Posts Tagged ‘book review’

How to Convince Your Partner to Take a Traveling Career Break Too
Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

Career Break for Couples

Mike and Tara on a beach near Mokoliʻi on Oahu, Hawaii.

When you’re in a relationship, you probably expect (or at least hope) that your significant other would support your sane and harebrained ideas equally. But when it comes to a decision as life-changing as a career break, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that you might receive pushback when pitching the plan. During the time when you’ve been envisioning an exciting global trek, your better half may have been focused on climbing the corporate ladder. This is one reason why you should prep both yourself and your partner before bringing up the idea of a career break.

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Start by gauging your better half’s interest during dinner conversations and weekend outings. Do this by discussing the reasons behind why you want to take a career break, but without going into the details of your plan and ultimate goal. This may take the form of, “I’m feeling unfulfilled at work,” which intimates that you’re interested in a change, or “Wouldn’t it be fun to just quit our jobs and travel the world?” The conversation that builds from this playful question should tell you where your partner falls on the spectrum of an easy to hard sell. The reactions you elicit from these prompts will also give you a sense of potential concerns that you’ll need to address when you’re ready to reveal your plan.

Whether or not it ends up being easy to convince your partner, you’ll likely be up against the following common questions and pushback points:

  • This isn’t a good time. What about our responsibilities (kids, pets, possessions, and property)?
  • It sounds like a lot of work.
  • We can’t afford it, and what would we do for an income on the road and when we return?
  • What about our jobs and the employment gap on our resumes?
Career Break for Couples

Mike and Tara just return from a heart-pounding gorge swing over the Zambezi River in Zimbabwe

These are all valid concerns that you will definitely need to discuss as a couple, so take some time to think about how you would respond, and then write down your ideas. Create a loose script with potential questions and answers to help you prepare for this important conversation. Then read what you’ve written and ask yourself if your reasoning is logical and if your partner will understand where you’re coming from. Adjust where needed and then study the script so you’re more than familiar with the questions and answers. You shouldn’t read from it when you’re having the conversation, so practicing is crucial to build confidence. If you show doubt or indecision, your partner will feel the same way.

Additionally, show your commitment by being prepared with key information like where you might travel; a savings goal, how you will achieve it, and how long it will take to get there; options for what you can do with your possessions and property; and an overview of the biggest tasks to complete between now and your potential departure date.

Before we first started planning our round-the-world trip (RTW) in 2011, we had a similar conversation as Tara pitched the idea to Mike. We know it can be difficult to put your feelings about a career break into words, so here’s a little help with answers to the above pushback points:

  • There won’t ever be a “perfect time” to take a trip like this. Life is what you make it. Consider what obligations you have now – like kids, pets, and property – and how you would take care of them prior to leaving. You could rent or sell your property, ask family or friends to look after your pets, and bring your kids with you – what an excellent global education for them! Part of your pitch can include the allure of reducing your possessions and the ability to continue living as minimalists when your trip wraps up.
  • Sure, there’s a lot to do, but the reward is worth the work. And some of it will be fun too, like drafting your dream itinerary! The most difficult part for us was figuring out where to begin and in what order to complete tasks. Since there wasn’t a comprehensive guide for planning long-term travel, we wrote the book we wish we had access to when we were planning our RTW. It’s called Create Your Escape: A Practical Guide for Planning Long-Term Travel. It will help you plan your own career break, from saving money to reducing your possessions to executing even the smallest of details that will ultimately help make your trip carefree.
  • Your financial savings may either make you feel at ease or worry you about whether you could pull this off. To achieve your financial goals, it’s important to have a detailed plan for how to get there, which can include a monthly savings goal, paying off your debts, and adding a second income. In Create Your Escape, we provide an easy method for calculating your savings goal and a supplemental spreadsheet to help you track your spending on the road.
  • Experienced career breakers like ourselves know that a grown-up gap year won’t kill your career path, but we also know how difficult it is to trust that everything will turn out well. Ultimately, this requires trust in yourself and your abilities. Finding an employer who respects this personal decision won’t be difficult, as there will always be companies and hiring managers who value risk takers and want them on their team. Do whatever you can between now and the time you leave to ensure that your careers are moving forward in a positive direction. That will give you the confidence to sell yourself later on – just like you would now if you were looking for a new job.
Career Break for Couples

Religious site in Hpa-an, Myanmar.

Don’t feel disheartened if you two aren’t completely in sync at first, as it can take some time to get on board with such a big decision. One of the best ways you can build your potential travel partner’s confidence is to prove that the two of you, as a team, can pull it off – financially and otherwise. While a pitch displays your commitment, asking for the other person’s help shows you want them to be a part of the process. This works even better if you can tell your partner concrete ways he or she can contribute. For example, if your better half is great with numbers, he or she can be your trip CFO and handle your budget, which is critical to planning and executing a career break.

