An Epic 2013 Annual Review – by Jordan Ramos: How Losing His Dream Job Turned Into A Round-The-World Adventure

Inspired by Chris Guillebeau and his Annual Review, below is a truly epic and inspiring year-in-review from my brother Jordan. After a great start to the year, he was thrown a curveball in April when he was laid off from his job that he loved. After the shock, and embarrassment, and devastation of losing his dream job, he decided to hit the road with a one-way ticket, to travel the world in true vagabond and travel hacker style.

[Enter Jordan]

I’ve read a couple “end of the year reviews” from the blogs I follow and it got me motivated to take a break to reflect and do one myself. I looked back on all my photos of 2013 on my iPhone and all the memories (good and bad) came back to me.

What went well in 2013:


Bought a season pass to Lake Tahoe for the 2013 season and scored multiple weekends of powder with some of my best friends and brother.IMG_2027IMG_1155

Surf trip to Los Cabos, Mexico, with 2 days at Nikki Beach Cabo.

Spent 2 months in Indonesia, chasing and scoring waves with a bunch of good friends._MG_0810IMG_3527Best Party ever! at Single Fin, Bali.

IMG_3589Watched the final two days of the Oakley Pro surf competition in Bali.

Went out to dinner and shot some pool with a good friend in Thailand (Bangkok).

Spent almost 2 weeks in London with some of my close friends with the best weather of the year. Highlights – Box Park, Yellow brick road, Shoreditch, portobello market, brick lane, and chelsea. Saw Mumford and Sons, Edward Sharpe, Vampire Weekend, and Ben Howard with one of my best high school friends at the Gentlemen of the Road Festival in London.IMG_3869

Spent 12 days in Croatia, and 7 days of it was on a catamaran for Yacht Week Croatia.IMG_4115 IMG_4160

Spent 3 days in a Small Village in Italy called Cinque Terre.

Explored and went on a gondola ride with one of my best friends through the canals of Venice, Italy.

Ate the best pizza I’ve ever had (Gusto Pizza) on the Ponte Vecchio in Florence with some of my good friends.IMG_4372

Spent 10 days with my brother traveling through Portugal (Peniche, Lisbon, Lagos).

Went to Way Out West Music Festival, Sweden’s best music festival in Gothenburg. I spent 4 more days just exploring the city.IMG_4756

Spent 5 days in Copenhagen, Denmark. This is one of my favorite cites in Europe. Some highlights – Copenhagen Downtown Hostel, Nyhavn, Christiana, Vesterbro, and Norrebro. IMG_5044

6 days in Paris. Everything about Paris is amazing! Rock En Seine music festival,  and partied on La Seine.IMG_5269IMG_5276

3 Weeks in Hossegor/Biarritz. Scored perfect waves, went to Europe’s biggest latin festival, and stayed with the nicest locals.IMG_5642IMG_5656

Spent almost another two weeks in Portugal with a girl a had the biggest crush on! We also stayed at 5 star hotels using my SPG points.IMG_5987

Spent a weekend in Boston.

Moved To Brooklyn, NY.

Spent a weekend in Montauk.


It was challenging traveling for 7 months of the year to stay in shape and eat healthy, but I feel like I did it.IMG_5992

On St. Patrick’s Day participated in the 3rd annual Adler Paddler in Naples, Long Beach which is a 6mi stand up paddle.

Rode my bike for work every single day (10-25mi daily).

Stand up paddle boarded the coastline of Cinque Terre 3 days in a row.

10 bikram yoga classes in October.

Long Beach Turkey Trot 10k.

Ran the Frozen Bonsai Half Marathon in NYC.

Over the course of the year ran over 300 miles!! Click to see my MapMyRun profile:


My number one favorite thing to do. I love spending my free time surfing with friends, getting photos and going to different surf spots.

Surfed the biggest waves I’ve ever surfed at Ocean Beach. They were calling MLK weekend “the best Ocean Beach has been in 20 years.” I was in great physical shape and put 6 hours a day in the water 3 days in a row.IMG_1034

Surfed under the Golden Gate Bridge in SF.

Got a ten second + barrel in Indonesia!

Career/Work/Pursue Learning

As a reward for having my best month in sales since being at MOGL, I got to attend the Crunchie Awards (this is like the Oscars for tech start ups) with one of my favorite entrepreneurs Jon Carder. IMG_1218

Wrapping up my memories from MOGL, it was the best out-of-college experience I could ask for. The people were the best, the product is great, and I felt like the people there went out of their way to make sure everyone was having fun, making money, and learning.

GOT LAID OFF FROM ONE OF THE BEST JOBS EVER ON A RANDOM MONDAY MORNING. One of the most humbling experiences ever.

Got a great opportunity to work at Bitly (one of NYC’s best tech start ups) and help them sell their premium product. I’m really excited to work for another tech start up under some great leadership.

Saw the Minimalists speak in NYC. New favorite blog-

Book list this year: Autobiography of Steve Jobs, $100 start up, The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, Without Their Permission, David and Goliath, Into Thin Air, Catching the Wolf of Wall Street.


Started 2013 with NO DEBIT! This is huge for me because i spent most of college with maxed out credit cards and my goal for 2012 was to not have any debt.

Hit my financial year savings goal in April (I set this goal back in January 2013. $20,000).

12 free flights from travel hacking.


I was introduced to a new app called Tinder toward the end of January. I ended up having a crazy night with a girl who is now my girlfriend.IMG_6503

Constantly had friends come visit and stay with me while I was living in SF.IMG_1635IMG_0797

 Spent Thanksgiving with my family after completing my first around-the-world trip. Then I visited my roommates in SF and best friends when I came back home from my trip.

4th year in a row to Coachella music festival with a bunch of my friends.IMG_2637

Went and saw my favorite band in the world with my brother, The Rolling Stones.

Went to the first ever Bottle Rock Festival in Napa Valley.IMG_3081

Donated my half of my clothes to locals in West Sumbawa.IMG_3227

Went to 6 concerts in NYC.

Won a pumpkin carving contest in NYC for Halloween.

Handmade every piece of furniture in my room.

Spent a day walking around 5pointz in Queens.IMG_7511

Have been cooking a lot of homemade meals.

Donated $100 dollars to the Waves for Water charity for the yyphoon in the Philippines.

No parking tickets and no traffic violations.

Where I fell short

Didn’t make it to Australia. This has been a goal of mine for a very long time. I even had flights booked for January and ended up canceling them last minute.

Didn’t start a blog or even start writing, which is something I wanted to do while traveling.

I bought AppSumo’s “Build a $1000/month Business” and stopped after the validation process.

Spent well over $1000 in excess bags and airport fees this year. Ouch!

Looking forward to 2014

Enjoy what New York has to offer. Go to lots of concerts, cooking classes, bars, restaurants, and meet some like-minded people.

Have a healthy relationship with my girlfriend.

Save $20,000.

Be the top person at work in the 1st quarter out of my training class.

Go on at least one vacation this year.

Start a business on the side.


One thought on “An Epic 2013 Annual Review – by Jordan Ramos: How Losing His Dream Job Turned Into A Round-The-World Adventure

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