If you’re here, you probably know us. But if you don’t, here’s the basic gist: we’re Brett and Bowen – a married couple in our late 20s, taking off a full year from our jobs, our home, and basically from life as we know it to travel around the United States and abroad.
Why? Because as one of our favorite college professors puts it, we want to step out of “the frantic” for a while. We want to spend more time with our families and friends and spend more time seeing the world, but without the limitation of 10 vacation days a year. We want to spend less time on our computers and more time exploring and thinking about what comes next in our lives – graduate school for Brett, likely a big career change for Bowen, and probably some kiddos a couple years down the line.
And because we couldn’t stop thinking about Gemütlichkeit. It’s a concept we learned about it during our 2011 trip to Austria and Germany, and wouldn’t hesitate to say it’s gotten kind of a hold on us. It’s is one of those broad concepts that is hard to define or pin down with one explanation, but here are some good ways to think about it: a sense of being calm and unhurried, a cheerful mood, peace of mind, having enough free time, celebrating the everyday, or a festive celebration that brings people together and promotes community development (that last one is a little more specific, but totally important to the overall idea).
We saw Gemütlichkeit everywhere we were in Austria and Germany (Bowen even wrote a post about it on her website), and we couldn’t stop thinking about how we needed more of it in our lives. [This sentence represents all the thinking and planning and decision-making that happened next … it would take a while to detail.] So we’re leaving our jobs (actually, Bowen left a few months ago to start planning for the trip and to work on some new work projects), packing up our stuff, and taking off for a year of roaming around North America, South America, Asia, and Europe (well, that’s the plan as of now). Brett will be applying to PhD programs in the fall, so after our year of travel we’ll end up in a university town somewhere in the US or Canada.
So we’ll be documenting on this site where we are, what we’re doing, and how we’re trying to get more Gemütlichkeit in our lives. Stay tuned!