Career Break for Couples

Mike and Tara riding a donkey at the ksar of Ait Benhaddou in Morocco’s High Atlas Mountains.

Most importantly, don’t forget that this is supposed to be fun! You two could probably spend hours on end talking about your route, bucket list activities, festivals you want to attend, and friends you want to visit around the globe. You shouldn’t stress about planning an in-depth itinerary, but visualizing your end goal will be important for keeping both your head and heart in the game. If you maintain a high level of excitement when you talk about where you could go and what you could do, it will likely be difficult to resist the idea, especially if the back-end logistics are well thought out. Make it tough to say no to you!

Career Break for CouplesTara and Mike Shubbuck are the original Two Travelaholics. In 2012, they quit their jobs to travel the world on their extended honeymoon, racking up 40,000+ miles in their first year and a half of marriage. When they aren’t traveling, they’re on the lookout for pugs, craft beer, and great bands. They are the authors of Create Your Escape: A Practical Guide for Planning Long-Term Travel, which teaches other travelaholics how to prepare for extended travel. Check it out at http://createyourescape.today

The Ultimate Travel Tips
Thursday, April 11th, 2013

We all know that the internet is a cluttered place of information — some good and some bad. Here at the Meet Plan Go! Career Break Headquarters we are always trying to weed through it all to bring you the best nuggets of information out there so you are fully prepared for your travels, armed with tips and advice from those who’ve done it before you.

One of our very own, Chicago host, Lisa Lubin of LLworldtour.com, has just released a brand new eBook called: The Ultimate Travel Tips: Essential Advice for Your Adventures

If you’ve been dreaming about that career break, but are still apprehensive, Lisa’s book is full of info and tips that will put you more at ease and show you how much easier this kind of trip is than you think!

Summary from Amazon:

Have you ever had the urge to chuck it all and travel the world? Or maybe you seek less-permanent adventures but still want to experience something new. Whatever your travel dreams, author and LLWorldTour blog founder Lisa Lubin encourages you to take the leap. After all, that’s what she did! After more than a decade in broadcast television, she quit her job and sold everything to travel the world and chronicle her adventures on her blog. In her eBook, “The Ultimate Travel Tips: Essential Advice for Your Adventures,” Lubin offers readers practical advice on how to save money, pack well, and make connections in new countries. Through her personal stories, you’ll learn tips on packing, dealing with money (saving and spending), getting around in foreign countries, finding the best food for the money and adjusting to cultural differences.

Excerpt:

“Once you are out on the road, first things first: Stop and smell the roses. Enjoy it. This is your time. A lot of the planning is done and now you can just be in the moment. If you are traveling long-term, you will fall into a rhythm and your old chores or to-do list will be replaced by little tasks like finding somewhere to do your laundry or booking your next hotel. Try and travel slowly if you can. The slower you go, the more money you will save (less transport costs) and the more local experiences you will have. Sticking around for a couple weeks or more allows you to immerse yourself more and meet the locals. Meeting people from all over the globe is the best part of travel… besides the tasty food! Getting to know folks from a different place and culture will create memories and stories that you will never forget. Be open to trying new things. You will find yourself doing things that you might never do at home. Jump in. Say “yes” more and you will be amazed at what you learn about the world … and yourself.”

Includes:

Introduction
What to Do with Your Stuff
Packing (with packing list)
How to Save Money for Travel
How to Save Money While Traveling
How to Find Cheap Airfare
How to Find Affordable Accommodations
Credit and ATM Cards
Getting Around
Eating
Traveling Solo, But Never Alone
Adjusting to Foreign Locales
Parting Thoughts

Buy it here on Amazon today!

About Lisa

Lisa Lubin is a three-time Emmy® Award-winning television writer, producer/director, photographer and video consultant. After more than a decade in broadcast television, she decided to take a sabbatical of sorts, which turned into nearly three years of traveling and working her way around the world. She documents her (mis)adventures on her blog, LLworldtour.com, with photographs and articles from the road/train/rickshaw/camel. Her writing and photography has been published by the Wall Street Journal, American Way Magazine, The Malibu Times, Chicago Tribune, Latina, Smithsonian, Encyclopedia Britannica, and the Huffington Post. She also runs LLmedia, a video consulting business.
Lisa has been featured on WGN-TV, Good Morning America, MSNBC.comFOX.comFrommers.com, the Chicagoist.com and in the Chicago Daily Herald and the NJ Daily Record.

