Well Designed Travel: We're Making a Home on the Road

Well Designed Travel: We're Making a Home on the Road

Smith Schwartz
Jan 11, 2012

Almost every time I take a trip, I end up in a terrible pickle. I fall in love with a new place, and swiftly decide to move there right away. I have dreamed up many hair-brained schemes to try to end up elsewhere. In my mind, Paris desperately needs another apartment-style bed and breakfast, (run by yours truly, bien sûr). Then there was the 1960's motel near the Georgia coast that just needed the right renovations, (I could totally get my Southern accent back, y'all). And at one time I was certain I would be going to graduate school in Italy (and eat my way into the most glorious nightly food coma). But how to choose? There are so many fantastic places in the world, and you can't move everywhere at once, right?

Or can you?

A little over a year ago, my husband and I spotted a small window of opportunity in our lives. We starting thinking seriously about full-time travel and how we could go about making it happen for us. Could we give up our apartment and most of our belongings but keep our 9-5 schedules in different cities around the globe for a month or two at a time?

Working from home is becoming more common in many fields, and we figured if we could make that happen for us, we could be productive anywhere that has a solid WiFi connection and a decent cup of coffee. My husband is in the tech industry, so making that leap was a fairly easy one for him. On the other hand, there would be bigger changes in store for me. I had been working in museums for most of my career, and though the work was enriching and challenging, the schedule just wasn't as flexible as the life we were planning needed to be. After a little over a year of saving money, number crunching and serious research, it was time to leave my job and jump into the freelance world, liberating us to roam.

In October 2011, we packed up our apartment, sold most of our things and said goodbye to Chicago, our home for the past 10 years. We visited family and friends throughout the U.S. for a couple of months and then came to Buenos Aires for warmest the holiday season I've ever experienced! We plan to stay here for about two months, practicing Spanish and enjoying this vibrant city before heading north to visit friends in Panama and Costa Rica. Our loose plan is to spend about three months abroad and then three months around the U.S. and continue going back and forth until we get tired of moving around. We're just as excited to explore the States as we are the rest of the world. It's a high priority for us to stay in touch with family and friends, attend weddings and visit the new babies in our lives as well as to discover some of the exceptional places in our home country.

My hope is that this new series of posts can become a resource to anyone looking for interesting ways to experience a new place beyond the usual tourist attractions. I'll be keeping you updated with stories from the road, home tours, inspiration in unexpected places, local resources and what's going on in the design world of each of the cities we visit. Perhaps I'll be coming to your city (or somewhere you've been) and you can offer up suggestions for me and for future visitors. I want to hear from you, to know what you've experienced and how travel, transitions and unusual working environments can effect all of us. I'm so excited to share this adventure and these stories with you as we begin to make a home where there is no home.

Stay tuned!

Images: Smith Schwartz

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