Ad Agency Account Director to World Travel: Interview with Ayngelina Brogan


Ayngelina Brogan - Ad Agency Account Director to World Traveller

Ayngelina Brogan

Editor’s note: This is an interview with Ayngelina Brogan of Bacon is Magic. I first met Ayngelina via Twitter and Facebook when I was preparing for my extended travels a few months ago.

Aygenlina left her job 9 months ago as an Account Director at DraftFCB, one the world’s largest advertising agencies, to take extended time off to travel and explore the world.

She is currently in Ecuador and Latin America and learning about everything from homemade Peruvian ceviche, the many uses of sugar cane to how to watch soccer like an Ecuadorian.

You can follow Ayngelina’s journey on:
Twitter: @ayngelina
Her blog:

What were you doing at your job before you left?

I was as an Account Director at DraftFCB. I worked on TV, radio, print and outdoor campaigns for a number of clients and primarily Kraft Canada for the past four years.

On January 4th, 2010 I gave my employer 10 weeks notice and on January 6th, 2010 purchased a one-way flight to Mexico.

What inspired you to leave your job?

Honestly, at 32 I figured this was my last chance for long-term travel before deciding if I wanted kids. I had money saved that I could either use as a down payment for a house or for a massive trip and no real debt.

How are you funding your travels and how long are you going for?

It took me ten years to pay off a massive student loan from university. Once I paid it, I continued putting the loan payment amounts into a savings account and I sold everything I had – it was completely liberating. I started with just shy of $20K and my budget is roughly $30/day or $1000/month excluding any flights or big tours like Machu Picchu. (See Ayngelina’s article on Saving for Long Term Travel for saving tips.)

Some countries are a bit easier than others for this so I know it will last longer than a year but not sure when I’ll come home.

Any particular goals or themes for your time off?

No goals or themes in particular, I just wanted to spend the time rediscovering myself. I think in your 20s you are so obsessed with success and ‘making it’ that once you’re there you forget why you wanted it.

How did you feel about leaving everything behind?

The last two years I seriously considered taking a year off. I relentlessly tried to bully/cajole/beg my boyfriend to come along with me. I was petrified to go alone, unsure if I had the strength to do it solo. But it wasn’t his dream. I had to make the decision to either abandon the dream or do it alone.

The fear was petrifying but it’s not paralyzing. As much as I was afraid to go, I was more afraid to regret not going.

Want to know more?

Here are some of my favourite posts from Ayngelina’s blog:

>> Thanks for the interview Ayngelina. Do you have questions or comments for Ayngelina on how she quit her job to travel, or places she has visited? Ask away in the comments below :)

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  • yeah fuck stress. just party, travel, live, and eat!

  • great interview

  • So nice to learn more about you Ayngelina and the steps you took to get off the beaten path. It takes a lot of courage to do what you did!

  • Anygelina, after this interview, I love you even more. I had the same thought process when I decided to travel and agree with your description of who you are in your 20s and then after. Really good interview.

  • Love this – short and sweet but a really candid and straightforward set of answers, as well as just the right questions. A preferred blogger of mine.

    • Thanks Robin, I was blessed with brevity :)

  • Wow so inspiring. I know how ad agency are very stressful too. I used to work for Agency. com and later then become TBWA, always late nights and lots hours. Especially she’s a account director. I’m happy that she took time off to do what she really like. And I know she will always remembered those traveling story later in life. It’s an experience you can’t trade for.

    • Sarah

      You know once you’re an AD people start telling you, you could make it to the top. But the truth was I had no desire to be president or vice-president. Our president, who is a really wonderful man, is always so pale and stressed. Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should

      • I agreed with you, these VP people looks very stressed out. They ahve to worry if the are bring in the money and if not, they have to worry about the job security and business plan etc etc… not fun :)

  • Anonymous

    Love reading her stuff and drooling at her food photos–great to learn a little bit more about where she’s coming from! Nice interview.

  • Candicewalsh

    When I first started reading you, Ayngelina, I did so without really knowing your background. Learning about it all now is fantastic…you’re so brave! I’m glad you did, though. As I’m sure you are.

    Great interview!

    • I don’t know if I am so brave, I guess it all depends on how you look at it. If I fail then I go back working at a well-paid job that people think I do well. It’s not a bad back-up plan.

      The question is, would I be happy? 90% happy isn’t enough for me.

      • Candicewalsh

        I’m envious you have the fall-back plan. I know I can get a job anywhere right now with my tech writing experience, but I’d rather serve beers in a shady bar.

      • I’d rather serve beer in a shady bar too :)

  • I feel so much connection with people like Ayngelina! It’s great to read about other people’s experiences and see how they cope with the situations I’ve been through myself.

    • Hi Magda,

      I feel the same way – I left my job to take extended time off as well and was (and sometimes still am) uncertain. It’s great to meet other people you can find inspiration from and share the journey with.

      – Lily

  • Jimshu

    Yeah, would have to reiterate Christie’s comment about being a conscious traveller…and I wonder what’s in store for her in the future with her travel experience and her obvious ability to soak up, experience and express that grassroots travel she’s enjoying now.

    Oh, doesn’t hurt to get plastered…occasionally :-)

  • nice to know a bit of background about ayngelina. great interview lily!

  • Great interview. I love Ayngelina’s blog and love the fact that she seems to be a conscious traveler. She’s learning about the cultures and learning about herself, instead of just getting plastered from city to city. I hope I get to meet up with her in South America!

  • Really nice interview! My dream is to follow in Ayngelina’s footsteps and take a break from my life in the U.S. and travel the world with no time limit :)

  • Great interview that should serve as an inspiration to many.

  • What a great interview with Ayngelina! We often get to hear about her journeys and her love of food but it’s nice to read about he personal side as well. I never knew the whole story behind her travels.

  • one of my favorite bloggers — thanks for featuring her!

    • She’s one of my favourite travel bloggers too :) I think the first post of her’s I ever read was a photo essay-type post about Quito and then was hooked after that.

      – Lily

  • Aviewtoathrill

    This is a great example of following your dreams whether you get co-operation from others or not. Some would have just taken it as a sign not to go if their significant other wasn’t on the same page. This is a lesson to do what feels right for you. Regrets are a dime a dozen, but being true to yourself is a rare commodity.

  • I really like your answer to the question of traveling solo. It’s so encouraging to hear that you faced your fear and went it alone, completely.

    You know I already love you blog but it’s good to hear again how you decided to give up everything and go!

  • It’s great to see a person following their dreams!

  • SO inspiring!! I’ve been following Ayngelina’s travels via her blog but a few of these things I still didn’t know.