4 Countries – 7 Cities – 2 Weeks

Coping with a Layoff? Travel to Europe

Americans in Europe for the First Time

Welcome to 2k Travels Near and Far. The following is the first installment in a series that focuses on traveling to cities around the U.S., and to Europe after a layoff.

During the approaching fall of 2009, my husband was laid off from the technology industry, again. We both had gigs that required us to travel. He racked up air and hotel points traveling to work in Australia and Canada. I earned points traveling around the U. S to help execute corporate and pharmaceutical marketing meetings. Our three kids, kids-no-more but 20-somethings able to fend for themselves allowed us an opportunity to think about what we wanted to do next as a couple. Should we stay in Miami, hoping things turnaround, again? Do we leave Miami and transplant ourselves in a more tech-centric part of the country?

Unfortunately, we had given up on home ownership due to multiple layoffs that forced us to sell a home built in Miami and a new condo on the ocean bought with the intent of creating a cushiony, revenue stream-until the economy crashed after September 11, 2001, and remained rocky for the technology industry in Florida for multiple years. Moving from the Midwest to Miami, a year before September 11, we had hopes for a flourishing technology hub that did not really take off.

My husband who always has an idea, dropped the following statement on me: “Let’s go to Europe!” My mind was immediately troubled by his exclamation. We were renting a townhouse. One son moved out to live with his girlfriend, but the other son still lived with us. Our daughter lived in NYC. Nevertheless, what would we do with all our stuff? Pondering our options reminded me of genius comedian George Carlin’s commentary about how houses are just places to hold all the stuff we buy. The bigger the house, the more stuff. Another consideration, where would the one son go? Could we really pack up and leave?