NEW: Check out my exclusive NFT travel photographs for sale.

Travel With Bender

Uncovering the best vacations

Living The Dream

Living The Dream: Commit To Making A Change

A missed encounter in Ireland turned into a Prague opportunity. We first met Oren and Cassie from 42nd Class on a walking tour in Prague and then spent 3 out of our 6 days with them touring Czech Republic. They are a fun-loving couple who quit their journalist lives to pursue a year of travel. If you think you can’t save then check out how these two started Living The Dream.


What was the first country you visited? Who with and why did you choose it?

Rome, Italy with Cassie - Italy has always been on my must-see list. The Colosseum, the Vatican, Venice, Cinque Terre - we visited all of these places and more. Rome was the most logical starting point. We simply moved north from there to our other destinations. It's also a great place to jump right into a travel mindset. There's so much to see, your senses are almost overwhelmed with the history around you. From Rome, we were off and running!


When did you start a travel lifestyle? What inspired that change?

Our flight from Philadelphia to Rome took off on September 15, 2013, but we had been planning the trip for a year at that point. As a reporter, I had worked every holiday for 8 years and gotten very little vacation. We decided there was simply too much of the world to see, and we weren't going to experience anything but our own city if we didn't make a change. We chose to make a big change, saving our money for a year so we could commit to travel.


Do you have a base you travel from? Or is it continuous travel? And why do you choose that style?

Our de facto base is probably my parents' house or her parents' house. We either sold or stored all of our personal belongings, so we have no home of our own and very little to go back to. We knew we would be away for a year, so there didn't seem to be a point in keeping an apartment, especially since our parents are always willing to put us up for a bit when we get back to the US.


How do you fund your travel lifestyle? Is it something you do when travelling or are you a saver?

We saved for our travels in two big ways. After our wedding, we didn't have a honeymoon and didn't buy a house. All of our money from the wedding went towards savings. We also saved for a year, cutting down on eating out and going to bars. At some point, maybe we'll look into creating some stream of income while we travel, but right now, we are using our savings.


If you could tell yourself one tip before you started your travel lifestyle, what would it be?

Hmmm.... this is a tough one. We did a lot of research before we traveled, so we had a pretty good idea of what to expect living on the road. My best advice to myself would be "Learn to cook." I actually cook quite a bit already, but having 6 or 7 very simple, easy to make recipes always comes in handy on the road.


What does 'living the dream' mean to you? 

Every 3-year-old has a dream of what they want to do when they grow up. Sometimes that dream evolves. Sometimes it stays the same. "Living the Dream" is committing to whatever it is that you really wanted to do. Very often, and perhaps even very, very often, life gets in the way and we end up doing something else - something we never intended to do when we set off on this grand adventure of "growing up." "Living the Dream" is all about getting back to what you want to do. As a married couple, we wanted to travel. We are living our dream.



What was the first country you visited? Who with and why did you choose it?

The first country Oren, my husband, and I visited on our year of travel together was Italy. I had been to Italy seven years ago as part of a study abroad program. But, Oren had not. Plus, no one can ever get enough of Italy! So, we decided it would be the starting point for our RTW adventure. I've traveled more than Oren and it was so interesting experiencing Italy again through the eyes of someone there for the first time. It made me more excited to travel and see new places. 


When did you start a travel lifestyle? What inspired that change?

I have always loved traveling. I started when I was in college, doing volunteer programs, mission trips and study abroad in various countries. My travel list of places I wanted to go kept getting longer and when Oren and I got married, we started seriously discussing how to make our travel dreams a reality. As United States employers are not really travel/vacation-friendly (most offer two weeks max a year), we made the bold decision to take a year off and travel to as many places as we could around the world.  Still, we are using our career skills as we travel, writing about and photographing our experiences through our blog. 


Do you have a base you travel from? Or is it continuos travel? And why do you choose that style?

For our RTW year of travel, we don't have a base. We decided to sell most of our belongings, including our cars, and we fit all that was left into a 7 1/2 X 10 storage space. We decided the best way to see the world was by backpacking, so we carry everything we need for one year in our backpacks. We bought an around the world ticket through Star Alliance, so we started in Philadelphia (our former home) and are working our way EAST around the world.


How do you fund your travel lifestyle? Is it something you do when travelling or are you a saver?

When Oren and I started discussing a year of travel, we knew we'd have to save a lot. We started almost one year before, seriously cutting back on spending. We knew every dollar we saved would allow us to see or visit another place. Even with all of the money saved, we are traveling on a very tight budget. Still, as Oren and I are both former journalists and I now teach ESL, we would love to work while traveling. So, hopefully we have the opportunity to work and fund more travel experiences during this year.


If you could tell yourself one tip before you started your travel lifestyle, what would it be?

Learn how to read a map well (not the map on your iPhone with the GPS, a real map). I am a visual learner and I find that having a map and being very aware of my surroundings (remembering you turned right at the bright purple sign) really helps with navigating through cities and places you've never been before.


What does “Living The Dream” mean to you?

We all have different dreams in life. But, many people don't actually try and pursue them. Yes, they may be challenging and go against what is normal or accepted. But, that doesn't mean they won't become an amazing reality. Travel is a passion of mine. I love meeting new people and experiencing new things and learning about different cultures. I've always wanted to be able to share the experiences with someone else. Backpacking around the world with my husband and writing about our adventures... I am living my dream. 


You can find Oren & Cassie Here -


Twitter: @42ndclass

One couple, one year, one world travel blog

Write a comment...

Please DO NOT include links/URLs or HTML in your comments - they will be automated deleted and you will waste your time.

(Your email will not be publicly displayed.)
Find more posts by tag:

Reader FAQs:

Question: How can I create my own travel blog?
Answer: Read my super simple step-by-step guide that will get you online in 5 minutes.


Get The Latest Blog Posts

There are a number of convenient ways to get the latest blog posts and news from Travel With Bender.

RECOMMENDED: Want to find out how the travel pros spend their money overseas without the big ATM fees? Wise (formerly TransferWise) is the answer. You can also use it for super low-cost international transfers (way cheaper than banks).