A while back I saw a post on this forum from someone looking to
film people for a new cable show that leave their jobs and travel. I work
for Scripps property, the company which is producing that show. I received
this corporate email today and just thought I would share it as sort
of a "where are they now" update. Origional text follows.

<a href="http://www.gethep.net/road/">Back on Tack</a>

"Buddhist backpacker explores Australia
Scripps Howard News Service
Fine Living Network

Not everyone would give up a high-paying job in New York to backpack around
Australia for five months, but Todd Traynor always had an adventurous
spirit. Even as a child, he never missed an opportunity to discover.

"If you look at pictures of our family vacations, everybody else is lined up
nice and neat waiting for the camera to go off, and I'm in the distance,
walking away from the camera because I see something I want to explore," he

Originally from Los Angeles, the 38-year-old Traynor worked for 13 years in
financial services in Manhattan. Eventually, he landed a high-paying job in
information technology consulting that allowed him enough flexibility in his
work schedule to take an entire month's vacation in Thailand.

Yet he still felt he needed a more radical break in his life. And when the
market slowed down, and consulting jobs became harder to get, the moment was
right to make the leap. "I said, OK, this is the universe telling me, now's
the time to do it," he recalls.

He quit his job last spring and traded in his penthouse apartment, yearly
bonus and most of his possessions for a tent and a pair of hiking boots half
a world away. A practicing Buddhist, Traynor gave his journey the title,
"The Buddha's Strip Tease," determining to give away some of his possessions
every day of the trip until he left Australia with only the clothes on his

The "strip tease" really described a process of stripping away attachments,
which Buddhist philosophy views as the source of human unhappiness.
Traynor's attachments included not only material things but also
preconceived notions about travel, other people and even the weather.

Surprises awaited Traynor at every turn. Some were pleasant _ like finding a
traveling companion, Briton Tony Gwuinnell, who also became a good friend.
The two met when Gwuinnell was looking for someone to share the drive to
Ayer's Rock, which was one of the first stops on Traynor's itinerary.

The travails included numerous breakdowns on the drive around the continent
and a collision with a kangaroo. Persistent rain also dogged Traynor, but he
didn't mind. "I just saw the beauty within the rain _ the rain sort of added
to nature as the sun adds to nature," he said. "It's not one is better than
the other _ they both sort of highlight nature, and if you can really look
at it like that, I think it's a good way to live your life."

Originally conceived as a two- to three-month trip, Traynor's odyssey to
Australia became more open-ended. "I could have done the entire continent in
two and a half months, but that would have been hopping from place to place
to place," he said. "It was great to experience places by sitting there for
a week or so instead."

He returned to the United States in December to recharge his batteries after
five months of travel, but by March, he was off to New Zealand, this time
with an eye to possibly finding a permanent job.

Since Traynor is single, unattached and without responsibilities at home
that require his attention, he can make things up as he goes along. Not
everyone has that luxury, but Traynor still recommends taking an extended
break from the familiar as a way of discovering the here and now.

"Talk to your boss and tell them you just need a month, two months off," he
says. "Then go to Africa, South America, wherever. Sabbaticals are the way
to go." "