There were many people who inspired us to make the change and get out on the road. They also recommended various books, travel resources and readings to push us in the right direction, and we gladly share them with you. We’ve also included travel gear with which we couldn’t live without and highly recommend.
In January 2012 Jess met with her dear friend, Gene Wixson. They hadn’t seen each other in awhile and she was particularly struggling financially. Although Jon and Jess had talked about traveling, they had never made concrete plans because of the mess she’d made of my finances. Gene recommended Jess read Your Money or Your Life. This book almost instantly allow Jess to come to grips with the emotional strain of tough finances, and start to figure out how to realize her assets. She recommends this book to anyone trying to figure out how to navigate their finances in a way that allows you to know just what is enough and when to stop longing for more.
Sometime in the summer, after Jon and Jess had made plans to take our 2 month sabbatical, Jess met with another friend, Garrett Downen.
Garrett’s a world adventurer and recommended they read Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel on their Kindle, to get our creative travel juices flowing. It certainly helped us figure out the nuts and bolts of traveling, plus it has tons of online resources.
While reading Vagabonding, Jess came across the The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich
- which as you can imagine was incredibly intriguing. Highly recommended, it was incredibly helpful for time management and figuring out how to truly detach yourself from work. Jess can’t say that it really works in the nonprofit world, since she does believe one needs to be present to make strong relationships, but for starting a business, it was great. This was the nail on the coffin per say of deciding to start the remote business and get on the road.
Jess’ Pack – Osprey Sojourn Wheeled Travel Pack
Jess loves this pack. Seriously – it’s an Osprey pack – what have you got to lose? It has an internal frame and super sturdy roller wheels so it can be carted around like a regular roller back. However, it’s back unzips and unveils padded shoulder straps and a hip belt. The internal frame and wheel set is curved so it fits around ones back and hips nicely. The 25″ is surprisingly roomy, with lots of internal pockets and straps. The zipper pulls can be locked with a TSA lock and it has both top and side handles for carrying. Added bonus which Jess has yet to use: side buckles for the optional add-on day pack. Cooool. The only bad thing about this pack is that they no longer sell it in the pepper orange that Jess is sporting. Sorry folks.
Jon’s Pack - Osprey Porter Travel Duffle Bag
Similar to Jess’ this is a lighter version without the roller wheels and internal frame. It’s highly expandable and can also sinch down pretty small when you’re not carrying a lot of gear. It also has clips to attach a shoulder strap – nice. Jon bought this for his trip to Greece in 2008 and we’ve both used it ever since. It still looks new. Love it. Lucky for you – you CAN get this one in that great spicy red color. Jess is happy.