Phillipe Leblond Van Life | How an LA Model Gave Up the High-Life to Live Outdoors
"Van life makes you a millionaire" - Phillipe Leblond on living the van life for over three years
“This is the best life lesson. Living in the van. I have learned so much about myself. Before the van 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. Lifewise."
Phillipe Leblond was just like anyone else before he decided to - oh. No. Wait. Wrong story.
Phillipe Leblond was definitely not just like anyone else before he decided to go and live in a van. Not at all. Phillipe Leblond was living in a big house in Beverly Hills, working as a model and by the sounds of it, living the kind of life that goes with that success.
To be fair, you can see why the guy was a model too. He’s maybe the most attractive man on the planet. That hair! THAT HAIR! *Swoons*
But the Montreal-born model (he was both born in Montreal, and born a model by the looks of it) decided to give his entire life up in order to pursue his dreams of living outdoors, and he hasn’t looked back since.
“Just before turning 30 I decided to make myself a gift," he says, in his latest interview, below, with Dylan Magaster on YouTube. “I decided to make myself a gift, and got the van. 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 has been living the van life for three years now, and describes it as “happiness on wheels". He’s got a surfboard and a kayak on his roof, two more surfboards inside, and says that while the van is his bedroom, “the world is [his] living room."
He seems like an awesome guy - as you’ve probably gathered by now, we’re low-key in love with him - and from the looks of it he’s really living the life of adventure (whilst maintaining quite frankly astounding hair. HOW DO YOU KEEP YOUR HAIR SO GOOD PHILLIPE? THE MORE YOU LOOK AT HIM THE MORE ATTRACTIVE HE BECOMES).
“What is it that you really need in life? Food, water and a bed at night? Voila!" he says to Magaster. Though he admits that the three years haven’t been without their problems.
“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."
He showers from a shower bag, fills up water when he can, usually at campsites, and moves around nearly every day.
It’s not fancy, and far from the Los Angeles life he had before, but the longer you listen to him, the more it sounds like perfection (and hey, Beverly Hills models don’t normally get a mention on Mpora).
Above Phillipe’s bed is a sign reading ‘the best things in life are not things’.
“Don’t be too serious," he says. “Normal is boring."
He’s also just bought a lightweight tent and says he’s only recently back from “the second backpacking trip of my life. I’m addicted!" He’s maybe the perfect man. I mean look at the hair. THE HAI- Sorry. We’ve already said that. We know we’ve already said that. The man’s name translate to English as “Phillip the Blonde" though. What a stud.
And Leblond’s advice about getting into the Van Life? Well, there’s plenty of maintenance suggestions in the video, but the most important one comes right at the end: “do it".
Also probably worth following him on Instagram: www.instagram.com/philippe_leblond