We here at ZzyxX Shoes embrace the individual spirit and people who help personify this. Philippe Leblond from Montreal, Quebec is one of many who has taken his life on the road and is living in his van to roam as he wishes. Complete with a cooking station and other key items, he has simplified his life and feels that this lifestyle works for him. Besides roaming this earth, he's also a working model who balances out the nomadic with the "buttoned up" lifestyle. We recently got a chance to catch up with him and ask a few questions about his adventures, so give a glance.
Where did you grow up?
Grew up in Montreal as a French Canadian.
Did you travel a lot growing up?
Traveled a lot with my dad road tripping everywhere in Quebec every summer.
What kind of kid were you?
I was the kind of kid that couldn’t stay in place and needed to spend a lot of energy everyday.
Do you have a home base? (and where?)
I'm based in LA.
Tell us what drew you to the "Van Life" lifestyle?
Bought the van for my birthday and did a one month trip from LA to Vancouver, driving through every national park on the way and drove back by the coast … it's when I came back, I realized how much the freedom got me and I was addicted to it, so I decided to stay in the van instead of choosing to live in an apartment where I was picturing myself being claustrophobic.
Why did you go with a Ford Van?
Found the Sportsmobile vans and decided to build something similar. Now I need/want a Sprinter 4x4 diesel.
Did you do the build out for the van?
I worked as a carpenter for years and built the inside in a week.
Most crucial item you carry with you?
Most crucial item is my credit card … for gas, lol.
Most prized possession?
Been a model for 14 years.
What's your daily routine?
Daily routine is to find something fun to do.
What's your cooking game like?
I have a propane stove, couple pans, a wok and even a cast iron (for slow cooking), so my cooking game is strong. haha
My longest trip is 16 months, lol. That's when I started the van life, but usually because of work, I can’t road trip for more than a month at a time.
And, scariest thing you've encountered while on the road?Scariest thing I remember is in the Whites Sands National Monument in New Mexico. I got pulled over and had been asked if I had a bazooka in my van and a few hours later, after my hike, a couple border patrols came to me with machine guns and a K9 asking me if I heard gunshots.