In the News

Career Break Event News
Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

We are getting all geared up for the upcoming 2014 Career Break Event in NYC. Here’s a few updates on the latest developments!

Oh the People You’ll Meet!

Keynote speaker, Rolf Potts

We are excited to announce that Author and long term travel expert, Rolf Potts, will be joining us for the event keynote! We sort of look at Rolf as the pioneer of introducing long-term, independent travel to the US audience as he wrote one of the first books on the subject in 2003, Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel.

When he took off to travel the world in 1994, it was quite a unique adventure. He had many of the same fears we have today, “I was worried that long-term travel would be too expensive, too difficult, too dangerous. It turned out to be none of those things, and the more I did it, the better I got at it. “ he explained. However he goes on to say that his travel experiences yielded some surprise benefits, “In addition to the deep experiential education that long-term travel provides, one of the surprising benefits was its sustainability. When I took my first vagabonding journey 20 years ago I thought it would be my last chance to travel in earnest before I entered the professional world. As it turned out, I’ve been able to take numerous long-term journeys over the years, in tandem with (and rarely at odds with) my work as a writer and teacher.”

He has now incorporated travel into his life and his adventures have taken him across six continents, and include piloting a fishing boat 900 miles down the Laotian Mekong, hitchhiking across Eastern Europe, traversing Israel on foot, bicycling across Burma, driving a Land Rover across South America, and traveling around the world for six weeks with no luggage or bags of any kind. (How’s that for a packing challenge!)

Rolf’s newest book, Marco Polo Didn’t Go There: Stories and Revelations From One Decade as a Postmodern Travel Writer, was the first American-authored book to win Italy’s prestigious Chatwin Prize for travel writing. He has lectured at venues around the world, including New York University, the University of Lugano, the University of Melbourne, Authors@Google, Yale University. Though he rarely stays in one place for more than a few weeks or months, Potts feels somewhat at home in Bangkok, Cairo, Pusan, New York, New Orleans, and north-central Kansas, where he keeps a small farmhouse on 30 acres near his family. Each July he can be found in France, where he is the summer writer-in-residence and program director at the Paris American Academy.

Rolf in Ethiopia

We are excited to have Rolf share his abundance of travel experience and advice with you September 20th!

Not only will you meet travel veterans like Rolf (see our list of other speakers here), but you’ll also get exposed to people like you – people who are contemplating their first big trips. One of our most important goals for the conference is to connect you, the attendee, with other like-minded people who share your same goal. When embarking on an endeavor of this magnitude, support from like-minded people is one of the most important things you can have.

Small group discussions occurring at past events.

So come ready to listen AND talk. This is not an event where we’ll simply be shelling out information; you can get that on the internet if that’s what you want. This is an event that will help connect you with people like yourself. And definitely be ready to be inspired to take your next steps – wherever you are in the process.

Eventbrite - Meet Plan Go Career Break Travel Event - New York City 2014

 

Traveling with Purpose
Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

Why Water? Because unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation cause 80% of diseases and kill more people every year than all forms of violence, including war.

I am revisiting one of my favorite countries from my initial career break – colorful, loud, sense-tingling India. India is a country which was pivotal to leading me on the path to creating Meet Plan Go along with Michaela Potter. It was also a country where I had my first experience of volunteering and giving back to the world for what it gave me during my career break.

One of the most exciting and difficult parts of planning a career break is deciding where to go and what to do. After all, it may be the first time in your life where the world is really your oyster! At Meet Plan Go we talk often about planning itineraries with purpose and your career in mind. How will you decide to enhance your career value while on your career break?

Traveling with a purpose can bring focus to your trip and add new skill sets to your career break resume – for example:

“I spearheaded negotiations with tribal chief and facilitated a young couple’s marriage with the chief’s blessing and a roast goat for the whole village.” –Charlie Grosso

Even though this is a bit tongue and cheek, there are many ways to add purpose to your career break – volunteering, learning a language, enhancing a skill, photography projects, immersion in a country that is important to your career, working in natural disaster areas, teaching, or fundraising for a cause.

