New Jersey Man Quits Job, Travels Cross Country and Drinks Whiskey: Photos

by Matthew Wilson
New Jersey Man Quits Job, Travels Cross Country and Drinks Whiskey

A New Jersey Man is living every over-worked employee’s wildest dream. Nate Woodruff quit his job and sold off most of his possessions. He now travels across the country with his dog, drinking whiskey.

Woodruff travels the country in a converted 1995 Chevy van, which he calls home. His only travel companion is his dog Skye. Together the two go on rugged hikes to some of North America’s most scenic views. Woodruff will photograph whiskey bottles in scenic locations for the half a dozen distilleries that are sponsoring his yearlong quest.

“There are a lot of people who do what I do and use the term influencer, which I absolutely abhor,” Woodruff told the Daily Record. “That’s not what I do at all. I like to inspire people. I don’t show off a rich lifestyle of watches, fancy cars and expensive bottles. I’m just a dude who goes out in the woods and hikes. Anybody could do what I do.”

Nate Woodruff, a New Jersey man, has traveled through the Midwest.

Some of the recent places he’s visited include Mount Yale in Colorado and a lake in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. Combined, both of Woodruff’s Instagram pages have over 100,000 followers.

View this post on Instagram

"How do I do what you do?" Over the past week I've been inundated with well wishes, congrats and thousands of new followers (thanks to @wwesthoven's sorcery writing) and I've been struggling to keep up with it all. I'm grateful for the interest in my story and passion project and I do apologize if I haven't been able to respond to everything, there's just so much and most of the time I don't have cellphone service. A common question I've seen however is "how do I do what you do?" Well, the answer is loaded. It took me 7+ years to be able to pull this journey off. 7+ years of hard work, networking with brands, doing lots of photography for free, making tons of mistakes and learning from some of them, staying fit and healthy, hiking thousands of miles and investing thousands of dollars of my own money. I started this adventure almost broke and in debt and it will most likely end that way too since my van likes to fall apart regularly. So can you do this too? Sure! If you have a dream and your stubborn, like me, you'll make it work but unless you have a ton of extraneous cash and time this is a process. It doesn't just happen overnight. Now that I've upset you, here's the good part. Even if it would be difficult to do EXACTLY what I do, you can take my journey and adapt it to your own. So here's my challenge to you: you don't need to live out on the road full time at first. Pack your vehicle with food and a tent and go camp for 3 days somewhere beautiful. Hike and appreciate nature. There are apps like @ioverlander that will help you find free campsites. See if you can rough it for a few days in the wild before you try a long term approach. When all is said and done the only journey that matters is your own. Sure mine may look cool, but that's because I made it for my own personal lifestyle. You can make your own adventure too, unique and beautiful. In the end I want this adventure to inspire you to break out of society's norms. Take a risk. There's so much out there to explore and learn from.

A post shared by Nate Woodruff (@whisky_nate) on

Woodruff dropped out of college after a semester to pursue a career in the New York’s entertainment scene. To pay the bills, Woodruff got a job as a bartender and grew to appreciate bourbon. He learned how distilleries made whiskey and started posting reviews of brands online for “fun.”

“I finally got tapped by a large whiskey company,” he said. “William Grant and Sons hired me part time, helping them with anything from liquor-store tastings to doing any events they needed me to do. That was my crash course in the whiskey industry.”

Woodruff quit his job as a national brand ambassador.

At 27, Woodruff took a full-time job as a national brand ambassador for Whistle Pig distillery. Eight months later, he felt burnt-out and tired. As a result, he decided to quit the job and do a “long-term” cross-country road trip.

According to Woodruff, he’s faced challenges along the way. The distilleries that initially promised to sponsor his trip dropped out, and he had to find last minute replacements.

In his trip, Woodruff has traveled across the South, Midwest and also the West Coast. Among his frequent backdrops for his photos are mountains and lakes. He plans to end his trip in November, but Woodruff is already planning his next adventure including a trip overseas to Scotland.

“I could make a lot of money in the whiskey industry, well over six figures if I wanted to, but money and material objects don’t mean anything to me,” he said of his new path. “I just have a ferocious appetite for adventure and living a little bit of a risky, spontaneous lifestyle.”

[H/T: Daily Record]