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A New Jerseyan Embarks on the Adventure of a Lifetime [Interview]

Michael Reese Travel
Photo Courtesy of Michael Reese

Michael Reese is a 36 year old New Jersey resident who went to school for law and business and has worked in corporate law and banking in Manhattan. He just decided to leave it all behind to take on an adventure.

In his own words,

Notice has been given to my job and in the end of August/beginning of September I will be leaving the USA to see some of the amazing and mind boggling places this world has to offer.

That’s right, he’s leaving the comfort of home, the security of a job, and traveling the world. I think that this is a pretty incredible decision to make, so I wanted to pick his brain.

Take a look at our interview:

What made you decide to leave corporate America and travel? 

Multiple reasons: (1) just not satisfied/passionate about my job, and more broadly, my career; (2) i do not want to have regret later on in life (I have already experienced regret, and it is a horrible feeling); (3) may not be able to do this when I am older (i.e., physically, logistically); (4) I am not meeting like minded people (especially in the dating world … oye!) (5) I want to see, and learn, from all of the wonderful places and people this world has to offer; (6) certain aspects of western culture I am not agreeing with at this point (i.e., emphasis on materialism, rigid timeline of how you are suppose to live your life, etc.) and (7) there are areas of myself I would like to improve on.

 

How long have you been thinking about this? 

About 2 years ago I went to Australia and New Zealand and it was there that I was first exposed to long term travelers on a massive scale.

 

What did you tell your employer? 

Told them the truth, sort of. Basically just told them that I needed to take time out to reflect on my career options.

 

What have you done to prepare in advance? 

See the Round The World file on my blog – it is THOROUGH.  I also have maps with places I would like to see on each.

 

Do you have a specific plan or are you just going to wing it? 

Well, I have a “direction” i would like to go – Central America –> South America –> Antarctica (if I feel like spending the money) –> Africa –> Europe –> Middle East –> Asia –> Pacific –> back to USA.

 

Are there any specific places that you’ve put on your “must” list? 

See the RTW file! But seriously, every country has something special. That was one of the things that surprised me when i was researching each country. But if i had to pick, it would probably be some of the animal experiences i would like to do (i.e., great white shark diving in South Africa, komodo dragons in Indonesia, mountain gorilla trekking in Rwanda, etc.).

 

Is there anything that, in advance, you’re worried or nervous about? 

Logistically, no. I mean, there are going to be bumps, so the best thing that you can do is adjust to them and take them in stride. Funny, but the one thing I AM worried about is the effect this will have on my love life. That is to say, I am 36, all of my friends are married, and I would like to meet that special girl and settle down, but with hopping from one country to the next, this poses logistical problems.

 

Do you plan to stay in hotels or are you literally going to “rough it” and stay in hostels, people’s homes, etc? 

Hostels dude, hostels! They are the social meccas of this planet, i swear!  I may try couch surfing, but I am lukewarm on it.

 

Do you have an idea of how long you’re going to travel for, or are you basically going to scratch the itch until you feel satisfied? 

Well, if I run the table, it could be up to 4 years, but like i said above, I am a little concerned about the effects on my love life this will have, so i am just going to take it one step at a time. maybe evaluate it every few months.

 

If other people are considering doing the same thing, what advice would you give? 

Clear your debt asap! Then take baby steps to making your dream come true.  The RTW file i constructed was NOT made over night!

 

Anything else you’d like to add? 

Read my blog! But seriously, the following is a great motivating article:  http://www.inspirationandchai.com/Regrets-of-the-Dying.html

 

Good luck, Michael! We’ll look forward to your updates from around the world!

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