I’m in India for a purpose. The aforementioned Charlie Grosso and I are participating in the Rickshaw Run. This is not an actual run, but a transportation adventure in the most massive sense; a two week adventure driving a motorized rickshaw 2000 miles the length of India for two purposes.

To raise $15,000 for charity: water – a charity I believe deeply in and have witnessed the repercussions of contaminated water around the world.
• To experience India close to the ground on a massive adventure that is unique and will test my communication, decision making, and driving skills.

This is a way I can infuse unique adventure into my travel itinerary as well as participate in a worthy career-enhancing cause AND do good.  After traveling the world for 7+ years and starting Meet Plan Go as well as Ottsworld.com – I think it’s important to give something back to this world that we live, travel, and operate in. I’m happy to be taking on this fundraising mission for everything the world and its cultures has given to me.

If Meet Plan Go has ever inspired you to travel, then we’d love your support towards our fundraising mission, but we’d also like to give you something in return – the chance to win a few great travel prizes you can use on your career break travels.

Learn more and enter the contest here

The raffle runs through the time frame of our Rickshaw Run, April 1st through April 22nd. We will choose 4 winners from the entries for the 4 prizes.

Increase your chances of winning by making a donation to charity: water

Here’s the travel prizes you could win by entering:

Urban Adventures Voucher for 2 – The day tour with a difference! In just a few hours you can get under the skin of the city you’re visiting – so you know it like a local. Urban Adventures will open up a whole new dimension on many of your favorite cities around the world. Destinations worldwide – Bangkok, Sydney, Delhi, Hanoi, Rio, Hong Kong, Istanbul and MANY more!

Telecom Square Mobile Internet Voucher – Get reliable, and hassle free internet while you travel abroad! Save money on data while traveling by using TelecomSquare mobile internet hotspot devices for your career break. You’ll enjoy unlimited wireless internet access for up to 5 devices, everywhere you go. We are using our Mifi device to stay connected during the Rickshaw Run!

London’s Small Car Bit City Voucher – smallcarBIGCITY have a fleet of beautifully restored vintage Mini Coopers to take you down all of the little back streets and show off London’s hidden gems for the ultimate guided tour of London!

AFAR Magazine Subscription – Get inspired with beautifully told travel stories and photography in this award winning travel magazine.

You can enter the Rickshaw Run Travel Raffle Here

And if you are considering infusing some adventure into your career break itinerary like the Rickshaw Run or Mongol Rally, you can follow #RickshawRun in Twitter or my Ottsworld social media to follow us live across India and see if it’s something you’d like to do!

No donations or purchases necessary…but of course we’d love it if you do donate something AND it increases your chances of winning by 10 times!

Career Breaks Are Coming to Texas
Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

This isn’t exactly Texas – but this is a former Texan in Patagonia on Career Break!

Yeehaw! We are excited to let you know that career breaks are coming to Texas this Feb/March. Our friend, veteran career breaker, and author – Jeff Jung – is doing a career break road show in his home state of Texas. If you are contemplating a break, then this event may just be the push that you need to make it happen!

We first met Jeff in 2008 when we started Meet Plan Go when he had just finished his career break travels and had settled in Colombia. He left a fantastic but crazy consulting-turned-corporate-marketing career to take a career break and learn Spanish fluently in South America, see magnificent sunsets and sunrises in far flung places, and learn to ski (at the age of 36!).

“Brave and crazy. That’s what people said about me when I told them I was leaving my corporate job, packing up, selling off my stuff, and heading out to travel the world. That was in 2006. Years later, I don’t regret the decision one bit. I got my life back,” said Jeff of his career break travels.

This career break veteran status made him the perfect Austin Meet Plan Go! host for the 2010 and 2011 MPG events. He continues to be a huge proponent of the career break and sabbatical movement.

Meet Plan Go has partnered with Jeff to hold two travel events in Texas during his Because Life is Out There Tour. The events are for people who are interested in taking a break from their normal life to go abroad for a few months.

