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For Anne Breedlove and her husband Jim Eldredge, adventure is a way of life. Biking across the United States and Australia. Traveling southeast Asia and Mongolia. Visiting five different continents. Living the life of nomads for eight years, never sitting in one place for too long.

Not the life you would expect from a former adjunct history professor.

In 2008, Breedlove and her husband made the seemingly crazy decision to retire early, jump on their bikes and see the world. Traveling was something both had wanted to do from a young age, with Breedlove first falling in love with traveling when she took train rides with her grandfather, Harvey, as a young child. Breedlove and her husband  ended up traveling the world for eight years, visiting 21 countries in five different continents, ultimately biking about 30,000 miles.

But before becoming a worldwide traveler, Breedlove was a part-time history professor at Las Positas, Diablo Valley and Berkeley City College. Leaving your career, your home, your kids, everything, for a life on the road isn’t exactly an easy decision. But for the two of them, it was just exciting. It was a chance to see the world, and to them that was worth the risks.

During the more quiet time of COVID, with the boredom of isolation, Breedlove began to look through her old journals that detailed their adventures. Even though she was still at home, going through her journals that she hadn’t read since she wrote them made her feel like she was experiencing it all over again. This  process gave her an idea.

“In June of 2020 I had this ‘aha’ moment,” Breedlove said, “that I needed to tell the story of how Jim and I went from being just regular suburban parents raising two kids and working for a living, to chucking it all and taking off on the bikes.”

Part-Time Nomads” was the ultimate outcome of that moment, her part memoir, part travelog, which was released on Sep. 27 2023 by ALIVE publishing Group. 

It took the pair roughly a decade and many smaller adventures to build the confidence to retire and travel by themselves. In 1997, for their 20th anniversary, they went to France, the place of their honeymoon two decades prior. There they took a much more organized bike tour, where they were told exactly where to go and roughly when they were supposed to arrive. It was then when they realized just how much they enjoyed it. 

From there, it was all about baby steps. There were plenty of mistakes on the way, with map trouble, gear malfunctioning and just an overall lack of experience. With each trek, though, they got better, and each time they loved it just as much. So much that one day, Eldredge came with the idea of retiring early to bike the world.

“Jim, he wanted to just take off,” Breedlove said. “But I had two kids, I didn’t want to leave. So we made the deal, so to speak, that we would travel for up to six months and then come back and check on the kids.”

ANNE BREEDLOVE poses with a copy of her book, ‘Part-Time Nomad’ at Monday Night Marsh in San Francisco. (Photo courtesy of Anne Breedlove/ Special to The Express)

Despite not being as hasty to leave their family life, including their college aged kids, as her husband, Breedlove still decided to finish that year of teaching and then to retire. She graded her last test on May 22, 2008. The following morning, they were on their bikes. The only thing they knew for sure was that they were going to meet about 10 family members on the other side of the country in Bar Harbor Maine on Sept. 18, giving them four months to bike across the country. From there, their travels only expanded as they looked to see the real world up close and personal.

“One of the inexplicable riches when traveling by bicycle is the detail that you see at eight miles an hour,” Breedlove said. “The minutiae, the specifics. You see more the backs of things and the everyday of things. Certainly one thing you do is you have a lot more interaction with the people in the places that they are living.”

“Part-Time Nomads” details their journey leading up to their retirement, detailing how they got comfortable enough to explore the world. This is something Breedlove believes to be a priceless experience and that everyone would benefit from — taking time to really see the world. 

The book is available for purchase in several bookstores in San Francisco and websites such as Amazon,, Barnes and Nobles, Better World Books and Blackwells. Breedlove also has her own website,, with more information about her and stories from their adventures. 

Now, Breedlove spends her time traveling much shorter distances, primarily to promote her book. Her promotional tour allows her to make a return to Las Positas after 16 years to be a part of the Literary Arts Festival on May 11. The last time she was here, she received flowers and gifts from students and faculty as LPC gave her a farewell for her journey. This time, she returns with her own gifts. She will have her own booth, reading and selling copies of her book, giving her the chance to reconnect with her old workplace while sharing her story in the hopes more people will take a chance and explore the world.

“If you really want to know about the incredible variety and riches of this world,” Breedlove said, “go somewhere else and see what it’s like. And it’s just an explosion of learning and fascination. I feel like I am a phenomenally different person than I was before we did all this stuff.”

Top photo: Anne Breedlove poses with a copy of her book, ‘Part-Time Nomad’ at Monday Night Marsh in San Francisco. (Photo courtesy of Anne Breedlove/ Special to The Express)

Jakob Arnarsson is the Sports Editor of The Express. Follow him on X, formally Twitter, @JakobA2004.

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