The founder and editor at Radical Family Sabbatical, Matt came to this high place via a tortuous route. With a psychology degree from the University of Colorado, Matt was clearly destined for telecommunications. In this frenetic corporate world he learned the value of work over productivity, the value of appearance over performance, and the value of security over happiness.
When that bubble burst, Matt was flung by the impact into the arms of a girl in the mountains of Colorado. Happiness ensued, magic happened, and two more little people appeared. In the meantime, Matt discovered a passion for community working at the Vail Leadership Institute. He later bridled that passion as the director of the Eagle Valley Alliance for Sustainability, growing that organization five-fold in as many years.
Matt and Diana (the girl) then decided, inexplicably, to leave their professional lives for the time being and take their kids to Ecuador for a spell. They hoped this “family sabbatical” would help their children to become better global citizens (time will tell).
At home again (for a while), Matt is avoiding a job by freelance writing and offering business & travel consulting. He runs Radical Family Sabbatical to encourage families to live adventurous, unconventional, and fulfilling lives (yes, please do).
A writer, photographer, and passionate traveler, Lynn is also the editor and founder of FamilyTravel.com. She writes a weekly syndicated travel column that originates with the Dallas Morning News and is a regular contributor and writes an adventure blog for GoodHousekeeping.com. She also contributes to other print, online and broadcast outlets.
A graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University, she has spent more than 25 years writing and speaking about travel and family issues and has consulted to numerous other organizations within the travel industry. She also co-authored a book, The Best Jobs in America for Parents Who Want Careers and Time for Children Too, about balancing work and family and has contributed to several others. Her articles and comments have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA TODAY, and The Arizona Republic. She’s appeared before the U.S. Congress, on CNN, The Today Show, and numerous other television and radio programs.
She has traveled (often with her three sons) to more than 92 countries, across deserts, down rivers, over mountains, under the sea, through jungles and to 48 of our 50 states. When standing still, she does so in Scottsdale, Arizona and southwestern Montana.
A freelance writer and writing instructor/coach based in Scottsdale, Arizona, Susan had an unexpected expat experience that opened her eyes and her heart to the power of transformation through travel. She was so moved that she recorded the experience on paper. A few years later Halfway to Each Other was born.
Along with essays published in The Washington Times, Family Digest, The Family, Raising Arizona Kids, Guideposts Magazine, Homelife Magazine, AZ Parenting, Goodhousekeeping.com and Italiannotebook.com, Susan has also written award-winning short films.
Clearly an old soul, Diana didn’t rediscover travel in this life until after college at the Miami (of Ohio) University. But the world and Di didn’t know how much they missed each other till they were reunited. Backpacking Europe, Asia, and Australia, Diana gained a whole new perspective on her world, but also on herself. Heeding her father’s last admonition before her travels—always be a good ambassador—Diana realized the great power of creating peace and goodwill through every personal contact.
She took that disposition into her professional life back home, enlightening the corporate world (General Electric, Ideal Industries, and such) until finding a happy place as the marketing director at community-oriented custom home builder in Vail, Colorado. It was here she also discovered a purpose to that disposition: to make people happy (go big or go home, right?). She practices that purpose every day, starting with her lucky husband, Matt, and kids, Piper and Duncan.
An everywhere man—born in Kiev, Ukraine; raised in Colorado; had his eyes opened to the world in Santiago, Chile; learned to party in Buenos Aires, Argentina; and learned to help in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua;—Roman co-founded Comunidad Connect in 2007 to change the paradigm of tourism in Nicaragua and unexpectedly had his own mental paradigm changed beyond anything he could have imagined. Roman has a Masters of Public Administration from Syracuse University and is working on a Masters in Environmental Science from State University of New York’s renowned College of Environmental Science and Forestry. And he plans to remain a student of life for…well, for life.
From a childhood on a trout farm dotted with family trips to the Cayman Islands, to the high school and college years focusing on music and theater and singing her way with a choir through Europe, to marrying her handsome best friend and trekking with him across Spain and Nicaragua, a constant in Jamie’s life has always been a deep love for all things travel. In between trips, she and her husband live in a small ski town high in the Rocky Mountains where they raise their two rapidly growing boys. Having returned in October 2012 from their first family sabbatical in South America, Jamie now works as a freelance writer–that is, when she’s not directing plays at the local theater, having impromptu dance parties at home, or trying to keep up with her boys on the ski hill. You can read their sabbatical story on their blog, Finding Foreign.