This post comes from two Roamaroo guest bloggers, Luke and Diana Vammen of From Tech to Travel. Luke and Diana recently left their full-time jobs in the U.S. to travel the world for a year. This is their story from two different perspectives.

Diana’s Perspective: Travel the World

Two Yuppies Who Quit Their Jobs to Travel the World for a Year

It’s something that many corporate citizens daydream about weekly. Simply google the phrase “how to quit your job and travel the world” and you will find a copious number of articles teaching willing participants how to save enough money to support a life of full-time travel. The value proposition? Tell your boss to “shove it” and leave your challenges behind.

This won’t be one of those articles.

We had great friends, great bosses, and were two young professionals on an upwardly mobile track within large IT companies. The fact is that we loved the life that we had built for ourselves in Houston, Texas… So why did we quit our jobs, pack up our house, and leave to travel the world?

This seemingly novel concept was something that Diana’s parents did before Uber, Airbnb, or even Google Maps graced the world with their presence. In 1986, Susan and Fred quit their corporate jobs, booked a one-way ticket to Spain and navigated through Europe with $12,000 and a Rick Steve’s travel guide in hand. It was an age before the dream of becoming a well-paid travel blogger would have ever crossed their minds.

When Susan and Fred reminisce on their time abroad, they don’t dwell on the landmarks they explored or look at pictures of themselves galivanting on a beach, instead they share stories of the wonderful people they met and the unique challenges they faced while abroad.

Susan and Fred in Scotland “looking for Nessie” with a local

As two compulsive corporate overachievers, we really enjoy being challenged. A whitespace account that swears they will never purchase? Challenge accepted. An integration project that has failed numerous times before? Let’s do it. Give us an unsolvable problem and we will find a way to get it done with a smile on our faces.

The real challenge for us? The unknown.

Having lived and worked in Houston, Texas for the past seven years, we have strategically hand-picked a life that we love. Our jobs, our friends, our home, and our routines all support a comfortable lifestyle allowing us to be as efficient as possible… in our bubble.

It’s difficult to admit, as we both consider ourselves adventurous individuals, that we have worked ourselves into a safe and comfortable bubble. When in Italy in 2015, we actually considered booking an early flight home because we couldn’t wait to get back to our bubble. Yes, that’s right, two people who almost spent a $1,000 in airline change fees to leave the most beautiful country in the world two days early, have started a life of full time travel…Crazy? YES.


Susan and Fred in Scotland “looking for Nessie” with a local


Why? The unknown.

As I mentioned previously, what we see as our largest challenges are the challenges we don’t know exist, that we couldn’t anticipate, and live outside of our bubble. To us, this also includes the good challenges like the books that we have yet to read, the cultures that we have yet to experience, and the people we have yet to meet. By choosing to travel the world, we have chosen to seek out the challenges that a life of full-time travel brings. To experience and even become familiar with the unknown.

Why Else? Time.

Luke’s mom, Fritzie, had a dear friend from Columbia who worked as a maid most of her life in the United States. One day Fritzie asked her friend “Do you enjoy what you do?” and her response was one we reflect on frequently, “I enjoy everything when I have the time”.

Dwell on that for a moment. How often do you use “not enough time” as an excuse? We did, often. We would work 60 hours a week without blinking an eye, but would perpetually complain about not having enough time to work out, leisurely read, or even spend time with friends.

During this year that we spend abroad “not enough time” will not be an excuse. Didn’t get to work out this morning? Go for it, we can put off our tour until tomorrow. Didn’t finish the research you were doing? The museum will still be there tomorrow.

Why Now?

Why now? The number one question we received when telling people about our trip.

“Why now? You are about to be promoted to a Director.”

“Why now? What if you can’t get a job when you come back?”

And our personal favorite… “Why now? You can travel when you retire.”

Why now? To form the right long-term habits.

We mentioned earlier that we planned to do things that we rarely found time to do before like reading, writing, and working out. The first week of our trip we outlined the habits and goals that we would like to hold each other accountable to during our time abroad. Our desire is to embed a routine into our minds and bodies over the next year that will perpetuate throughout our lives.

We believe that these routines and habits have the power to transform/evolve our minds differently than another year of work experience on our resumes.

Why now? To experience…differently.

All of this talk about routines and goals, I’m sure you are thinking “do they have ANY fun?”.

Could we have done this at 65? Sure! However, it would be a completely different trip. Diana’s parents, the same people who took a similar trip in in their 20’s, have no desire to leave the comfort of the United States in their retirement. The moral of the story? We don’t know what life will look like at 65, so why NOT go now.

Trek down a sketchy path in Positano, Italy to get to a remote beach? Let’s go!


“Where is everyone… Are we supposed to be here”?

Hike two hours to see the most incredible views of the Lake District, UK? Absolutely!

