Annie and Jon left corporate America to do some world traveling. This blog chronicles their unconventional path and hopefully provides a little inspiration along the way.

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On the Kindle
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    Warrior of the Light: A Manual
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    First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers (P.S.)
  • Gandhi & Churchill: The Epic Rivalry that Destroyed an Empire and Forged Our Age
    Gandhi & Churchill: The Epic Rivalry that Destroyed an Empire and Forged Our Age
  • Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within (Shambhala Library)
    Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within (Shambhala Library)

hitting a speed bump

It had been 17 days and 13 hours when Jon and I hit our first bump in the road. We were leaving Taihape after visiting Gumboot Day, which only comes around every two years. Since it was getting close to dinner time we were looking for a campsite to stay for the night. I was driving and the winds were really picking up. When a big truck would pass us on the opposite side of the road, our hippie van would rock back and forth as if we were going to tip over. I was a little nervous about the wind but also anxious to get to a site for some dinner so I was driving pretty aggressively. 

We had been driving 200 - 300 kilometers each day, which can be quite a bit considering you are doing it day in and day out. We had enough. I was stressed and tired from the drive since I can’t reach the pedal comfortably and my shoulders get tense. Jon was feeling queasy from my crazy driving and exhausted from being cooped up in the van.

To make matters worse, we played scrabble that night to pass the time and it didn’t go so well. Jon had been winning all the games while we were in Fiji but New Zealand was my territory. Needless to say, we went to bed that night in our cozy full-size bed feeling each other’s cold shoulder.

The next morning when we woke up I told Jon we just passed our first bump. He laughed and asked if that was what it was. We agreed for our sanity that we would stay in a hotel that night in Wellington before we boarded the ferry to the south island.

I can’t tell you how thrilled I was to have cold and hot water coming out of the same pipe in the sink and to not have to carry my clothes and shampoo when I showered. Plus, Jon got to use the internet for free and they had unlimited usage! You can bet we were downloading stuff all night. It’s really the little comforts of life that we miss.

I’m glad we passed our first but certainly not last speed bump and now know what to look out for on our path. I think next time we’ll just go around the speed bump and stay at a hotel. We’ve also switched to reading more and playing cards.

Speed limit: you define it as you go along.


fiji unmapped

Land of the Big White Cloud from Jon Carr on Vimeo.

I found a little extra time while touring New Zealand to pull together a highlight video from our trip to Fiji. I hope to create videos for all of our stops to share the experience with friends and family. 

If you like the video, please select the little heart icon in the upper left corner of the video and comments are always welcome. Thanks for watching.



When we started our journey one of the goals was to not plan too much and be open to opportunities that crossed our path. Hence, one of the meanings behind our blog’s name.

An overwhelming consensus we got from people was to head to the south island of New Zealand. Spend three fourth of your time in New Zealand visiting the south.

So our plan was to stay in the north island for just a few days until we met Danielle and Pete. We were waiting for the ferry to Waiheke Island when they sat down next to us and we started chatting it up. They are an American couple who live three months out of the year in New Zealand and the rest of the time between Virginia and Vermont. Within 20 minutes we decided to rent a car together to drive around the island and they had also invited to stay at their home for a few days up in Mangonui, a town in the northland. When people think of Mangonui they immediately think of fish and chips. And were they delicious! Danielle and Pete even had a guest cottage for us with a real bed that Jon could comfortable lay out on. It all sounded too tempting for could we say no?! But it was going against the path that we had set our eyes on...heading down to the south island. We were only in New Zealand for 18 days and already that didn’t seem like enough time.

However, we are so glad we took them up on their offer. They showed us some great sights such as St. Paul's Rock (oh, what a hike), Ninety Mile Beach, and the beauty of the northland. We went over to their friends’ house for dinner and stayed in our last night to watch a movie together. It was as if we had known them for years. We kept thinking is this for real? Who invites total strangers to come stay at their place only after meeting them for a few minutes? We’ve learned it’s part of the Kiwi hospitality as we have received similar offers along our journey.

Thank you, Danielle and Pete, for reminding us that detours can lead to unexpected good surprises. We hope to see you again somewhere in the world and pass your hospitality and generosity forward to someone else.


hippie camper

Hippie Camper from Jon Carr on Vimeo.

A quick behind the scenes tour of our wheels and accommodations in New Zealand.


fiji time

It is our last day in Fiji. I am currently watching the sunrise from the beach, which is only a few feet away from our bure. Fiji is the first stop in our unmapped adventure and it is a bit surreal. I feel like I will be returning from vacation and back to work shortly. Instead, we are off to New Zealand tonight for our 18-day camper van excursion. 

Fiji is a beautiful place. The people are incredible, always smiling. Bula is Fijian for hello and whenever you encounter a Fijian they give you a warm welcome and a big smile. Things move pretty slowly around here and it can be attributed to "Fiji time." Annie and I definitely feel it. It is probably a combination of humidity and an influence from the natives but we are moving very leisurely these days. My day consists of three meals, three naps, and a little poolside scrabble. 

I think Fiji was an important first stop for us to unplug after a grueling February of boxing up our lives. I initially had the urge to check email every half hour but Comcast solved that problem. Since I am no longer a paying customer, I lost my primary Comcast email address. It feels a little strange being so unplugged with my phone number shut off and losing my email but also a little empowering at the same time. 

One of the main things I will take away from Fiji is something we learned when we attended the Fijian history talk at our resort, Treasure Island. In Fiji, the natives have a practice of letting everything go from the day every sunset. If something happened or someone wronged them on any level, they forgive and forget by sunset. At sunrise, it's a fresh start each day. It think it is a great philosophy and something I will work to put into practice a little more in my own life. The people are always smiling and so friendly and I'm sure this can be partly attributed to their sunrise philosophy. 