San Antonio

Saturday February 22nd from 4 to 5PM

Buy Tickets Here

Austin

Saturday March 1st from 3 to 4PM

Buy Tickets Here

These hour-long sessions will walk people through Jeff’s “Peace of Mind” planning process and take people through the career break lifecycle: Dreaming, Planning, Traveling and Reentry. Jeff will cover important topics like how to leave your job, how to budget, how to plan your itinerary and how to reenter once you’re back from your big trip. He’ll also deal with sensitive issues like how to ¨come out¨ to your friends and family and share your news with them. “People should come ready to put pen to paper. These sessions will be interactive and we’ll start applying the planning principles at the session.”

Included in the $29.99 ticket price is a copy of Jeff’s book, The Career Break Traveler’s Handbook! ”With their outline in hand, participants can use my book to hash out the details of their plan and discover what other resources exist that can help them.” Says Jeff.

We are excited to be teaming up with Jeff in this endeavor! There are limited resources out there for career break travel, and we feel that Jeff’s book, website, and travel show are some of best available. Go see him in Texas this Feb/March!

3 Women, 3 Trips Inspired by Meet, Plan, Go
Monday, February 25th, 2013

Back in the fall of 2010, three future career breakers’ lives converged.  Shortly after attending Meet, Plan, Go! events in September 2010, Katie Aune, Val Bromann and Jannell Howell signed up for our Career Break Basic Training course and set the gears in motion for nearly simultaneous trips around the world.

Each woman’s trip was sparked by a strong desire to travel and see more of the world than they had in the past, with major birthday milestones factoring in as well: Val bought her one way ticket on her 30th birthday, Katie hopped a one-way flight to Helsinki on her 35th birthday and Jannell wanted to travel as a way to celebrate turning 40.

Val departed in July 2011 and traveled for 15 months before heading back home to Chicago in October 2012. Starting in Berlin, she stopped in Poland, Belgium, Spain and Turkey before moving on to Southeast Asia, where she spent the bulk of her trip exploring Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, India, Indonesia and the Philippines. The highlight of her trip was learning to surf in Bali. “I fell every single time, banged my knee, and could hardly even stand up on the board,” says Val. “But at the same time, I was having an amazing time. Surfing was something I had always wanted to do, and it was so much fun…even when I was falling.

Jannell traveled from January to November 2012, making a few stops in the United States before heading to Tokyo, Thailand, Cambodia, Nepal, India, Dubai, London, Rome, Spain and then back to the U.S. She counts among her trip highlights walking around the Taj Mahal at dawn, riding a camel in the desert, eating Momos made with buffalo meat, looking out from the world’s tallest building and finding complete bliss in the English countryside.

Katie took an unusual route on her trip, focusing on the 15 countries of the former Soviet Union. Departing in August 2011, she spent the next 13 months visiting Finland, Russia, the Baltics, Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, the Caucasus, Italy, Turkey, Central Asia and Spain, before finally returning to the United States at the end of September 2012. Her favorite moments included running a marathon in Estonia, hiking in Siberia, teaching English in Tajikistan, camping among Silk Road ruins in Turkmenistan and joining a pilgrimage to an underground mosque in Kazakhstan.

None of the three trips was without its struggles, although most were limited to fleeting feelings of homesickness or exhaustion from being on the move too quickly. Jannell explains, “[a]fter being on the go for about two months, with no stay longer than 4 nights and often being in transit overnight, I felt exhausted. I was able to rejuvenate by staying put for a while, being alone with sightseeing kept to a minimum.”  For Katie, her lowest point may have been at the beginning of her trip when she started a volunteer homestay program in Russia, living in difficult conditions with a family that didn’t seem to care she was there.  Val’s low point came when her hostel in the Philippines was robbed:

All of mine that was taken was the charger to my laptop (luckily the computer itself was locked up, I had just neglected the chord), but some new friends had lost phones or their laptops. It made me feel so vulnerable and unsafe. For the next few days none of us could shake it. Luckily, with the help of some tracking software he’d installed, one of my friends was able to track down the thief and got his stuff back.

All three women credit Meet, Plan, Go! with making their trips possible.  “Before attending Meet, Plan, Go, I didn’t know anyone who had traveled long-term,” says Katie. “All of a sudden here were all these people who had done it and it became so much more real. Within six months of attending that first event, I had set my departure date.

Likewise, Jannell says “Meet, Plan, Go introduced me to many different travelers – both those in the planning stages of their first journey and those that had been traveling for years.  Before making those connections, I felt alone in my travel goals and less confident about my plans.

For Val, Meet, Plan, Go! provided both inspiration and resources, inspiring her to expand her original Europe-focused itinerary to include Asia and offering much-needed information on tricky topics like health insurance.

So what’s next for these world travelers?

Katie has settled back in Chicago, working in her previous field of alumni relations and development and enjoying the opportunity to rediscover a city she loves. She continues to write about her trip and re-entry experience at Katie Going Global. Val also landed back in Chicago, but only temporarily. She will hit the road again in mid-March, this time heading to Central America to learn Spanish and continue her career break for at least another six months. You can follow her adventures on ValBromann.com. Jannell has relocated to New York City, where she is working on launching a new business, Your Digital Marketer, pursuing a location independent lifestyle and continuing to blog at Travel Junkie’s World Tour.

How to Safely Travel Solo on Your Career Break
Monday, February 11th, 2013

The recent death of a New York mother, Sarai Sierra, while traveling in Istanbul has led to scrutiny over whether it is safe for women to travel solo. Many comments on articles about the incident have asked why Sierra was traveling alone or have stated strongly that women should not travel on their own overseas.

Obviously, here at Meet, Plan, Go! we support, and even encourage everyone to travel solo – male and female. We also understand that incidents like the killing in Istanbul or the recent gang rape in Delhi, India, raise questions for individuals who may be considering traveling solo on their career break – especially if they have not previously traveled alone. To that end, we’d like to share five safety tips to keep in mind as you set out on your journey.

1. Let someone know where you’re going.

If you have a fixed itinerary, give it to friends and family before leaving, including information about where you are staying and any planned activities. On the other hand, if you tend to travel more spur of the moment, keep loved ones updated through social media – email, tweet or update your status on Facebook to let people know where you are and what you’re doing. Also take a minute to register with the U.S. State Department so they know you are in the country in case of political unrest or natural disasters.

2. Dress appropriately.

Women should be careful to dress conservatively in countries with more conservative cultures. Covering shoulders and knees and avoiding low-cut or tight clothing will help to defray unwanted attention from men and will help you blend in more.  Furthermore, both men and women are less likely to stand out as tourists by dressing as the locals do and by not wearing expensive watches or other jewelry that thieves might target.

3. Expect to be safe

This doesn’t mean be naïve or oblivious to the risks – it means adjusting your attitude so you expect good things to happen as you travel, making decisions to maximize your safety and exuding confidence. As Lash World Tour explains:

[I]magine a different traveler who goes out into the world nervous, scared, worried about their safety. What kind of body postures, facial expressions, eye expressions, and vibe do you think they’re going to exude? Do you think people -particularly importantly here ‘bad’ people- are going to pick up on that, either consciously or subconsciously? Of course they are. Will that traveler seem vulnerable, an easy target? Quite likely.

4. Do your research

While some travel tips are universal, others may be specific to certain cities or countries. Refer to guidebooks, online travel forums or even simple Google searches to find out what neighborhoods you should avoid in your destination. Likewise, read up on what typical scams might so you know what to watch out for. Understand what the cultural norms are in the countries you are visiting so you don’t inadvertently offend someone with your actions.

5. Talk to locals and make friends.

As children, we are often taught not to talk to strangers. And when you are traveling alone in an unfamiliar place, it may be tempting to keep your guard way up in an effort to protect yourself. But to do so would be to miss out on one of the best aspects of traveling – meeting people! Not to mention, when you make friends wherever you are traveling, those people can advise you about where to go and what to avoid. More importantly, your new friends are more likely to look out for you if something goes wrong.

For more safety tips and perspective, see Travel Tips and Safety Advice For Your Career Break, as well as these posts from top female travel bloggers:

Breathedreamgo: Why we need the WeGoSolo movement, Top safety tips for women in India (and elsewhere) and Commentary on travelling safely in India

Solitary Wanderer: 5 Safety Tips for Women Traveling Alone

Legal Nomads: Revisiting the Solo Female Travel Experience and Solo Female Travel, Trust and the Art of Fitting In

Twenty-Something Travel: Solo Female Travel is NOT the Problem and Experiencing the World through a Female Lens.

A Dangerous Business: Dear Dad: Please Don’t Worry (A Treatise on Solo Female Travel)

Journeywoman: She Travels Solo

Adventurous Kate: The Truth About Solo Female Travel and Safety

Travel Yourself: Yes, It is Safe to Travel Solo as a Female

Katie Going Global: No, It’s Not Stupid to Travel Solo

Flora The Explorer: Happy, Safe and Solo: Travelling in India by Yourself

Hole In The Donut Cultural Travel: Traveling Safely

Solo Traveler: Am I the Pollyanna of Solo Travel?

Grrrl Traveler: Is Solo Travel Still Safe for Women? …6 Safety Tips that make it so.

LashWorldTour: Travel Safety Tips: How to Travel Safely pt 1 – Attitude and Travel Safety Tips: How to Travel Safely pt 2 – Education

WAVEJourneyWomen’s Adventures, Vacations & Experiences!: Travel Tips: Female Solo Travel Safety

Also be sure to follow the #WeGoSolo hashtag on Twitter and join the conversation this Wednesday, February 13, 11-11:30 a.m. EST.

Review: The Career Break Traveler’s Handbook
Thursday, January 31st, 2013

When Meet, Plan, Go! co-founders Michaela Potter and Sherry Ott took career breaks to travel several years ago, the term “career break” wasn’t even common lingo yet. And there certainly weren’t many, if any, resources, advising them about how to prepare to take a year or more off from work to see the world.

Times have changed and there are an increasing number of resources out there for those who dream of escaping the cubicle – from negotiating a sabbatical to downsizing your belongings to seeing the world by housesitting. And a new book by former career breaker Jeff Jung aims to provide an overall roadmap for taking a career break to travel.

Jung, the founder of Career Break Secrets, recently published The Career Break Traveler’s Handbook, one of five books in the new Traveler’s Handbooks series from several notable travel bloggers.  He was kind enough to send us a copy so we could provide a preview for our readers.

There was a lot to like about The Career Break Traveler’s Handbook.  It was well organized and Jung opened it by explaining how his own personal situation led him to take a break. From there, he provides a bit of a pep talk, explaining that taking a break to travel is not selfish and can be done, despite the naysayers.

The real heart of the book comes in the planning section. Jung lays out a lot of information in the form of bullet-pointed lists of things to consider. He definitely touched on a few things that many people may not think of – like obtaining repatriation insurance and creating a will and living will in case anything happens to you.  He also provided some good tips about finding information and making connections before you go, like using Google to search for blogs, specific Twitter hashtags to search for and Twitter chats to participate in. Jung tells you everything you need to think about, but mostly stops there, leaving you with more research to do.

The third section focuses on making the most of your career break trip and again, Jung includes some great ideas, ranging from volunteering to educational courses to active endeavors.  He also provides some examples of epic journeys to undertake, like hiking the Camino de Santiago in Spain or the Lycian Way in Turkey. Finally, Jung touches on re-entry, where he gives an overview of things to think about as you return and look to get back into the 9-to-5 world, like updating your resume, explaining your travel to potential employers and budgeting for the time it takes you to find a job.

The Career Break Traveler’s Handbook provides a good checklist of things to consider when taking a career break to travel.  If you are just starting to think about making an escape or are in the early planning stages, it can be a great resource to get you started!

Kick Off Your Career Break with the Ultimate Train Challenge
Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

Is a career break on your agenda for 2013? Are you still figuring out where exactly you want to go and what you want to do? Do you want to push yourself far beyond your comfort zone and embark on an unimaginable journey?

