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The Eat, Pray, Love effect: Why families leave it all behind

Part 3 of a Monitor cover story about how families hit by the Eat Pray Love effect leave it all behind – selling the house, taking the kids out of school and embarking on extended global travel.

(Page 2 of 2)

“It was one of the most freeing experiences I have ever had,” says Dee.

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In the case of Cameron and Nicole Wears, the recession was their defining moment of change Both had good jobs in Vancouver, British Columbia; a condo; and cars. Cameron worked in franchise development for 1-800-GotJunk. The recession dramatically slowed franchise sales, the company had some layoffs in 2008, and Cameron saw the writing on the wall: “I was very nervous about my situation there. At the same time, Nicole and I had always wanted to travel....

“I saw everything in the economy going south. We had money saved to buy a house, but the real estate market tanked, so we decided to just quit our jobs and use the money to travel instead. We would see if the world figured itself out while we were away.”

So he quit his job and she quit hers, running programs for young professionals at the Vancouver Board of Trade. They rented out their condo for a year and headed to South America to start their year of travel.

Just two months ago, Danielle and Greg Podlesny bought a 24-foot 1982 motor home. The RV has a bed above the driver’s compartment, bunks for their two sons, a kitchen, toilet, and shower. It’s the Podlesnys’ home for the foreseeable future. They plan to travel in it indefinitely throughout the US, in an effort to reconnect as a family.

The Podlesnys had been living in Oceanside, Calif., where Danielle has a nanny agency, Munchkin Minders, and Greg had been a general contractor. An injury a few years ago made it difficult for him to continue working, and the couple was tired of the “craziness of day-to-day life,” says Danielle. They rented out their house, and Danielle now runs her business from the road.

“We were disconnected from each other,” she says. “We wanted to be more involved with one another as a family.”

Next: “This lifestyle may seem expensive, but it certainly doesn’t require someone to be extremely wealthy to do it.”


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