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Jodi Ettenberg
Works at Legal Nomads
Lived in Montreal, Quebec
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Jodi Ettenberg

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After I lost my only pair of wool socks by dropping them below my window with no way to retrieve them, my landlady came over and fished them out for me with the most amazing of contraptions. A short but heartwarming story -- well, to my feet at least! -- illustrating just how generous the people of Lisbon are with their time :) I love it here.  http://www.legalnomads.com/2015/04/fishing-for-socks-in-lisbon.html
In which I lose my beloved wool socks after one too many glasses of wine.
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Lisbon for the first time! Looking forward to exploring the city.
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This is ridonkulous isn't it 

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Finally visiting +Lake Wanaka NZ after months of drooling over photos. This is the tree that had me desperate to visit, a lone willow at the water's edge. Here I am at low tide getting a photo of it in person. So lovely to be here!
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If you get the chance, I definitely recommend a hike up to the Rob Roy glacier.  It's a short drive from Wanaka, if I recall correctly.  My wife and I sat at the end of the trail up to the glacier, watching it and listening to the ice crackle, in the afternoon sun.  Just as we turned around to depart, we heard a great cracking sound as thousands of tonnes of ice broke off, and an avalanche came crashing down the mountain.  No risk to us - it was a mile or so away - but truly amazing to watch (and hear, and feel through the ground).

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Google CFO quits to go backpacking. <3
 
After nearly 7 years as CFO, I will be retiring from Google to spend more time with my family.  Yeah, I know you've heard that line before.  We give a lot to our jobs.  I certainly did.  And while I am not looking for sympathy, I want to share my thought process because so many people struggle to strike the right balance between work and personal life.

This story starts last fall. A very early morning last September, after a whole night of climbing, looking at the sunrise on top of Africa - Mt Kilimanjaro. Tamar (my wife) and I were not only enjoying the summit, but on such a clear day, we could see in the distance, the vast plain of the Serengeti at our feet, and with it the calling of all the potential adventures Africa has to offer. (see exhibit #1 - Tamar and I on Kili).

And Tamar out of the blue said "Hey, why don't we just keep on going". Let's explore Africa, and then turn east to make our way to India, it's just next door, and we're here already. Then, we keep going; the Himalayas, Everest, go to Bali, the Great Barrier Reef... Antarctica, let's go see Antarctica!?" Little did she know, she was tempting fate.

I remember telling Tamar a typical prudent CFO type response- I would love to keep going, but we have to go back. It's not time yet, There is still so much to do at Google, with my career, so many people counting on me/us - Boards, Non Profits, etc

But then she asked the killer question: So when is it going to be time? Our time? My time? The questions just hung there in the cold morning African air. 

A few weeks later, I was happy back at work, but could not shake away THE question: When is it time for us to just keep going? And so began a reflection on my/our life. Through numerous hours of cycling last fall (my introvert happy place) I concluded on a few simple and self-evident truths:

First, The kids are gone.  Two are in college, one graduated and in a start-up in Africa. Beautiful young adults we are very proud of. Tamar honestly deserves most of the credit here. She has done a marvelous job. Simply marvelous. But the reality is that for Tamar and I, there will be no more Cheerios encrusted minivan, night watch because of ear infections, ice hockey rinks at 6:00am. Nobody is waiting for us/needing us. 

Second, I am completing this summer 25-30 years of nearly non-stop work (depending on how you wish to cut the data). And being member of FWIO, the noble Fraternity of Worldwide Insecure Over-achievers, it has been a whirlwind of truly amazing experiences. But as I count it now, it has also been a frenetic pace for about 1500 weeks now. Always on - even when I was not supposed to be. Especially when I was not supposed to be. And am guilty as charged - I love my job (still do), my colleagues, my friends, the opportunities to lead and change the world.

Third, this summer, Tamar and I will be celebrating our 25th anniversary. When our kids are asked by their friends about the success of the longevity of our marriage, they simply joke that Tamar and I have spent so little time together that "it's really too early to tell" if our marriage will in fact succeed. 
If they could only know how many great memories we already have together. How many will you say? How long do you have? But one thing is for sure, I want more. And she deserves more. Lots more.

