Bump in the Road: An Entrepreneurial Journey by Pat Wetzel

In 2020 travel came to a screeching halt. So did my film series, CancerRoadTrip.  The documentary series follows seven “Travelers,” people impacted by cancer, on a remarkable bucket list trip as they explore their cancer experience against the backdrop of some of the world’s most incredible locations.

entrepreneurial journey

Over the past two years, I’d amassed a worldwide audience on social media; traction (over 1 million people/month across the various social media platforms); numerous TV and press interviews; and corporate sponsors. I won both writing and photography awards. I developed a global network in the online travel and cancer communities. And now, with COVID, everything was suddenly on hold. 

After three weeks of total depression, I brushed myself off. It was time to pivot.

As an experiment, I started a podcast: Bump in the Road. The idea was to create content to keep my audience (or at least part of it) engaged. The half-hour podcast explores how people use a Bump in the Road as a portal into a more conscious and meaningful life.

I interviewed people from all walks of life – high altitude mountain climbers, travelers, business people, health care advocates, photographers, surgeons, writers, cancer patients, and more.

The first six months of Bump in the Road was an experiment, but with a growing listening base and rankings in the Apple podcast top 200 in several markets, it was time to spin Bump out as its own website and product.  This launched in January 2021. The site,, is an online multimedia magazine and, soon, an event platform.

entrepreneurial journey

The basic podcast is distributed free on all major podcast platforms. I am also adding an extended conversation, beyond the free podcast, available only to paid members. 

For 2021, the focus now is on tuning the website; publishing and subscription processes; bringing in more corporate sponsors; and growing our subscription and social media base. 

The event platform is also evolving as I seek out ideas for an experiential online series of events that explore the different components of dealing with a bump in the Road: hope, courage, suffering, anger, isolation, joy, perseverance and more. Bringing together an array of people and thought leaders will allow us to reach a combined audience, hopefully with some good results! Bump currently reaches about half a million people per month on social media and is growing.

The past six months or so have been full of uncertainty and growing pains. Letting go of over two years of work and investment on CancerRoadTrip; trying a new modality for reaching an audience; learning about podcasting, distribution and audio editing; building interviewing skills; building a brand new website from scratch and migrating all the episodes to that site; starting to move the CancerRoadTrip audience to Bump In The Road.

Santa Fe Innovates has added a valuable layer to Bump In The Road. It’s offered something of a community during times of COVID, and I hope in the future they expand this aspect of the program. I am particularly grateful to two mentors – David Snead and Ron Dimon – who have been extremely generous with their time and expertise, asked tough questions, and were always supportive. My UNM Anderson interns have been excellent as well.

Kudos to Jon Mertz and his team for putting all this together! I am grateful for the connection and support of this Santa Fe community. Be sure to sign up at!


Pat, our gratitude to you for your diligent work and inspiring us through your conversations! We all experience those unexpected turns, twists, and bumps. Your initiatives keep us centered and motivated. Continue to follow Pat on Twitter and subscribe to the Bump in the Road podcast!

Jon Mertz

About Jon Mertz

Jon is a 25-year tech and marketing executive. He led brand development, product management, marketing, and sales channel efforts for startup and enterprise companies.