Well, here’s an idea – join other travelers in the Ultimate Train Challenge, racing from Saigon or Lisbon — or Lisbon to Saigon — in the month of May. All by train.

31 days of travel. You make your own schedule and choose your own route. You decide much you are going to push yourself and how many places you are going to try to hit.

Although it is about 15,000 miles (25,000 kilometers) to navigate, you will still have enough time to stop and do a lot off the trains. Barcelona, Paris, Venice, Berlin, Prague, Moscow, Beijing, Hanoi – so many great cities to hit along the way.

What do you get for your entry fee? They explain it all in full here. In short, you can blog your trip on their website to keep family and friends up to date with your journey; they have a live-mapping feature on the site, so you can everyone can keep up with you in real time; Intrepid Travel is offering two fabulous 15-day tours to the first ones to cross the finish line in each direction; they are going to throw a fun pre-launch party in both locations; Eurail is offering up at least four of their Global Passes that they will be raffling off and giving away as prizes; HostelWorld is offering two free nights’ stay in each city beforehand and… more.

In order to keep up with the latest developments on new sponsors, prizes and other news, you can sign up for their free newsletter. As an extra bonus, they will be doing a drawing from all the newsletter subscribers in February and will be giving away a new Samsung Galaxy SIII to one lucky subscriber.

♦ If you register by February 15th, the entry fee is $295 US.
♦ If you register from February 16th to April 30th, the entry fee is $395 US.
♦ And because you are entering from this post, you will get $30 off your entry fee. You just need to enter the code MP13UTC on the “Referral” line on the entry page to get the $30 discount.

But really, it’s not about the prizes. It’s not about the pre-event party we are going to throw in both cities for everyone. It’s not about the stuff…

It is about having an adventure you are going to talk about for years. It is about challenging your limits and doing something that very few other people have done. From one corner of Europe to the far corner of Asia…. all by the best mode of transportation you can use to experience the vastness and wonder of the planet we live on.

The Charity Aspect to it All

They also have partnered up with Blue Dragon’s Children Foundation in Vietnam to raise some needed funds to help out their cause. We are asking each participant to raise $500 and Intrepid Travel has been generous enough to agree to match each donation dollar for dollar, up to a $10,000 total. So not only are you doing this whole adventure to challenge yourself, the entire group is going to do a small part to make the world a better place.

On the Your World, No Rules website, they explain everything you need to know about this event. They have also put together some resource pages for you to help decide on your route and work through your visas.

This is doable, with friends or on your own. Live your life with no regrets. If you’re already making the leap to take a career break to travel, why not push your boundaries even further?

Sign up. This will be the adventure that will change your life.

And don’t forget… when you sign up, enter MP13UTC in the “Referral” box to get $30 off your entry fee and tell them that you found the UTC13 from here.

enter UTC12

The Best “How to” Advice of 2012
Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

Over the last few weeks, we’ve recapped some of the best posts about preparing to take a career break to travel from 2012, as well as the best from career breakers on the road. Today, we look back at some of the most valuable “how to” posts – practical advice that you can use before, during or after your career break!

How to Stay in Shape on the Road

Five years out of college, Matt Sussman could no longer ignore his constant itch to travel. Leaving his stressful financial job in New York behind, he is following his dream of traveling the world. Meandering solo since July, Matt has made it a priority to find time to exercise and shared his tips for staying in shape on the road.

As I started planning my career break, I struggled with how I would manage to stay in shape on the road without a gym to go to every day. I had been looking for a theme to keep me sane in my travels and thought what better challenge to keep me motivated than trying to stay in shape while traveling around the world?