Allow me to spare you the rest of the truths. But the short answer is simply that I could not find a good argument to tell Tamar we should wait any longer for us to grab our backpacks and hit the road - celebrate our last 25 years together by turning the page and enjoy a perfectly fine mid life crisis full of bliss and beauty, and leave the door open to serendipity for our next leadership opportunities, once our long list of travels and adventures is exhausted.

Working at Google is a privilege, nothing less. I have worked with the best of the best, and know that I am leaving Google in great hands. I have made so many friends at Google it's not funny. Larry, Sergey, Eric, thank you for friendship. I am forever grateful for letting me be me, for your trust, your warmth, your support, and for so much laughter through good and not so good times.

To be clear, I am still here. I wish to transition over the coming months but only after we have found a new Googley CFO and help him/her through an orderly transition, which will take some time. 

In the end, life is wonderful, but nonetheless a series of trade offs, especially between business/professional endeavours and family/community. And thankfully, I feel I’m at a point in my life where I no longer have to have to make such tough choices anymore. And for that I am truly grateful. Carpe Diem.


Patrick
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Vietnam, 50 years on. Via +stuart mcdonald. 
In 1969, at the height of the Vietnam war, US medic Bob Shirley photographed a group of local children. Nearly 50 years later, photographer Reed Young caught up with them, and found out what happened next
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New post, about the many shades of blue on Syros, in Greece. Of course I included tips on where to eat on the islands :) 
A month with friends on a tiny island in a sea of blue.
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Thanks lady! I hear you met up with Daniel in Bali too -- hope you guys had a good time. Look forward to seeing you in Portugal, then!
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7 years ago I quit my job as a lawyer to travel around the world for what I thought was one year. To mark the anniversary of having left my job, I've written about the ups and downs of life with no home base, about how I built Legal Nomads, and about how I make money doing what I do. I've also included some of my own favourite posts from the last years of travel. Thanks for reading and for helping Legal Nomads be the site it is today! 
I left the law on April 1, 2008. This is an anniversary post putting together my favourites from the last seven years of travel and writing.
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Good morning Wanaka! No editing and no filter on this one. Just nature doing what it does best. Taken with iPhone 5. 
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Wanaka...endlessly photogenic.

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Amazing place! Rotorua's Wai-O-Tapu geothermal wonderland. Sulfur and arsenic might be deadly but they make for pretty scenes. This from the Champagne Pool in the middle of the thermal adventure.
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New on Legal Nomads:

an ode to the acrobatics of the motorcycle taxis in Saigon, who sleep in these crazy positions between customers, making me smile.

I have long posted these on Instagram but I figured I would share them in one place. I hope that you enjoy them too! If this were me, I'd have fallen off that motorbike a LONG time ago :)
A photoessay featuring naptime acrobatics, mostly of Saigon's motorcycle taxi drivers.
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Ah, New Zealand.
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No photoshop, just 'dramatic tone' filter on my camera ;-)

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Happy new year to those following the lunar calendar! I hope your year of the sheep (or goat, as the case may be) is a wonderful one. In Vietnam, new year celebrations are called the holiday of Tet, and were one of my favourite times to be in the country. Here is my writeup of the crazy chaos surrounding this week-long holiday.
The chaos and food from a week of celebrating Tet in Vietnam.
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Have her in circles
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Work
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Founder, Legal Nomads
Employment
  • Legal Nomads
    Founder, 2008 - present
Basic Information
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Female
Story
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Former lawyer currently eating my way around the world, one bowl of soup at a time.
Introduction

Originally from Montreal, I quit my job as a lawyer to travel for what I thought was a year, and more than five years later I find myself working as a full-time food and travel writer and photographer. All of the writing recently culminated in my first book, the Food Traveler’s Handbook. Since I left my job in early 2008, I've been writing about my worldwide travel, transportation misadventures and delicious food on my site, Legal Nomads.  I get the shakes when I go too long without eating sticky rice. 

Bragging rights
Been shat on by 12 birds and 1 bat since April 1, 2008.
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Previously
Montreal, Quebec - Aix-en-Provence, France - Toronto, Ontario - New York, NY - Puerto Ayora, Galapagos, Ecuador - Montevideo, Uruguay - El Nido, The Philippines - Bangkok, Thailand - Chiang Mai, Thailand - Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam