Former CNBC field producer Molly Mazilu always thought she'd have the opportunity to travel for work. And she did, but found that there was little free time to explore with her busy schedule.
So last spring, after saving money for three years, Molly and her husband Nellu left their jobs and apartment, and set off on a 396-day journey that took them to 30 countries from Brazil to Spain.
The pair made it work on a $75,000 budget, gradually learning to opt for cheaper accommodations so they could maximize their allowance for adventure. After nearly 400 days on the road, they are back at Molly's parents' home in Connecticut, looking for jobs.
In addition to sightseeing, the pair used their time abroad to pursue passion projects. For Molly, it was video production. For Nellu, it was photography. "One of the theories explored [in Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers] is the idea that people become experts in a particular field by putting in 10,000 hours of practice. We wanted to use our trip to put a dent in our 10,000 hours," Molly wrote us. They also kept a detailed travel blog.
Molly and Nellu shared their videos and photos—the fruits of their labors—with us. Quoted captions are in Molly's own words.
"Our 'before' picture. My dad took this picture on April 3, 2011 before we drove to JFK for an overnight flight to Sao Paulo, Brazil. Our last couple days in the States were such a whirlwind: we moved out of our apartment on a Thursday, quit our jobs on a Friday and took off for Brazil on Sunday night. Next time, we'll give ourselves at least a week to transition."
BRAZIL: "We went to Rio's lovely beaches several times but there was a huge difference between a Wednesday afternoon and a Sunday afternoon [when this photo was taken at Ipanema]. Wednesday, the beach was full but not packed. On Sunday, all the locals go to the beach. You can see a dust cloud rising from the crowd in this picture."
And Ipanema on a Wednesday. It was much quieter.
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