After 25 years of marriage we sold our house, ditched most of our possessions and took off to travel around the world for what we thought would be a year. It’s a trip we wish we had taken when we were younger but somehow life always got in the way. We didn’t think we would be going at this point in our lives but family circumstances did not work out the way we had hoped.
We started the journey in August, 2011 from our hometown of Philadelphia. After visiting six continents we returned to the U. S. in October, 2012. Since we had no home to return to, we decided to keep the adventure going and are now true global nomads with no fixed address.
We’re writing about our continuing journey on this travel blog. “Changes In Longitude” reflects the changes that have occurred in our own lives as we crossed each line of longitude in our global odyssey. We’ve adapted to a simpler lifestyle (living long-term out of a 22″ suitcase will do that to you) and when we returned to the U.S. got rid of the few things we had kept in storage. We are also writing a book about our adventure and mid-life reinvention and welcome any interest from agents or publishers.
Our journey has also led to significant career changes. We weren’t travel writers, or any kind of writers, when we started out in 2011. But our plans attracted the attention of the Philadelphia Inquirer, who asked us to chronicle our trip in feature articles. We continue to pen features for the paper and also write the “Field-Tested Travel Tips” column for them based on things we have learned along the way. This eventually led to being contacted by a book publisher for whom we wrote Philadelphia Liberty: Trace the Path of America’s Heritage, which takes a revolutionary approach to the city’s historic district.
Michael has always been interested in classic cars and started writing regular stories for Hemmings Motor News, Hagerty, Classic and Sports Car, and other publications, both in the U.S. and abroad. The culmination of our two year cross-country odyssey was his book, the Roadster Guide to America’s Classic Car Museums and Attractions, which is now in its second edition. Hemmings Radio has even called Michael the “Rick Steves of classic car sights.”
Larissa’s travel has also opened new frontiers. She is now a part-time Adjunct Professor at Drexel University’s Close School of Entrepreneurship. However, this does not impede our travels. She teaches her courses online from destinations around the world, making us true digital nomads.
None of this would have been possible if we hadn’t taken that giant leap into the unknown. To those who say you can’t reinvent yourself after age 50, we heartily disagree. That’s why we encourage people to pursue their passions and their dreams, no matter their age.
We took a piece of home with us, a statue of legendary Philadelphia native and movie icon boxer Rocky Balboa, and are taking pictures of him along the way at various sites and with people we meet. You can see Little Rocky’s photos from six continents here: Rocky statue travels around the world.
A few nuns at a Buddhist convent in Saigon are Rocky fans.
We hope you’ll follow us on our journey and get tips for YOUR great adventure. It’s never too early to start planning.
Larissa and Michael
PS For more about our inspiration for this trip please visit our post about the Rocky Steps.
Visiting Petra, Jordan
Note: To reach us click the “Contact” button at the top of this page to send us any questions about how to plan YOUR grand adventure!
Larissa and Michael are your typical middle-aged couple from Philadelphia who’ve been traveling the world full-time since 2011, seeking off-beat, historic and tasty sights. To receive quarterly updates and valuable travel tips subscribe here.