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A beloved Instagram star who turned an web sensation for her vanlife travels has taken her personal life after battling melancholy.
Lee Macmillan, who documented her journey Down Underneath along with her Australian ex-partner Max Bidstrup and their canine Occy, killed herself final week.
The pair’s @maxandlee_ Instagram web page, which has garnered greater than 67,000 followers, revealed the information on Wednesday.
‘After residing a unprecedented life, and combating a courageous battle with melancholy, our hearts are shattered to share that Lee took her life on Friday,’ Mr Bidstrup wrote.
Lee Macmillan, who documented her journey Down Underneath along with her Australian now-ex-partner Max Bidstrup and their canine Occy, tragically took her life final week
Max described his ex-partner as ‘the brightest mild’ and a ‘magnetic power of nature’ who was cherished by many
He described his ex-partner as ‘the brightest mild’ and a ‘magnetic power of nature’ who was cherished by many.
‘We’ll miss her with each fiber of our hearts,’ Mr Bidstrup wrote.
‘If we will do one factor for Lee now, within the midst of this soul-crushing loss, it is to unfold the message that psychological well being is simply as actual as bodily well being, and that sickness can strike anybody, irrespective of how unlikely they could appear.
‘It is okay to not be okay, it is okay to ask for assist, it is completely essential to ask for assist. Lee was an advocate for psychological well being. She was candid and open about her personal struggles.’
The couple met whereas Mr Bidstrup was on a working vacation in Canada in 2016 and so they determined to journey internationally with one another and their Australian Shepherd Occy in a van they renovated.
They spent two years travelling throughout 16 nations, earlier than finally stunning followers by breaking apart in January final 12 months.
The pair’s @maxandlee_ Instagram web page, which has garnered greater than 67,000 devoted followers, revealed the devastating information on Wednesday
The cherished up couple spent 5 weeks travelling round southeast Asia collectively earlier than returning to Canada the place they purchased and renovated a 2006 Dodge Sprinter van
In January this 12 months, the couple introduced their break up to their joint Instagram account, stunning their hordes of loyal followers and followers
The couple shared the highs and lows of travelling round Canada, South East Asia, South America and North America – together with the time Occy was attacked on a seashore in Costa Rica.
In addition they shared the second they stunned Mr Bidstrup’s brother who had simply had a child by returning to Australia from Canada after greater than two years away.
The couple, who had greater than 68,000 Instagram followers and 496,000 Youtube subscribers, spent their time travelling to untouched areas, away from the crowds of vacationers.
They drove 50,000 miles to journey throughout the Lagunas route, which took them as much as an elevation of 16,400ft as they crossed the 400km of barren panorama via the Andes mountains from Bolivia to Chile.
Earlier than shopping for the van and renovating it, the couple frolicked travelling round South Australia the place they went cave diving with nice white sharks earlier than bathing elephants in Thailand.
Mr Bidstrup mentioned Ms Macmillan had been receiving assist from professionals, household and pals for her melancholy.
‘She had help round her. She was not alone, she was not attempting to struggle this alone. And but she nonetheless succumbed to this horrible sickness. It’s extra nuanced than we will, or do, respect or perceive,’ he mentioned.
The couple spent the following few months exploring North America and finally made their manner via South America
Pictured: A map exhibiting the numerous nations and territories the couple travelled to collectively
In a heartbreaking tribute on his private Instagram account, Mr Bidstrup mentioned Ms Macmillan was ‘the perfect particular person I’ve ever met’.
‘You have been the perfect factor to ever occur to me. I fell in love with you the day we met but you have been nonetheless the stronger one which mentioned ‘I like you’ first. I by no means stopped loving you Mountie, I hope you already know that,’ he wrote.
‘I’ll all the time cherish my time with you on this world and hope past hope to see you within the subsequent.’
Mr Bidstrup has since began the ‘#speakupforlee’ hashtag, to boost consciousness for psychological sickness and the significance of checking in in your pals.
‘Let’s unfold the attention of this difficulty, for Lee and each one else who wants to listen to this. And maintain your family members tight. Inform them you like them. As a result of life can change straight away,’ he wrote.
‘Life is extra complicated than a single social media put up. Issues are difficult. Do not consider what you see on-line. Get out into the world and speak to your family members.
‘Test in. Ask them genuinely how they’re doing. Be obtainable to assist. To hear. To supply assist. Take away the stigma of asking for assist.’
Ms Macmillan and Mr Bidstrup – a paramedic from Wangaratta in Victoria – met whereas he was on a working vacation in Canada in 2016.
