We have quit our jobs to travel the world!!


We’ve never done anything this huge: My wife Jammie and I have turned in our resignation letters, quit our jobs to travel the world, write and do service projects for 12 months. We have picked four major world cities – Bangkok, Buenos Aires, Berlin and Mumbai – and we are going to spend three months in each. We are ridiculously excited.

Why are we doing this?
Years ago we started planning for this kind of a move. We had always wanted to live and work internationally, to get involved with international humanitarian nonprofits. We did not want to be stuck in one town or country working office jobs for the rest of our lives. We had always wanted to free up our location and really live the tag line for CultureMutt: savvy, global do-gooding.

Why now?
This huge step was easy to put off. We had already put it off twice. Twice we had told ourselves that we were going to take the bold leap to travel and work oversees. Twice we backed out.

It took a dramatic, late-night conversation with one of my closest friends to finally decide to activate the plans we kept postponing for a “better”, “more convenient” time.

“You are young and you have so much to offer!” my friend, shouted in my ear over the din of a rowdy San Francisco lounge. “Why are you playing it safe as if you were middle-aged with a mortgage and kids?! You are selling out! This is the time to go for your dreams and take some risks. If you fail you can rebuild but if you succeed you will be living the dream. Do it!!”. That conversation was the final push I needed. Within days we decided to finally act on our plans and go for our dreams 100%.

How can we afford this?
How are we paying for 12 months of international travel and living without jobs? For starters, we picked very affordable cities that we had either lived in, visited or at the very least, researched. Then we put aside enough of our savings to cover the basics of tickets, rent, food, etc. For any additional expenses we will make money the way both of us have in the past: through freelance writing, consulting and teaching. The beauty of making money using these methods is obviously that you can use them to make money anywhere in the world.

Why Bangkok, Buenos Aires, Berlin and Mumbai?

Bangkok  – We both love Southeast Asia. And there is no Southeast Asian capital with quite the same dynamic mix as Bangkok. The food is amazing, the country is beautiful and we already have a non profit that works to prevent sex trafficking that we are going to be volunteering for in Thailand.

Buenos Aires – I spent four amazing months studying Spanish in Buenos Aires in 2005. Weeks before leaving I was already missing this awesomely stylish city. The tango dancers in the streets, the amazing artistic scene and the roar from the “futbol” stadiums are unbeatable. Also, on the volunteering front, I have friends in Argentina that are well-connected to some education and healthcare nonprofits for which we would love to work.

Berlin – The buzz about Berlin as a European youth culture and arts capital is well-deserved and growing. Not only do we want to sample this but we want to establish relationships with some of Berlin’s emerging, young entrepreneurs. Young creative minds have descended upon Berlin in droves in recent years. This a city on the move and we want in.

Mumbai – Mumbai is India’s biggest, baddest city. It is also home to Bollywood, the second largest film industry in the world. Put simply, we want connections within this industry. They could be very helpful in our quest for savvy, global do-gooding. So far we have some friends who have worked in Bollywood. We aim to make more of them. We might even land a cameo:)

When does this all start?
After Christmas in England with my family, we fly to Bangkok in the first week of January, 2013. There starts our series of four, 3-month world city relocations. This is happening!

There – now you know. Wish us luck and if you have world travel tips for our gap year or any specific advice on navigating our four world cities, leave them in the comment section.



Bjorn Karlman

32 thoughts on “We have quit our jobs to travel the world!!”

  1. Congrats on going for this! It’s inspirational to see someone I know do something extraordinary. Keep cool, be safe and enjoy every moment! I think this will last over a year, btw!


  2. How exciting! Something many people dream of, but few actually get to do. Please visit us when you come to Bangkok!

  3. Yay! Well done for sticking your necks out (though I expected nothing less).

    I hope to be living in Germany sometime next year, so we shall meet!


  4. you guys are so cool! i think you’ll do amazing in each place and i can’t wait to read about all your travels! what you’re doing is amazing :) you’re gonna be that cool old couple with ten million stories and the kids aren’t gonna believe that you’ve done all that in one lifetime hahah

  5. Having known Bjorn for quite a while and also Jammie although a little less, I am not surprised at your decision to forego “the American dream” in the sense of material comforts and strike out for something more meaningful and adventurous. Hope your journey will produce many ideas for future service to humanity.

  6. I have mixed feelings only because we will miss you! But I will be reading your blog with much interest and living vicariously through your experiences!

  7. I am so happy for and proud of you both. You will be missed greatly Bjorn, but I love that you are taking this exciting step!

  8. Blessings to you and Jammie as you embark on a magical adventure of a lifetime…savor every moment, every experience, every person you encounter on your journey. Safe travels, my friend!

  9. Bjorn, my good old roommate from Collonge, France! I’m so happy to hear that you and your wife will embark in this unknown journey to experience different cultures, venues of service and most importantly life. Blessings to you and your wife as you care for God’s children spread all over the world.


  10. Awesome! It will be an amazing year!

    When you are in Bangkok, go to MK restaurant (http://www.mkrestaurant.com/) It was my first experience with hot pot. I am confident you have already had hotpot and this is probably not the best place out there, but it is a fond memory when I was visiting my brother in Bangkok.

    Also, Kaho Yai National Park is amazing. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khao_Yai_National_Park) We saw elephants in the wild. (as opposed to on the streets trying to get tourists to pay their owners to feed them) I know these are tourist things, but you asked for suggestions… Have a wonderful year!

      1. I am currently teaching math in Massachusetts and loving it. We just adopted a cat named Mochi. I am super excited for you both!

  11. Bjorn and Jammie,

    What more can I say, you have it down to a science….go live it, experience it, soak in it, write about it and best of all let the experience propel you two to the next level of growth.

    I will miss you around the campus (work). Many blessings for this adventure.

    1. Caroline! Thanks so much for stopping by! We appreciate the encouraging words. Best of luck to you. And let us know the minute you land your flashy diplomatic post:)

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