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Jill Allemang

I have decided to take a gap year. Well, a gap 16 months, actually – through 2017.

Here’s what I am not going to do for it

  • Not carry a backpack
  • Not travel outside a 360 kilometer circumference of where I live
  • Not take on one big project like cooking all of the recipes in Julia Child’s cookbook (although I love that idea)
  • Not quit my job or take a sabbatical

Here’s what I will do

  • Stuff I really want to do that intrigues me. Give myself permission and space to do it! Falls into five categories as a starting point, then will evolve from there and be posted here
  • Use the amount of vacation / holiday time I already have allotted by my job
  • Envision a little metaphor to help motivate me: the life watch. Click play play each day at sunrise


Since starting jallé 10 years ago, I read so many books about how entrepreneurs have climbed mountains and biked across Europe, I got a sense that adventure might be a prerequisite for success. For realizing who you are.

I thereby face a success dilemma: I didn’t backpack. Ever. And truth be told, I’d rather be in a nice little design hotel.

I must have been nearly 30 years old by the time I heard of backpacking. Outside the small Ohio town of my youth,  wide flat soybean fields stretched for miles. You had to go a long way before the scenery, or anything else, changed. When I graduated from university (still in Ohio) at 21, my parents thought my crazy idea of moving one state north to Michigan might as well have been to Mars.

Anyway, back then, I felt compelled – along with many of my late-Baby Boomer friends – to pay for my life and my student loans and a car. Finding a good job with a big company seemed like the best solution. And so I joined one in the Fortune 100. Not exactly floating on the Amazon, eh?

The thing is: now I’m already over 50. Gads! When will I ever get that prerequisite backpack-for-success-and-personal-growth experience?

What if I have decades still to work before I retire or hand-over the business?

Take a “gap year” at 80? Well, maybe. Yet I think a better idea for the first one is NOW.

For those of you who like to start at the beginning, click here for day one.

About me

I get great satisfaction from my current job and believe in the potential of our team’s mission. You can find more on our business website or via Linked-In. In the rest of my life, I’m an explorer. Took-up new hobbies here and there  — golf, fly-fishing, skiing, kayaking. Only jogging stuck over the years.  I seem to prefer getting to know people in local cultures. Or writing. Or learning about creativity as an entrepreneur. Or walking in the mountains…