Searching online for how other travelers dealt with this dilemma yielded little useful advice. Sure I could just run every day but that would quickly get boring, not too mention the pounding my knees would take. Pulling what I could from crossfit sites and conversations with trainers, I started to assemble a word document of body weight exercises and routines that I could do on the road. Continue…

How to Land a Crewing Job at Sea

Kelly Wetherington has been traveling since she first escaped her cubicle in 2007. Her insatiable curiosity for the world and thirst for adventure have led her to trek, dive, sail, zip, surf, climb, and paddle her way through 25 countries across Central America, Europe, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific. In this post, she shared her tips for finding a crewing job at sea.

Learn as much as you can before you seek a position.

Go sailing, practice tying knots, familiarize yourself with yachtie terms.

Learning to sail is like learning to speak a foreign language. If you aren’t willing to ask the dumb questions like “What does to reef mean?” then you will never learn the lingo (reefing is taking in a sail). Continue…

How to Account for a Career Break on Your Resume

One of the most common questions we get about re-entry is “how do I explain my career break on my resume?” This post offered some valuable tips and examples.

You arrive home at the end of a life-changing travel experience and one of the biggest questions facing you likely will be how to find work again. Whether you traveled as part of a career break, gap year, or sabbatical, you will need to figure out how to best represent the time and experiences on your resume.

Where should it go on my resume?

It depends. Do you think the experiences you had traveling apply to you finding a new job in your field?  If so, then place it in the main part of your resume. If you don’t feel like it applies, then it probably belongs in a section reserved for Additional Information or Hobbies. Continue…

How to Make Career-Related Connections on the Road

Bethany Rydmark is a landscape architect by trade and a lover of the world by nature.  She and her husband Ted left their beloved home state of Oregon in 2012 to travel South America, the Mediterranean, the Middle East, Africa, Southeast Asia, and New Zealand. She made a point to make career-related connections before she hit the road and shared this advice.

Though I left my job behind to travel the world for thirteen months, I did not abandon my career.

Intentional preparation allowed me to harness my professional skills, expand my experience and qualifications as a landscape architect, and add value to my travels. By laying groundwork before departure and remaining engaged on the road, I’ve connected with relevant projects and opportunities, and as a bonus, I’ve leveraged my skills to offset traveling expenses. While my story is connected to landscape architecture, the concepts apply to careers across the spectrum: nursing, construction, sales, finance, writing, painting, teaching…you name it!

As you plan your career break, consider these eight tips for making career-related connections on the road. Continue…

How to Make Processing Part of the Re-Entry Process

Cate Brubaker helps all kinds of travelers navigate intercultural, personal, and re-entry experiences in her work with TrekDek, SmallPlanetStudio.com, and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

You’re probably familiar with the terms re-entry and reverse culture shock. While some people sail through re-entry problem-free, most say they feel more lost upon returning home than they ever did abroad. This actually makes a lot of sense. When we go abroad we’re constantly in the “new.” We’re seeing new things, having new adventures, hearing new languages, trying new food, considering new perspectives.

It’s exhilarating. Euphoric. It’s why we travel!

Back home, we’re no longer in the “new.” Back home, we are the new. On one hand, we’re happy to be home with family and friends, speaking our native language, eating our favorite foods, and even sleeping in our own bed. But we also feel like something is a bit off. It’s not necessarily bad, just…off. Continue…

How to Accrue Frequent Flier Miles

Mike Choi is known as the resident world traveler in his office and blogs about his travels at thefitworldtraveler.com.  With his knowledge of FFM, he runs a part time frequent flyer mile consulting shop at iflywithmiles.com to help those with miles see the world. He provided a great two-part series earlier this year about how to accrue and redeem frequent flier miles. Here is an excerpt from part one:

Frequent Flyer Miles (FFM) can be an excellent way to subsidize airfare costs during your career break.  For those unfamiliar with FFM, they are a unit of rewards earned through an airline’s loyalty program by flying.  The objective of these loyalty programs is to retain customers by rewarding customers with miles, which translate to free flights with enough accumulated miles.

In the United States, aside from flying, there are numerous ways to earn FFM such as purchases with co-branded airline cards and a slew of other promotional offers. Unless you have a lot of reimbursable expenses, purchases with a co-branded airline credit card will not generate enough miles for a flight in a timely manner.  This post will focus on flying, assuming there are some future career breakers who travel for work and are allowed to accumulate FFM for personal use. Continue…

How to Redeem Frequent Flier Miles

The second part of Mike’s series on frequent flier miles focused on how to redeem those valuable miles.