Ms Macmillan and Mr Bidstrup – a paramedic from Wangaratta in Victoria – met whereas he was on a working vacation in Canada
Mr Bidstrup has since began the ‘#speakupforlee’ hashtag, to boost consciousness for psychological sickness and the significance of checking in in your pals
The cherished up couple then spent 5 weeks travelling round southeast Asia collectively earlier than returning to Canada.
They bought a 2006 Dodge Sprinter van for about $12,300, which they gutted and renovated for his or her street journeys.
The pair spent the following few months exploring North America and finally made their manner via to Hawaii and South America the place they visited nations equivalent to Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Colombia.
Throughout their time within the US, they frolicked visiting the Havasu Canyon in Arizona earlier than travelling to San Diego the place they stopped for every week to get well from travelling over 15,000km of their van within the first three months.
Ms Macmillan and Mr Bidstrup additionally spent virtually six months in Mexico the place they took Spanish classes collectively and spent Christmas on a seashore.
In addition they labored with a neighborhood charity to assist sea turtles attain the ocean to present them an opportunity of survival.
They bought a 2006 Dodge Sprinter van for about $12,300, which they gutted and renovated for his or her street journeys
The couple launched their Youtube channel whereas in Oaxaca, Mexico and garnered an enormous following.
They then went on to journey to Guatemala – and so they have been there on the time the Fuego Volcano erupted in June 2018. The couple had been pictured on the volcano 4 days earlier than the eruption – however informed apprehensive followers they have been secure.
Mr Bidstrup went to go to the villages which have been near the eruption and the couple donated medical provides and cash to these affected.
Ms Macmallan spent three months again in Canada along with her household however joined her companion in Costa Rica.
While she was away Mr Bidstrup had visited Guatemala. The couple, as soon as reunited, posted on Instagram that they felt ‘lastly full once more’.
The couple moved on to go to Panama earlier than organising for his or her van to be shipped to Colombia.
On their first day within the South American nation, they hiked the enormous rock monolith del Penol and ended up sleeping subsequent to Pablo Escobar’s deserted mansion in Guatape, Colombia.
For Christmas 2018, the couple determined to journey again to Canada to spend time with family and friends earlier than occurring to Australia to shock Mr Bidstrup’s household after greater than two years away.
The couple went again to their van life in Colombia earlier than travelling to Ecuador the place they surfed in crystal clear waters and volunteered at an natural farm.
Ms Macmillan was pictured laying subsequent to a bunch of sea lions after the couple travelled for a five-day cruise to the Galapagos Islands the place they explored the varied panorama.
The couple moved on to Peru and explored the Peruvian desert with an out of doors truck – and even their canine Occy joined in by sporting massive goggles to maintain the mud away from his eyes.
Mr Bidstrup mentioned he’ll miss his ex-partner with ‘each fibre’ of his coronary heart
They started the 65km Salkantay Trek to Machu Pichu and posted on Instagram saying that it was a kind of ‘experiences in life you’ll simply always remember’.
While in Bolivia, the pair travelled on bikes on the well-known Dying Highway in La Paz with Occy proper behind them in a biker’s van and hiked up Mount Huayna Potosi.
In addition they made it to the gorgeous Patagonia in Chile the place they have been surrounded by glacial lakes and snow capped jagged peaks.
It was right here that Ms Macmillan posted about her psychological well being and mentioned in an Instagram put up: ‘I’ve been battling my very own insecurities and uncertainties and it has been inflicting my emotions of tension and melancholy.’
She added: ‘The explanation why I need to be open with you on this platform is as a result of there was so many instances the place I’ve in contrast myself on-line asking why everybody else’s life seems to be really easy and or ‘excellent’ and I’m right here struggling.’
While in Chile, the couple introduced they might be ending their travels after two years to be nearer to household and pals – and to have primary comforts they have been residing with out.
In January final 12 months, the couple introduced their break up to their joint Instagram account, stunning their hordes of loyal followers and followers.
‘Sadly although, regardless of going via a lot collectively, and attempting so rattling arduous, some issues do not all the time work out, irrespective of how a lot you need them to,’ they wrote alongside a photograph of them.
‘We’re very sorry to announce that the following chapter of our lives won’t be one skilled collectively, as we will probably be going our separate methods from right here.
‘The final month has been some of the attempting of our lives as we come to phrases with this new actuality. We each need what’s greatest for one another and can proceed to help one another now and in to the longer term.’⠀
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