life?
There is plenty of advice-cum-suggestions in the video, but LeBlond's most important one comes right at the end: “Do it".