Our Story


Hi! We’re the Hoffmeister family: Marc, Danielle, Hannah & Olivia

A couple years ago, we were all busy living the life you’re supposed to want: high-paying career (with long hours to match) and big house with a pool in the suburbs, fat retirement accounts, and plenty of homework and after-school activities to keep the kids out of trouble. We filled what little free time we had by going out to restaurants and taking a week-long vacation every now and then. On paper, it was a pretty good life.

Yet we were beginning to realize that all the stuff we thought we wanted wasn’t really making us happy. Even that dream of an awesome retirement no longer seemed worth the price we were paying to secure it.

In fact, we began to wonder if we’d even make it that far.

Something drastic had to be done. After a lot of soul-searching, we decided to sell almost all our stuff, pull our daughters out of school, and take a year-long trip through the Caribbean, South America, the Pacific Islands and Southeast Asia as a family adventure. And despite all our fears and doubts, and the obstacles we encountered on the way, we actually went through with it!

It was an incredible trip. Also, it sometimes sucked. We saw amazing things, made a ton of mistakes, and learned a whole lot about what we really want out of life in the process. Would we do it again? Yes! In fact, we will do it again. and again. and again. But there are definitely some things we’ll do differently.

About this website:

We started this blog as a way for our family & friends to keep up with our adventures, but as we continue our experiments in lifestyle design, we hope it will evolve into a place where families can find inspiration and advice, trade ideas, and reassure each other that we’re not all crazy. (at least, not in a bad way)

So if this sounds like fun to you, please come along for the ride by subscribing to our newsletter or RSS feed. In the coming weeks, we’ll be adding a whole bunch of resources to help you plan your own adventures, and maybe avoid some of the mistakes we’ve made (or at least laugh at them).

We love meeting people who are crazy like us – If you have any questions, suggestions, helpful tips, words of encouragement, or just want to say “Hi!”, just send an email to Marc or Danielle [at] 4suitcases [dot] com. We appreciate your feedback!

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

April 30, 2010 ron sussman

you guys need to write a book


May 4, 2010 Marc

I’m working on it, Ron!


July 9, 2017 Jeroen Walravens

Any word on the book yet? :-)


July 19, 2010 Connie Hum

Hi Hoffmeister family! INCREDIBLE! Hats off to you all for taking the leap into a life more rewarding than just in the bank account! I had the same epiphany two years ago and haven’t looked back! I also have a website if you are interested in sharing stories and experiences! Thank you for giving me more inspiration as I continue my travels!

Safe travels,


August 11, 2010 George


This is a wonderful blog! It was a very good read.

I was wondering if you would be interested in guest blogging on my blog. It is a collection of my travels and the travels of my guests. If you scan the site you can see that now almost 100% of the posts are from guests. Lately I’ve been finding many people interested in guest posting.

Included in your post will be a link to your website using whatever anchor text or key words you wish and a description of your site (if you choose to include one.)

My blog (onetravel.wordpress.com) receives about 1000 visitors a day and that number is steadily growing.

So if you are interested in being a guest, please let me know.

Send me an Email:

Warm Regards,
George Christodoulou
Travel Blogger | OneTravel


October 5, 2010 flip

this is amazing… kudos to your family for travelling altogether. im sure your children will have a different perspective in life compare to most children nowadays… wishing you and your famliy more travels and more adventures…


March 26, 2011 Heather

Followed you from over Dee Andrews site. I am feeling so inspired by your stories. We put traveling on hold once we started having kids but before kids I traveled Europe, parts of US, Hawaii and hubby did Europe and Asia. We dream about traveling in the future but you and Dee have inspired me to not put these dreams on hold. I need to take advantages of all my contacts overseas and just got. Can’t wait to read more!


November 16, 2011 Boris Coronado

Greetings from Berlin !

I just came across your blog and I’ve got to say I am in total agreement! You even use the Mark Twain quote I have in my signature. I’ve been living in Berlin for 13 years and I’ve got to say it has completely changed my perspective on the world.

Anyway, my question : Can we exchange links ?

Once I hear back from you we will add your link to our blogroll section at : http://www.berlincitytours.com/blog ( right column )

Our info is :

URL : http://www.berlincitytours.com/blog
Title : Berlin Travel Blog
Description : News, information and things to do in Berlin.

Please let me know if there is anything else you need from us or if you have any questions.

Happy blogging!


August 10, 2012 ed

Thanks for sharing your travel story with us at the HI meeting Thursday night.
It was a great presentation.


October 3, 2017 TS

Hi there! I just discovered your blog and wish I had run across it years ago! Our family of four is currently on our own one-year, round-the-world adventure, Day 74 (girls ages 10 and 13). I plan to start at the beginning and read all about what you experienced. Please write privately – I’d love to get some one-on-one tips, esp re the kids. Our blog is http://www.epicrtw.com, if you’d like to follow along.


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