Not your typical vagabonds, we’re too young to be retired pensioners and too old to be gap-year backpackers. So where do we fit in? We like to think everywhere and nowhere. In truth, we’re just a couple of travel junkies determined to live life on our own terms.
Runaways from an all-consuming corporate world, we got a late start on travel. But once bitten, no cubicle in the world could hold us. It took us five years of solid planning, saving, and re-prioritizing to break free, but we made it. You can too. We’re here to help.
We made our break in April 2010 and have been traveling non-stop ever since.
Our original dreams envisioned us following well-worn backpacker trails around the world, but our two cats protested. Proving that obstacles are made to be overcome, we completely retooled our ambitions. We traded our NYC-area apartment for a motor home and set out on a North American road trip instead with cats in tow. We zig-zagged across the U.S. for four years, making our way from Maine to the Everglades, from Utah’s red rock canyons to the turquoise waters of the Pacific.
After running out of road on the California coast, we parked the motor home for good. Our beloved cats had passed away by then, and with no furry dependents to care for anymore we set our sights on more distant horizons. We downsized yet again, this time trading the RV for the long-awaited backpacks.
We’re now making our way around the globe, toting nearly all of our worldly possessions on our backs. We began our overseas adventures by spending spring and summer 2014 in Spain, France, and the UK. In November 2014, we set off to tackle a new continent; a four-and-a-half-month trek took us through Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, and Singapore. After a brief stopover in the U.S., we’ll be heading to Greece and other parts of Europe this spring.
The plan is to keep traveling indefinitely—exploring new places, pushing boundaries, and experiencing what the world has to offer.
Shannon is a freelance writer and the co-author of Novel Destinations: Literary Landmarks from Jane Austen’s Bath to Ernest Hemingway’s Key West (National Geographic Books) and Writers Between the Covers: The Scandalous Romantic Lives of Legendary Literary Casanovas, Coquettes, and Cads (Plume/Penguin). She has interviewed President Clinton for an Arrive Magazine cover feature, written about Scotch tasting for Continental, and scenic Vermont for National Geographic Traveler, along with articles for other magazines and newspapers. She is a contributor to the book industry news publication Shelf Awareness and plans to stop at as many bookstores as she can along the way. (If you’re obsessed with literary travel like she is, check out her blog at NovelDestinations.com).
Nobody remembers why Brian, as an undergraduate finance major, registered for a class in Romantic Era poetry. Maybe he thought it was an easy elective or, more probably, it fit a time slot that satisfied his primary objective of keeping Fridays and early mornings completely free. Whatever the reason, it was a course that started him thinking more deeply about what he wanted out of life.
He discovered that the things he really wanted weren’t at all what the media and society at large told him he should want: bigger, better, more, excessive. Those things all had their attractions, but they could be acquired only by spending the one commodity for which there is no substitute or replacement – time.
At that early stage, though, the pull of career and success were stronger. Brian doubled down on his original path; working long hours and weekends in pursuit of traditional goals. In some respects, he set his sights too low. By the age of 35 he had basically climbed as high in the corporate world as he desired. Higher rungs existed, as always, but they held little interest for him.
Bored with work and tired of spending precious time pursuing the things he decided long ago weren’t terribly important he, and his wife Shannon, began devising an escape plan. Years in the making, the plan came to fruition in August 2009, the very day he launched this blog.