Questions We Get a Lot
- Who is this site for?
Our friends, family, former colleagues and anyone interested in following our adventures on and off the road for the next few years.
- Next few years!?
Yup. We plan on taking at least the next three years to do whatever excites us. We have a pretty good idea of what some of those things are, and will be regularly putting ourselves in new situations that will help us discover new passions and interests.
- What will you be doing for the next few years?
A lot. Our first stop in February 2010 was a sweet free living / work barter arrangement at a luxury resort in the Dominican Republic. We then returned to New York to host a series of movie screenings (Ayo’s film is still in full swing). After a couple of months back in NYC, we bought an RV with which we are exploring the United States. The plan is to keep RVing through 2012, and then some international living is in store.
- How can you afford to do this?
- Don’t you get bored?
Nope! Yair has a lot of interests and he likes to bounce back and forth between them. He enjoys reading, rock climbing, hiking, and a wide variety of other things. He also has a public education project called Astronomy on the Road, where he provides free telescope views of the sky and gets people excited about our universe.
Ayo prefers a bit more structure in her day, and spends much of her time on two projects. She produced an educational film program called Faces of Israel that explores religious pluralism and civil liberties in Israel. Part of her day is spent developing educational materials, booking gigs and lecturing at universities and community centers. Ayo also volunteers part-time running drives for a bone marrow foundation, and enjoys hula hooping, dancing, meeting new people, and having awesomely vivid dreams.
- Did you guys work before you began traveling? Did you go to college?
Ayo: Yup! Professionally, I did a number of things. Specifically, management consulting (the “good” job), film-making, education and dance. I received my undergraduate degree from Johns Hopkins University in 2007, where I studied international relations with a focus on Arabic and politics of the Middle East.
Yair: Yes, I worked in finance and pursued lots of hobbies (astronomy, music, a brief but successful stint in powerlifting, etc.), but what the alarm clock woke me up for was a commute to Wall Street. I went to the Macaulay Honors College at Queens College and graduated in 2008 with a focus on European history and the Enlightenment.
- Why did you quit your “good” jobs?
We don’t like the idea of golden handcuffs – just because we’re smart enough to win the rat race doesn’t mean we want to spend our lives running in it. In our view, our jobs were “good” because they enabled us to take this time off and gave us some professional experience along the way. We excelled at our jobs, but worked to live rather than lived to work. When corporate number-crunching got old for Ayo and the time was right for Yair, we left.
- Do you think you’ll go back to the corporate world?
Ayo: Nope. I’m not inclined to return to office life any time soon, though I could see myself working with a socially-oriented non-profit organization in the future.
Yair: Maybe, but the more time I spend away from an office the harder it is to conceive of returning to one.
- Back to the basics. Who are you?
We’re a young couple, both in our mid-20s with a shared vision of what we want our immediate futures to look like: free, adventurous, exploratory, and an odd combination of relaxed and challenging. While we may be privileged compared to people in other parts of the world, for many of our readers we could just as well be you.
- If this is Jay and Amy’s blog, then who are Yair and Ayo?
Jay and Yair are the same person! We both grew up in religious Jewish communities and have retained certain cultural practices, one of which is the use of Hebrew names. The name Yair comes from the Hebrew word Or, which means light. Yair means “to light up”. Ayo and Amy are also the very same! Ayo is the phonetic pronunciation of Amy’s initials (A.O.), as well as a Hebrew name from the Zohar, a Kabbalistic text. It’s a nickname that she goes by with friends and she only uses ‘Amy’ these days for professional speaking engagements.
- Where do you live?
Ayo grew up in New Jersey and Yair grew up in a surprisingly nice part of the Bronx. We both live in
New York City an RV!
- What do you write about?
Anything we feel like. Many of our posts are about our experiences traveling – the people we meet and places we see. Some posts focus on practicalities, like how we did what we’re doing and insights we’re learning on the road. Feel free to check out a recent post, or start reading from the beginning.
- What about your families?
Thankfully, our immediate family members are all healthy and are supportive of our adventure. Ayo’s grandmother is a pro at Skype video, and we’re pretty sure that our families will visit us on the road. We make a strong effort to keep in touch during our time away, and already know that we’ll be back in NYC at various points throughout our trip.
- What are you guys doing for health care?
Paying a lot for it. (Though once we start traveling internationally, the rates should drop substantially.)
- You’re in my town! Can we meet up?
Ayo: Sure! I love meeting new people and schedule permitting, I’d love to have you visit. Shoot us an email.
Yair: I’m the sketch-police. If you’re reasonably normal and our schedules match up, for sure. If you’re sketchy, not for sure but we’ll probably see you at Burning Man.
Text updated on June 25, 2011
Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah