Some of you know us, and some of you don’t. I suspect that these first posts will be read more frequently by those of you who know us than those who don’t.
But here’s the gist: we love to travel, and we do it, a lot – more than most people our age. Sometimes it’s for work, mostly it’s for pleasure, though it’s rare that we’d be able to separate the two.
This summer, we will set off on two great adventures. The first: marriage. But that’s not really what I want to write about, though I’m sure it will be unavoidable. The second: we will go on (at least) a year-long adventure across North America to find out where we want to live.
So far, all we know is that we’re going to start in Montreal, Canada in early July. After that, our atlases are blank (yes, we have actual paper atlases). We’re going to stay in each place as long as we like, and move as often as we like. The goal is 1) to explore all of the different nooks and crannies of this country, and 2) to see if there’s somewhere we’d rather live for the next 5 years, 10 years, or the rest of our lives.
We’re both fortunate to have the flexibility of profession to be able to take on this journey. I’m a sports journalist who is co-owner and editor-in-chief of an online sports publication (and physical magazine). We don’t have a central office anyway, so as long as I’m in a North American time zone, I can work from anywhere.
Janna, meanwhile, runs social media for a non-profit organization that has been generous enough to let her work remotely while we’re on our adventure.
But this blog won’t have much to do with work, though inevitably it will come up. This blog is about the exploration, the journey, the world. Janna actually used to work for a travel agency, though she wasn’t a travel agent. She was close enough, though, to generate some curiosity, wonder, and a valuable travel vocabulary (we probably would’ve never wound up on European river cruises if it weren’t for her background).
When Janna and I met, I actually didn’t like travelling. I hated being away, missing out on wherever life progressed to at home while I was gone. Shortly after Janna and I met, though, I took her to Portland to impress her. Because, we bonded early in our relationship over our love for the television show Portlandia.
The next trip was to the National Mustard Museum in Middleton, Wisconsin another 4 months later for National Mustard Day.
And from there, I was hooked. But not by the ‘tourist spots.’ I’ve seen the Eiffel Tower so many GD times in pictures, that I’m not sure if I’d really be wow’ed by seeing it in person. Instead, I like to visit the more obscure, the more real, the places that make the locals love their city. That’s always my goal.
That has taken us down a somewhat bizarre list of locations. We’ve been on vacations to Boise, Idaho and Carbondale, Illinois, but I’ve never been to New York City or the state of California. We’ve been on 3 vacations to the state of Wisconsin (Madison, Milwaukee, and the North Woods). And I’ve never set foot in the two most populous American states beside the one I currently live in (Texas).
That will probably change at some point on this journey. While it’s still 6 months out, we wanted to launch this site now, so we could use it to help explore the build-up to this, the planning we do, the excitement we have – and to elicit input. We want to know where you live, and what you love about it. Don’t give us the Tripadvisor rankings, we want to know more than that. Where are the best shady trees on a hot summer afternoon? Where can you go to eat and make friends with the owner of the restaurant? Which coffee shops will let you take a table for 2 hours to work on your blog, and which won’t?
Bon voyage, and Bienvenue to our journey.