July 23

The Decision


In this fall…this is very tough…in this fall, (we’re) going to take (our) talents to…


 **Please excuse the gratuitous jab at LeBron, but as a native Clevelander, it just seemed all too fitting for this situation.

So here’s the scoop:

Jan’s company got acquired this past fall and they subsequently announced they would shut down the corporate headquarters in Chicago this summer.  That left Jan without a job after the transition was complete; hence a decision had to be made on what to do next.

He explored options including moving to Ohio to work for the parent company (ironically based in Akron, OH, LeBron’s hometown, but I digress).  Considering I have family and friends in Cleveland, that was a viable option, but the opportunity wasn’t the best fit for him.

Regardless, we’re not quite ready for living in the suburbs with 2.5 kids and a white picket fence, otherwise known as the “American Dream.”

Other job prospects came Jan’s way, but the more we talked about it, the more we saw it as an opportunity to do something different with our lives.

Here are the facts:  We’re young and don’t have kids or a house.  Our biggest asset is a car.  Really nothing is tying us down. On top of that, our lease is actually up at the end of August, the same month the transition was to be complete.  Coincidence? I think not!

Life was most definitely handing us lemons and we knew just what to do with them.


We decided to take a detour from the typical “American Dream” track of working until retirement and only then traveling extensively.  We’re going to flip it and reverse it – travel now, work later.

We’re going to take a Career Break.

Although this is a foreign concept in the States, it’s quite common throughout the world as we’ve found with our previous travels.  This is a great article explaining what a career break is if you’d like to learn more.


How long will we be gone?  

TBD, but we’re estimating about a year.  The real answer to this question lies in how well we budget.  Once our travel budget is exhausted, we’re coming home.


Where are we going? 

Here’s our (very rough) plan:

August 31st – December 21st:  Asia

  • Definitely going to:  Mongolia, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore
  • Maybe going to:  Myanmar, Laos, wherever the wind takes us

December 22nd – January 16th:  US

  • Definitely going to:  Chicago, New Jersey
  • Maybe going to:  NYC, your couch because we’ll be homeless 🙂

January 17th – January 20th:  Dominican Republic

  • Definitely going to:  Jessica & Mike’s wedding in Punta Cana!

Late January – ??:  Central America & South America

  • This leg is very much TBD, but stay tuned!


Why are we doing this?

  1. Why not?
  2. No better time than the present to try something like this out (i.e. refer to “the facts” above)
  3. We love to travel and there are still so many places left to explore that we want to share with others
  4. Opportunity to learn new things such as languages and building a website as well as hone existing skills like photography and writing
  5. Chance to give back to the world and volunteer our services
  6. Why not?  YOLO!  (I can’t believe I just typed YOLO…)

And we rest our case.


We truly appreciate the support our family and friends have already showered us with in making this decision.  That really means the world to us (pun intended).

We’ll be updating the blog as we travel to keep you updated on our whereabouts and experiences (good AND bad!) along this crazy journey we’re about to embark on.

We’d love to hear from you and interact with you while we’re on the road.  Selfishly, when we come home we won’t have to answer the loaded question, “How was your trip?!” with generalities like, “It was awesome!” (we hope is the answer we’d give).  How do you really summarize months of travel to answer that question?  And vice versa, we want to keep up on your lives while we’re away.

So pick your social media poison(s) to follow us along the way:







Susie & Jan


Round the World, RTW

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  1. Susie and Jan–
    I think your travel sounds fabulous. I am very happy that you two are taking this bold step to see some of the world now!! I will be following and looking forward to your updates. Safe and happy travels to you!!

  2. Susie & Jan,
    So excited for you both & for the adventures you are about to encounter. As a younger couple (@ 36 years ago) Gary & I spent nearly 2 years backpacking & hitchhiking around the world. Many people thought that we were crazy then too. It was definitely a lifechanging experience that we wouldn’t have changed. We did return home, got jobs, bought a house, had the 3 girls. Now as we are about to retire, and after our 6 wk stay in New Zealand last year, we too are thinking about traveling again. This time it will probably be with Elder Hostels, but as long as we are able we are going for it.
    Good luck & God Bless you on your journey! You won’t regret it! Sharon Russell

    1. Thanks so much Sharon! I think that hearing about your backpacking trip planted a seed in my brain at a young age that something like this is possible in life. I always admired that you and Gary traveled to far-flung places at a young age and had so many adventures to remember. Long-term travel still isn’t “normal”, especially in the States, but thanks for blazing the trail for us!

      I think that is awesome that you both are considering hitting the road again! There’s always more of the world to see and even the places you’ve been to have changed so much, I’m sure. Maybe you can convince my parents to travel for more than 2 weeks at a time 😉

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