‘Sabbatimoon’ takes couple around the world

Photo courtesy of the Pollocks

Danyelle and Tristan Pollock shared a bite in Venice, Italy, during their extended sabbatical and honeymoon.

Pollocks seek spot on the globe where they can settle down 

Tristan and Danyelle Pollock didn’t rush into marriage. They were together for 11 years before wedding in August 2017.

They plan to make a home and start a family but aren’t rushing that, either.

If that paints the Pollocks as cautious and conventional, consider that they’ve just spent a year and a half in 55 countries — cruising the Nile in Egypt, practicing yoga in Bali, luxuriating in Icelandic hot springs and plunging into the river in St. Petersburg, Russia, in the dead of winter.

Call it a “sabbatimoon” — the Pollocks’ coinage for sabbatical and honeymoon.

Once self-proclaimed “shy Midwestern kids” who say they together discovered their will to be weird, Tristan and Danyelle are now window-shopping places to live.

Their friends, blog readers and social media followers are free to make suggestions, and the globe’s the limit. So far, Vancouver is the top choice of the 100 or so people giving suggestions, Tristan said.

The end of the year is probably decision time, said the couple, who are in Minnesota visiting family and will resume their sabbatimoon before returning at Christmas.

“We’re open,” Tristan said. “Someone could even suggest Australia, Capetown, Scandinavia. We’re even open to a city-share where we spend half the year in one place and half the year in another.”

“We always love people who are really passionate about a place,” Danyelle said, “because that kind of ignites a fire in us.”

The couple’s yellow brick road around the world was paved with foresight, planning, thrift and plain hard work.

Tristan, a 2004 Burnsville High School graduate, grew up in Savage, the son of Rick and Julie Pollock, and attended North Dakota State University. Danyelle, a 2006 graduate of Prior Lake High School, grew up in that city, the daughter of Mike and Deb Ludwig, and attended St. Cloud State University.

They met on a blind date arranged mostly because both are over 6 feet tall.

After college Tristan worked in marketing for Bestbuy.com. Danyelle managed internal communications for UnitedHealth Group.

Working with a partner, Tristan started two companies, SocialEarth and Storefront, the latter of which created a transparent online marketplace for pop-up retailers seeking short-term commercial spaces. Both businesses were sold, with Storefront fetching “multimillions,” Tristan said.

He then joined 500 Startups, a business incubator and venture capital firm, and the couple moved to San Francisco, where Danyelle was the 61st employee of ride-booking giant Lyft. She managed internal communications for the mushrooming company.

Moving from Minneapolis to San Francisco, their salaries doubled and rent tripled, Tristan said. After awhile, San Francisco started to feel like a “bubble” of unlimited capital and talent, a place unlike the rest of the world, he said. The couple left in January 2018 to experience it.

It hasn’t been all play. Through 500 Startups and connections they’ve made on their own, the Pollocks have spoken at business seminars and served as entrepreneurs in residence, which often includes a paycheck or free travel and accommodations.

“I’ve sold a couple companies. We’re not millionaires,” Tristan said. ‘It’s not like we’re rolling in money off of that. We’re smart, and we planned for this, and built up a lot of options, and then we kind of worked on and off along the road.”

Where to begin with the international adventures?

“We both loved Iceland, just because the terrain is so different,” Tristan said. “I’m personally obsessed with hot springs and saunas and stuff like that. I love Iceland for all the hot springs.

“I love Russia and Moscow for the banya — it’s like their wet sauna. There’s a tradition around it. And that led me into jumping into the river in St. Petersburg in the middle of winter,” a “very Russian” ritual tied to Orthodox religion.

Danyelle loved the ruins, pyramids and hieroglyphs of Egypt, the yoga and good food in Bali, and discovering Saudi Arabia during two months in Riyadh.

“I had to wear the abaya,” she said. “I didn’t have to cover my hair or face, though — it’s becoming more progressive like that. So that was really fascinating. What we were looking to get out of that was putting ourselves in a place where everything was super foreign to us.”

It’s good for the marriage to be together 24/7, especially during those high-energy waking hours couples usually spend at work, Tristan said.

“Our chance to help improve ourselves, how we think, and our mindfulness, that’s been the part that’s probably not seen, but we’ve grown and evolved in the most,” he said.

And come time to settle down, the Pollocks are confident they will thrive.

“We’re just very open-minded, and we think we could probably find work with a business or a tech company in most major cities,” Tristan said. ‘Or we could work online and work remotely, so I think we could really make whatever work.”

You can follow their adventures at www.heywedidthat.com.

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