Last spring, Robert D. Ettinger would pause in his 26th floor corner office and admire the hills southwest of Austin. A partner in Austin’s four-lawyer Phillips, Ettinger & Prikryl, his caseload was heavy, the firm’s family law paralegal had left and his kids had just moved to London with their mother. Ettinger credits his girlfriend, Carla Dye, with helping him realize he needed a break.

“I had been trying two family law cases a month, some were really nasty, and then a judge denied my motion for continuance of a trial set during the week my kids were coming from London to visit me,” Ettinger says. “That night Carla asked me why I didn’t just quit working for a while and travel. I thought about it for a few days and said, ‘Why not’?”