Luke looking cool, Diana trying to look cool while catching her breath

Dance on tables with the British college students while singing “Come on Eileen”? Better now than when I’m 65!

Could we have accomplished this by continuing to take 10-day vacations for the rest of our lives? Maybe, I think many people do, but we decided to go “all in” on a year abroad. Follow our journey on Instagram @fromtechtotravel where we share the places we go, the people we meet, and the challenges we face while abroad!


We are From Tech to Travel and that is our perspective. What’s yours?

Every life has adventure, whether it’s booking a one-way ticket to the other side of the world or taking on a new project at work. What is your adventure? Or more importantly what is your “why” and “why now”?


Luke looking cool, Diana trying to look cool while catching her breath

Luke’s Perspective: Travel the World

Renting out your house, selling your cars, quitting jobs that you love, telling your friends and family goodbye… To many this sounds absolutely crazy, but for us this was the process that we went through before leaving the country on a one way ticket to travel the world for a year.

I’m not going to sugar coat it, this process isn’t for the faint of heart. You will let people down, you will lose your place on the corporate ladder climb, you will forfeit a significant amount of money, and you will wonder if your lives will be waiting for you when you come back; but in the end, taking the chance on a once in a lifetime trip around the world was the right choice for us.

Why did we decide to take this trip? And why now versus when we retire? All questions we had to answer to friends, family, and bosses prior to taking the leap.

Take a Step Back – Finding a Proactive Approach

An average work week for us was about 50-65 hours a week, not something to brag about, but what was required to achieve the results we wanted out of our roles. We often times would set goals in the mornings to put aside the reactive items pulling at us to read through an industry publication or take a training to fine tune a skill, but inevitably after 10 minutes a “firedrill” would find us and require our full attention.

Taking a step back to get to progress forward. It seems counter intuitive, but we faced a point in our careers where we felt it was the only way to truly progress. Could we have gone to grad school? Sure! Trading our emails and conference calls for study groups and tests would have traded our 50-65 hours a week into something else.

The society that we grew up in tells us that you should graduate high school, pick a college, graduate college, pick a job, have kids, work your way up the corporate ladder, then retire at the age of 65 and go see the world from behind the glass of a world cruise ship. To us this felt a little bit backwards. We felt that to truly understand what you want out of life, where you want to live, and what your passions are; you need to go experience everything that the world has to offer. We felt that it would be very difficult for us to learn this from the small and very comfortable bubble that we had built for our self in Houston, TX.

We wanted the opportunity to take a step back from our careers to explore the world and to put ourselves into new and uncomfortable situations that would allow us to grow as individuals and as a couple. We see the value in meeting people of all backgrounds, experiencing different cultures, eating different foods, and seeing all the beautiful sights that this world has to offer. To learn from these experiences so that we come back more knowledgeable about the world and more secure in what we want out of life. The goal is to come back as individuals who are stronger as family members, friends, and professionals; because of what we learned on this trip.


Diana taking a break from singing to smile for the camera

Finding a new way to live

So you might be asking yourself, what does one do with their time after they quit their job, leave all of their friends, and move to far away countries where it costs .20 cents a minute to call home and complain about being home sick?

Well, we are trying to figure that out now. The easiest part of the trip is the traveling part. You research where you want to go, book flights and accommodations, and head to that location to see all the beauty that it has to offer. We could easily put ourselves on a whirlwind tour, where we see a different place every 3 days and show up back at home a year later with lots of pretty pictures and stories; but that is what we are trying to avoid with this trip. We don’t want to travel through all of these new places, we want to live in them and experience what it’s like to be a member of these different cultures and societies. This trip is an opportunity for us to slow down, learn about ourselves, and what kind of passions we have when we don’t have a 60 hour work week tugging at us every day. It’s an opportunity to stop and smell the roses and to create better habits that we can continue when we come home. Thus far we have committed to working out nearly every morning, meditating, cooking breakfast together, reading and writing/journaling every day, researching how to write a book, studying the technology industry, and searching for new passions that we can devote our time to. We have tried to create a routine where we spend our mornings focused on these areas and then spend our afternoons exploring. Finding a good routine for this is still a work in process, but we are starting to get there.

Several of the questions that we get now that we have left are when are you coming home? Where will you move to? What will you do when you get back? Will you ever come back?

The true answer is that we don’t know and that’s the whole point. This is an opportunity to reset our expectations of life and come back with the confidence that we know where we want to live (because we’ve lived in all of the places), what we want to do (because we’ve studied ourselves and our passions), and how we want to do it (we’ve studied other cultures and how they do life). The goal is to come back and become contributing members of society (no, we don’t plan on being Nomads our entire life) who can raise a family with no regrets and have the confidence that where we live, who we are, and how we are doing things; is exactly the way we want to do it.