First, welcome to my site! If you don’t know me, or are just getting to know me through my Tweets, blogs, or videos, here’s the background. I was born and raised in Texas. I went to law school in Austin and began practicing law with Figari & Davenport in August 2002. I worked as a litigator, primarily in the fields of insurance, employment, and general commercial litigation. I did something right and became a partner in the firm in January 2012.
I had always been an armchair traveler, but I didn’t make it overseas until a “semester abroad” in London during my 3L year in the fall of 2001. It is not an overstatement to say that semester changed my life. I took several three- and four-day weekend trips all over the Continent and fell in love with traveling - meeting new people, trying new things, and just experiencing the novelty of being somewhere else. During the last ten years, I’ve been lucky enough to be able to travel to Europe pretty often. I’ve made it to (deep breath) England, Scotland, Ireland, France, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Italy, Vatican City (it counts), Greece, Hungary, Russia, and across the Strait of Gibraltar to Morocco, although technically the very first European soil I touched was Icelandic, when my super cheap Icelandair flight to London touched down at Keflavík Airport to refuel.
Each trip and experience left me wanting more, and daydreaming about traveling started taking up more and more of my time. I bought books about taking a year off to travel the world, but I wasn’t seriously considering it. Then I was, just a little bit. Then a little bit more. In March 2013, my wonderful friend Richard Sawyer convinced me to accompany him on a two-week trip to Argentina and Antarctica, which marked his seventh continent. On the cruise ship, I met several new friends, including some like Ricky who were checking off the last continent on their list, and several others who were taking time off to backpack around the world. A few weeks later, I had made up my mind. I was going to take a year off from the practice of law and travel the world. It’s unconventional, sure, and I suppose we’ll see how it goes, but I think the timing is perfect. If I’d done this after college, I wouldn’t have had the wisdom and experience to appreciate my travels as much, and I’d have been on a starving student’s budget. If I waited until retirement, or just put it off until “someday,” I’d probably wouldn’t have gone, and I’d regret it. It was now or never. Around the middle of June I told my law partners of my plans. To their eternal credit, every one was completely supportive, as have been all of my family and friends.
So here we are. As I write this it’s August 8 - two weeks and a day before departure. I have a contract on my house and I will sell the car before I leave. All of the stuff that I didn’t sell at a blowout garage sale last week is going into storage. I’ve got a tableful of travel books, a new waterproof camera, a fancy backpack, and a pretty impressive immunization record. My itinerary for the fall is all set - among other things, I know I’ll achieve my seventh continent when I get off a plane in Bangkok the day before my birthday - but the winter and spring legs of the journey are undecided. If you have suggestions or tips, I’d love to hear them. I will be chronicling my travels in several ways. Please feel free to friend, add, follow, or ignore me on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, YouTube, or any combination of them. This site, beautifully designed by my talented friend Kane Cheshire, will serve as a home base where you can see those feeds even if you’re not a subscriber, friend, or follower. It’s also where I will be blogging on what I hope will be a regular basis, if perhaps not daily. Keep in touch with me by e-mail here, especially if you’re living in or traveling to one of my destinations and would like to meet up for a meal, a drink, or an adventure! If we’re friends already, great. If not, let’s change that. In any event, thanks all for following along. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to finish packing.