On a final note, we have had a really positive response to the blog and we encourage and appreciate everyone's comments. It makes us feel connected to friends and family. I am sure there will be a little homesickness on the trip so keep the comments coming. 

All for now. I am headed back to our bure. The very short walk will probably take much longer than expected. "Fiji Time."


we heart sf

It was a mad dash to wrap things up on Sunday. We didn't have the chance to process we were leaving our San Francisco. Not forever but at least for a good little while.  We feel fortunate to be living and working in the city as it has become our home. We have our weekend routine of lining up at the Whole Foods parking lot vying for a coveted parking spot, ordering take out from our closest Chinese restaurant, Hunan Empire, which I have been trying to cultivate a friendship with for the last year and they have yet to recognize me as a regular, and walking to Le Boulange on Union Street.

We are not sure where we will move to when we return to the states but San Francisco is certainly one of the top choices. It is expensive to live there but that 7x7 piece of land has all the charm and class we are looking for.

tbc sf...we'll see you soon. 



After two months of planning we are finally heading off. We have given up our apartment in Cow Hollow and are putting our stuff in a friend's basement. After we move our things we are driving down to Los Angeles to see my family for a few days. We are lending the car to my 18-year old niece who just got her license a week ago. I am not sure if she is more excited about us going on a world trip or the fact that she has a car to drive while we are away. I'm betting on the latter.

We leave for Fiji on Tuesday and decided to treat ourselves by staying at a white sandy beach resort on Treasure Island. It has been grueling getting ready so our goal while we are there is to do absolutely nothing except for lift a cocktail once in awhile. We will be in Fiji for four days and then head to Auckland, New Zealand. We will be in NZ for three weeks traveling from North to South Island.  Based on feedback we have gotten from people who have visited NZ we decided to rent a campervan. This is no ordinary Great American RV. It is a one of a kind hippie campervan. Go all out or go home is what I say. We will be able to sleep and cook in our camper.  From Christchurch, NZ we will fly to Sydney, Australia. I am really excited to see some friends of mine who I met in Japan. And that's what we have planned so far.

Our hope is to be away for six months but it's up in the air. Jon says if we come back sooner than six months it's a bit weak. We'll see what happens. Maybe we will like a particular area and stay there for a few months. Stay tuned to find out.


watch this first...RSS

Quick RSS Screen Capture Tutorial from Jon Carr on Vimeo.

This video explains how to use RSS. It is a great way to have the internet deliver your favorite content to you. It took me a long time to figure out how to use RSS but once I did, I quickly became addicted. This video should explain what you need to know and will allow you to easily stay up to date with (un)mapped life or any of your other internet favorites. I use two examples to collect RSS feeds in the video but most email applications have a similar ability. Happy surfing!


the real housewife of san francisco

This past week I got a little taste of what it was like to be a housewife. My last day at my job was last Friday so I have officially been out of a job for a week and one day. I chose to quit my job so I guess there's a bit of a difference. Jon is wrapping up some video projects so I've been busy packing up our apartment and prepping for our trip. This housewife stuff isn't all fun and games. I have found that it's easy to wear the same clothes day in and day out and then all of a sudden realize you haven't showered. My excuse is that I'm getting mentally prepared for our trip since we are each only taking two carry-ons. But it might be due to fact that I have packed up all my clothes already and left very little to be worn. I have my glasses on rather than contacts and my hair is in pigtails, which Jon says makes me look like Pocahontas.  

Also the days just fly by. I am up by 7:30am everyday and before I know it lunchtime is here. We've had sandwiches all last week since I'm trying to use up everything in our fridge. And then it's 5pm so I better start thinking about dinner. I lose track of what day it is and hardly talk to anyone since everyone is at work. I do miss the people interaction so I'm glued to my email and facebook. Now I know what Jon means when he says he gets a little stir crazy when he works from home all day and doesn't leave the house.

When I told Jon I might not be cut out for being a housewife he was glad to hear that we will continue to be a DIF (double income family). I guess I have to put things in perspective considering it's only been one week and technically I'm not even really a housewife. My version of a housewife could be distorted.

For all the housewives out there, I have a new found respect for what you do so don't ever let anyone tell you being a housewife isn't a full-time job. Looking back, helping a student reenter is a piece of cake.



As many of my family and friends know, I have been an active participant in Toastmasters over the last few years. I wanted to improve my public speaking skill and face down a long standing fear. After two plus years and over ten speeches, I officially graduated to a "Competent Communicator" within the program. This was an epic moment because it took much dedication.

My 10th speech was about "taking action in spite of fear." Over the years I've had many dreams and goals that I haven't pursued. I came up with all kinds of excuses like "the timing isn't right", "I don't have enough money", or "I'm not sure I can do it". The real reason can usually be boiled down to fear. Fear of failure, fear of the unknown, fear of looking like a fool. I procrastinated on Toastmasters for ten years until I finally took on that fear and when I finished my final speech it was one of the most satisfying things I have ever accomplished.

When Annie and I decided on world travel, a lot of that familiar fear surfaced. "You can't quit your job, "you can't afford this, and "what will my family and friends think?" Taking action in spite of fear is something I work on everyday and while I am far from perfect, it gets easier. By taking small steps, like participating in Toastmasters, it has allowed me to consistently up the ante. Now I can more comfortably quit my job, pack up my longtime apartment, and travel to unknown destinations.

I ended speech #10 with a quote that I find helpful to keep in mind, "What would you do if you weren't afraid?"