“I’ve always wanted to travel the world,” says Cleveland accountant Jim Eckhart. “Whether it’s visiting the Pyramids in Egypt or riding the Trans-Siberian Railway across Russia, getting out and seeing the world is absolutely my biggest fantasy.”
Eckhart, who is unmarried and recently turned 26, receives $80,000 a year from his Cleveland accounting firm and has almost $75,000 in savings. “Unfortunately, I may never be able to…” Eckhart says before trailing off.
“He’s always prattling on about how he’d ‘love to see the world,’” says Eckhart’s grandmother, Rose Cowen. “So we always says to him, ‘Go ahead and do it!’ but then he gives us this hogwash about why he can’t. Something about his work. He gets a bonus if he stays 18 more months, I think he said.”
Eckhart says that some “complications” with work prevent him from going on a trip that he’s “waited for his whole life and want[s] more than anything in the world.”
Eckhart’s boss, Rick Wainwright, says, “We’d hate to lose Jim, but I think it’d be great if he took a year off and saw the world. We’d certainly have a place for him if he wanted to come back.”
While Eckhart dreams of hiking to Machu Picchu, floating in the Dead Sea, or exploring the Australian Outback, pursuits he says he would “give anything for,” he ultimately believes he needs to stay home.
“I can’t leave,” Eckhart says. “I just, I mean… you know, work and all that.”