As discussed in Monday’s post, How to Accrue Frequent Flier Miles, earning and redeeming miles can be a great way to save money on your career break.

All frequent flyer mile (FFM) programs publish an awards table for the required miles needed for a flight redemption.  The exact number, of course, depends on your origin and destination countries.  For instance, at the time of this writing, U.S. Airways, a Star Alliance member, requires 60,000 miles to fly round trip from North America to North Asia while United Airlines, another Star Alliance airline, requires 65,000 miles for the same round trip flight. Continue…

 

Announcing the “SunChips on the Road” Photo Sweepstakes
Monday, December 17th, 2012


Hey travelers, SunChips® brand wants YOU to have a taste of home while on your next career break!  Show us where you are traveling this holiday season for the chance to win a SunChips® travel pack. All you have to do is share a Twit pic showing “SunChips® Snacks On the Road”, using the Twitter hashtag #SunChipsGiveaway.

♦ Eligible entries must use the hashtag #SunChipsGiveaway

AND answer the question – “Where are YOU taking SunChips® snacks this holiday season?”

OR share your photo via Twitter that shows SunChips®  snacks while you’re away from home.

The SunChips® travel prize pack is worth $75 USD and includes travel speakers, a SunChips® collapsible travel picnic basket, 3 bags of SunChips® , 2 tumblers, a flier and a recipe book.

To view the full set of sweepstakes rules, please click here.

Passports with Purpose 2012: Prizes We Love
Monday, December 3rd, 2012

As travelers who have also tried to make a difference in some of the communities we have visited, we love the idea behind Passports with Purpose (PwP) – travel bloggers coming together to raise money for a great cause. This year, that cause is working together with Water.org to build clean water wells in two communities in Haiti. PwP’s lofty (but very reachable) goal is to raise $100,000.

We also love that, in raising money for a great cause, bloggers partner with travel companies around the world to offer amazing prizes to raffle off to people who donate at least $10. Prizes include travel clothing, electronics, tours, hotel stays, gift certificates and more!

Donate $10 to a great cause. Win an awesome, travel-related prize. What could be better?

We took a close look through the prize list and thought we’d highlight some of our favorites – prizes that could really help you jump start your career break travels!

Weekend Apartment Stay in Europe: Kick off your career break in Europe with a $500 voucher for an apartment stay in your choice of Barcelona, Paris, Rome, Florence, Vienna, London, Prague, Venice or Berlin.

Context Travel walking tours: With these tours for the “intellectually curious,” you can get an in-depth look at cities like Barcelona, Istanbul, New York, Paris, Athens and more! This prize includes 2 spots on any 2 of Context’s small group walking tours – a total value of $330!

European Travel Prize Pack: Europe may be a little pricier than, say, Southeast Asia, but this great prize pack will help! It includes a Eurail Global Pass 1st Class, $500 voucher with Only-apartments.com and a $200 gift card to Viator.com.

GoPro Camera: The perfect gadget to capture every moment of your career break! Take professional quality video and great photos with this waterproof camera that is also wi-fi enabled!

26-day Silk Road Tour: Get off the beaten path with this tour that follows the Silk Road through China, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.

Kindle Keyboard 3G: Not only can you use this prize to store a plethora of reading material for those long flights, bus or train rides, but you can also use it to keep in touch while you’re on the road with free 3G internet access around the world.

Women’s Scotteevest: Trying to pack ultra-light on your travels? Try this women’s travel vest with 17 pocket and electronics compartments.

$150 Chaco’s Gift Certificate: Keep your feet comfy as you travel with a pair of Chaco’s sneakers, sandals or hiking shoes/boots.

Visit Passportswithpurpose.org/donate before 11:59 p.m. ET on December 11, 2012 to see a complete list of prizes and enter to win!

Career Break Guide Table of Contents