“I felt like I was on a hamster wheel … I just thought there must be more to life.”
A high-profile city worker has quit her £100,000-a-year job to live in a twenty-foot van with her pet Chihuahua.
Dominique Keint, 29, was a director at a London accounting firm before taking the plunge this year.
She has spent £25,000 to buy a converted VW Crafter and is now touring Europe with her one-year-old dog Kevin.
Dominique said: “I feel so much freer and so much more like me. Before, I felt like I was on a hamster wheel for so long. I just thought there must be more to life.
“I used to work 60 or 70 hour weeks. On vacation, I’d be the loser working in the corner. I kind of felt like I didn’t have a choice.”
Dominique spent eight years with a Big Four firm before taking on the position of Director with an accounting firm in London.
She was living in the capital and was earning more than £100,000 a year before quitting.
Now living off savings, she’s considering taking on a consulting role for a few months a year to fund her lifestyle.
Dominique said: “This lifestyle is so much cheaper. I have enough money for nine months.
“I work maybe two or three months a year and then finance the rest of the year.
“I spend about £250 a month on insurance and petrol for the van, and then it’s food and activities, so overall I don’t spend more than £600 to £1,000 a month.”
Dominique is currently in France and hopes to travel to Spain and Portugal in the coming months.
She said her lifestyle change was inspired by a desire to break out of the mundane routine.
Dominique said: “I saw a news article about van conversions into homes in October and bought one a month later.
“I had three months notice at work and then left in January.
“A lot of people my age feel pressured to live a normal life, but it doesn’t make them happy.
“I want to see people do what makes them happy.
“It’s not easy, but it just feels like you’re alive — even if that sounds cheesy.
“Sometimes I still feel like a failure for quitting my job, which is kind of weird.
“Telling my family about it was the hardest part – I think they would have preferred me to work and focus on my career instead.”
Dominique said living alone can be lonely, but she’s met new people and connected with nature along the way.
She said: “There are little things that get you through, like talking to someone in a bakery.
“If I like something somewhere, I stay and explore it. If not, I’ll try to find the nearest accommodation.
“I do a lot of walks and active things. Everything is slower in the van. It can take an hour to wash and wash the dishes.”