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Life & Work with Elliot Schoenfeld and Jennifer Johnson

Today we’d like to introduce you to Elliot Schoenfeld and Jennifer Johnson.

Hi Elliot and Jennifer, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
Scho and Jo started back in 2019 when we decided to pause our careers to travel the world for a year. We started with a one-way flight to Colombia, 3 bags, and a goal to travel for a full year! After traveling to 11 countries we were locked down in India for 5 months during the pandemic.

Although there were many challenges being locked down in India, it was a transformative experience. We decided to start a business sharing our travel experiences to inspire others to take the leap to explore and adventure with a “go for it” attitude.

After returning to the United States we bought an old trawler motorboat and dove headfirst into full-time living on a boat with zero prior boating experience. We kicked off a 6,000-mile journey called America’s Great Loop that cruises around the eastern part of the United States, starting from the St. Johns River in Jacksonville.

We share daily videos of our travels on YouTube as well as blogs summarizing our experiences and valuable travel resources to enable other people to create their own adventures on our website. We try to inspire and show that traveling, boating, and a life full of adventure are possible at any age or financial status.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Our journey has been nothing but challenge after challenge, but overcoming and learning from them transforms us into the best versions of ourselves.

I’d say the first major challenge, besides various civil revolts and flight closures in our travels to South America was our COVID lockdown in India. COVID changed all of our lives and for us, it meant getting stuck in India for 5 months.

Lockdowns in the US and India practically coincided to where we were advised to come back home at the exact same time India stopped foreign flights. One thing led to another and we were unable to leave our hotel for 108 days, in the desert state of Rajasthan. We met some amazing people during this lockdown that really shifted our perspective on life in general.

Our second major challenge was learning how to operate a boat. Elliot could count on one hand how many times he’d been on a boat and now operating a 20,000 lb vessel with all our life belongings led to a lot of stressful learning experiences.

Our most recent challenge was last spring in the Chesapeake Bay. We had traveled almost 800 miles from Jacksonville, Florida to Smith Island, Maryland when Elliot fell off the boat fracturing his wrist. Since we were on a remote island with less than 300 people, we were airlifted to the nearest hospital for medical attention.

This event kicked off a summer-long recovery back in Jacksonville, Florida. After 4 months of surgery, rest, and recovery, we returned to our boat in the Chesapeake and had to pivot our Great Loop plans as the 6,000-mile journey is tied to the seasons of the year and had to postpone our grand trip for the following year.

These challenges just scratch the surface of our whole story but are why we named our boat “Pivot”. When life gives you obstacles, all you need to do is embrace the pivot and take the next step!

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
Our history and professional lives are very different from our current content creation business of Scho and Jo. Like all things, they influence our decisions and shape us into who we are today. Our full-time travel business is primarily on YouTube, our website, and Instagram.

Jennifer has a Master of Architecture and Master of City and Regional Planning from Georgia Tech while Elliot has a B.S. in Computer Engineering from the University of Florida. Prior to dropping everything and traveling abroad in 2019, we both had professional careers in Atlanta, Georgia.

With Scho and Jo, our skills have been developed into ones focusing on telling a compelling and relatable story. Storytelling, creating visually appealing videos, and not sacrificing honesty are what we strive for. We are constantly honing our skills to be able to share our message with more and more people around the world! We’re most proud when we receive positive encouragement from our audience.

Listening to stories about how we’ve inspired people with our “go for it” attitude really encourages us and brings a smile to our day. Our viewers, subscribers, and followers are attracted to our relatable, down-to-earth, and genuine stories.

We’d love to hear about any fond memories you have from when you were growing up?
Elliot: My favorite childhood memory has to be our many nights with the family eating pizza and playing card games at the kitchen table.

Jenn: My favorite childhood memory was swimming in my parent’s pool in the summer.

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