2013 is drawing to a close, and I can’t help but reflect on my travel experiences from the past year. Being based in Ottawa has allowed me to really get to know the city and the surrounding areas – from the fantastic summer festivals to the world-class museums and the lakes and trails in Gatineau Park. Close proximity to both Toronto and Montreal has given me the opportunity to see a little bit of those great cities (even though it’s never enough). I even managed to make my way out to Halifax for a whirlwind November weekend tour which gave me a small glimpse of beautiful Nova Scotia. I was reunited with San Diego for a guys weekend back in May and spent a solid two weeks backpacking and road tripping around the island of Ireland in October. Although I’ve spent a lot of time traveling throughout 2013, I’ve been plotting and scheming on how I can increase my time on the road in 2014. This is very difficult to do while I’m still based in Ottawa and working a full time engineering office job. This is why I’m announcing today that….

I have quit my job to travel. Starting in January 2014 I will be on the road full time.

Let’s call it a temporary, early retirement with a lot of blog writing.  Freedom 27.  There has been a lot of saving, preparation and stress to get to the point of finally announcing this to the world, but here I am. This idea came into my head in mid-2012, and over 1.5 years later I’m pulling the trigger. I’ve given up my apartment, sold a lot of my big stuff that I’ve collected over the past few years, given away some of the smaller things, and have put the rest in storage. I talked to my (very supportive) manager, tied up all of my loose ends in Ottawa and purchased a one-way flight on January 20th (which is coincidentally my 27th birthday).

I have a lot to look forward to in 2014. I’m flying into Vietnam, although I’m also meeting friends for a month in Thailand shortly after so I will likely have to revisit. I’ll see Cambodia, with its breathtaking Angkor Wat and hike the mountains of Nepal. I’ll scuba dive the coast of Thailand and motorcycle the entire length of Vietnam. Much more time and energy is going to be focused on this blog, which means I’ll be bringing even more stories and tips to you, and of course sharing my budget as I go along.

2013 was a great year in travel for me – it was the year that I started this blog and a year in which I traveled more than any other. 2014 is expected to be my best travel year yet. Was 2013 everything that you expected it to be? What adventures are you looking forward to in 2014? Answer in the comments below!

Freaking out at Connemara Ireland