Meet Paul and Lisa

By now, you may be asking yourself, “who are these crazy kids?” Well…

Paul grew up in Wauwatosa, WI, outside Milwaukee. His family traveled quite a bit while he was growing up, both within the US and abroad. Lisa grew up in Cleveland, NY, and traveled around the US and Canada while growing up.

Paul and Lisa met in college. After college they hastily moved to Chicago without jobs, but everything worked out just fine. Eventually. They made lots of great friends and started doing really well, by outside standards. They foolishly bought a condo and a boat in 2007 and then not so foolishly got married in 2009.

Things were going great. But then, one day, shortly after returning from a 2010 trip to France, Paul and Lisa sat down to brainstorm their next few years’ worth of vacations. Suddenly they realized that their list was so long, they’d never get to visit even a fraction of the places they wanted to see in their short lifetimes. This was depressing, to say the least.

On top of that, the corporate job thing just wasn’t working out that well for them. They were selling their time for a decent bit of money, but time is the most valuable thing you possess, and the trade off didn’t seem to add up anymore. They couldn’t see themselves continuing in this way for the next 35 years, deferring travel and the enjoyment of life until retirement. It probably didn’t help that they both were getting to that period of life called their thirties.

They started feeling…stuck. They saw that they’d need to do something drastic to break free. Over the next year and a half they started working on a project they called Driving Inertia: to travel the US and Canada for a year, or until they got sick of it. They made a list of to-dos and got to work: save money, sell condo, sell boat, sell/store/pack possessions, buy car, modify car, quit jobs.

Their condo was in a sad state, in a sad market, so the entire trip hinged on its sale. They spent about a year fixing it up, updating the bathroom and kitchen, then finally listed it on June 30, 2011 for less than what they paid for it in 2007. They didn’t think it would ever sell, but then along came the perfect (enough) buyer. They were under contract August 3, 2011, then closed September 2, 2011. Beyond their wildest dreams, the whole thing ended up coming together quickly. They gave their notice the day after their condo sale closed. The next four weeks were spent wrapping up their jobs, enjoying Chicago and their Chicago friends, and drinking bubbly. Then, on October 1st, 2011, they sped out of town in their 2008 Toyota Sienna, Rocky. And the rest is history, as too many people say.

So, what does Driving Inertia mean, anyway? Inertia is the resistance of any physical object to a change in its state of motion or rest, or the tendency of an object to resist any change in its motion. Inertia comes from the Latin word, iners, meaning idle, or lazy. That sounds about right to Paul and Lisa. But inertia is also an object’s tendency to stay in motion, and that’s exactly the medicine they needed. That, and the fact that this would be, in essence, a road trip, is where the Driving part comes from. Paul and Lisa swear they didn’t spend more than 15 hours thinking of this name.

And off they went.

After 12 months on the road, 38,000 miles, and a house-sitting trip to London, Paul and Lisa settled down in upstate New York. But the travel bug hasn’t yet been satisfied. They’re now regrouping and planning their next adventure. There’s always more to come.

Lisa and Paul

Hello! — Us in New York during the first month of our trip.

Nearly 6 months into our travels and in Death Valley.

Nearly 6 months into our travels and in Death Valley.