Lawyer Gets Bitten by Travel Bug, Makes Globe Trekking Her Job

By Andrew Chow, Esq. on March 04, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Introducing our Ex-Lawyer of the Week: Jodi Ettenberg.

While many lawyers only dream of one day leaving the law and becoming globe-trekking vagabonds, Jodi Ettenberg actually did it. After five years of working as an attorney in New York, Ettenberg tendered her resignation, packed her bags, and bought a one-way ticket to South America.

She's never looked back.

The writing was on the wall -- literally, Ettenberg told The New York Times. "I had photos of where I wanted to go on the wall of my office, where everyone else had law degrees," she said.

After Jodi Ettenberg left the law, she turned her love of travel into a new career. Ettenberg now travels the world for weeks and months at a time, and blogs about her adventures at the website

The blog follows Ettenberg as she circles the globe, and lets readers in on her globe-trekking tips. Some of her latest entries describe a new year's road trip in Scotland, and the best place to get a haircut in Turkey.

Being a world-traveling blogger is the polar opposite of billing by the hour, Ettenberg said. "I don't really have a schedule," she told The Times. "I tend to buy a one-way ticket and then just see."

You can hear more from Ettenberg in this speech she gave at a world-travel summit last year:

If you're considering a similar career move, you may want to save up some money first. Taking a year off for travel requires at least $10,000 in the bank, Ettenberg advised -- or even more, if you want to explore places like Europe or Australia.

But the rewards for leaving the law can be priceless. "It's getting up every day to discover all the quirks of where you're going ... and how it all kind of weaves together," Jodi Ettenberg said.

Curious about other ways to use your JD or how ex-lawyers have found success in other fields? Check back here for more recovering lawyer profiles and success stories in FindLaw's ongoing Ex-Lawyer of the Week series. And if you have suggestions for us, post your tip on our FindLaw for Legal Professionals Facebook page.

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