As a prelude to this blog, I’d like to give a little background to who I am, what I do and what this is all about.

My name is Ansley and I’ve been told I’m an overachiever. For the last 8+ years, I have worked for a mid-sized(?) software vendor in a support role. The role started as entry level support and has expanded into multiple specializations and middle management. I love solving problems, helping our customers and helping my team grow and learn. I dislike corporate politics (or any politics, really), being taken advantage of and being anyone’s crutch. While the company I work for has an amazing philosophy of “work/life balance”, those negatives somehow still find their way in and have become a big negative in my life. I’m completely self/situationally taught (i.e. no degree) but have a superior knowledge in my area of specialization that makes me very good at those things I like and a very big target for those things that I don’t. Thankfully, we have a sabaticcal program which allows employees a 4 week break from work with no requirements (no training, classes, things that will help you be better at your job, etc.). And so, beginning soon, I will take advantage of this program and break ties with my employer, my [work] responsibilities, my team and my co-workers for 4 weeks.

As tempting as it is, I didn’t want to spend this precious time at home in my pajamas eating pizza and playing Warcraft. Instead, I’m planning on a road trip adventure. I’ll be driving to Louisiana, taking along my 17 year old beagle and 3 cats (2 of them under 1 year old), in my Jeep Wrangler. Behind me, I’ll be towing a modified Harbor Freight trailer (shrunk for 4×8 to 4×6) on which I plan to build a teardrop trailer with my dad, who is now 71. My hope is that it will be a great learning and bonding experience (although I learned all of my swear words years ago while watching my dad build things) and that I will end up with not only the memories but something useful and personalized that I can use on lots of long weekends and vacations in down the road. I expect the build to take 2-3 weeks and then i will move along and visit some other family in the South and up the lower East coast, before returning home to Northeast Ohio for the remainder of the miserable winter.

My plan for this blog is to document interesting things I see and experience on this journey – those may be trailer building, things I see or experience along the road, complaints on the sound of three cats in a Jeep on the highway – or really anything (kitten photos guaranteed). I’m sharing this as a way for my family and friends to stay in touch and see what’s going on and also, as a hopefully inspirational tale of what type of play you can really earn when you work hard. Stay tuned – six more work days and the journey begins.

<3 – Ansley