Lisa teamed up with Whole Foods, REI and Hostelling International for several “Travel & Food” lectures. She also hosts the Chicago portion of the annual national “Meet, Plan, Go!” event, encouraging working Americans to take career breaks and sabbaticals. She has spoken about video and journalism at several conferences, including the Travel Blog Exchange (TBEX), the World Travel Market in London, and “Visit Russia 2012” in Yaroslavl.
Lisa loves cheese and kittens, but not together.

Talking Travel with Andrew McCarthy
Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

I’ve never understood the derision that sometimes accompanies the idea of “finding oneself.” I’ve also had problems understanding the notion that some people have that taking off to travel the world, especially for an extended period of time, is somehow an escape or “not facing reality.”

In my opinion, and experience, nothing could be further from the truth. For what, I ask you, is more important in this one journey of life that we have, than discovering who we are, down deep in our core, and what our place in the world is? Is that not the essential meaning of life, and perhaps exactly what we are put here to discover?

Andrew McCarthy gets it. The actor and director turned travel writer has just released a travel memoir called The Longest Way Home: One Man’s Quest for the Courage to Settle Down, and that title accurately sums up the roundabout path he has taken in life, across the globe, to figure out the answers to these questions for himself before he takes on a new life with his fiancee. The book jacket states:

Unable to commit to his fiancee of nearly four years—and with no clear understanding of what’s holding him back—Andrew McCarthy finds himself at a crossroads, plagued by doubts that have clung to him for a lifetime. So before he loses everything he cares about, Andrew sets out looking for answers.

In case you’re thinking that perhaps this is just another “soul-searching” journal from a self-absorbed guy who can’t commit, let me set those thoughts at ease. The Longest Way Home is anything but that. It’s really a love story to travel: the way it helps us discover our truest and best selves, the way it can expand our minds and souls and shape us into different people, and the way in which we must do these things in our own selves before we can possibly hope to fully share that self with another.

McCarthy, who is perhaps best known for his “Brat Pack” roles in movies such as Pretty in Pink, St. Elmo’s Fire and Weekend at Bernie’s, is an extremely gifted writer. Both his passion for travel and his second career as a travel writer came about by accident. He grabbed a book that had sat on his bookshelf for months, to read on a routine flight. The book was about one of travel’s classic pilgrimages, the Camino de Santiago in Spain, and it inspired McCarthy to make the trek.

For the first part of the walk, he was “miserable, lonely and anxious.” But then something happened. His fear began to melt, he started to feel at home in himself. “Every step took me deeper into the landscape of my own being,” he wrote. McCarthy documented this and other journeys just for himself, for a decade before he met up for drinks in New York with National Geographic editor Keith Bellows, who finally agreed to look at his writing after a year of cajoling.

I talked with McCarthy about his book and his philosophy on travel.

Can you recall an early travel experience that fueled your passion for travel?

AM: When I walked the Santiago in Spain, you know that changed my whole life, and really got me hooked on travel.

What has the path from actor to travel writer been like for you?

AM: It’s been a parallel career for me; I’m still acting, I just finished acting in a film up in Canada, a television movie that’ll be out at Christmas [Christmas Dance]. It’s sort of become a shadow career, a parallel one, and it’s something that happened completely by accident. I drank the travel kool-aid, as you well know, and it changed my place in the world. I found I was a better version of myself on the road, I was alive in a different way when I was traveling. It really became very important to me.

It was the same with acting, when I was a kid—that became important to me because I located myself, in a way that I didn’t with other things, and that was a surprise to me. It’s been an impractical passion that I’ve followed, in the same way that acting was.

In the book, you express that by nature you are a very solitary person. How does that work when you travel—do you prefer to travel alone, or choose to interact with others on the road or not? Does it hinder you?

AM: By nature I am a solitary traveler; I prefer to go alone, although I have kids now and traveling with them is a whole other experience. It’s great—I take my kids sometimes when I’m working. I did a story on the Sahara and I took my son and I had a big experience with him there.

But I do prefer what happens when you’re alone in the world. I could go places and not hear the sound of my voice for days, and have no problem with that. If I’m writing a story it’s different; if I’m traveling alone for personal reasons, I will probably talk to less people. But when you’re writing, you of course need quotes, and so I’m forced to come out of myself and interact with people in a way that I wouldn’t were I traveling just for myself.

If we’re traveling together, we’re having the experience of each other in a place; if you’re traveling alone, you’re intimate with yourself in the place and that’s a very different experience. I think traveling alone is a really important thing in life and I think people don’t do it for only one reason: because they’re afraid. And I think that’s unfortunate.

Are there people you’ve met on your travels who stayed with you, whom you’ve thought about frequently?

AM: I don’t think we ever know what effect we have on people. Seemingly meaningless encounters are life-changing for some people, and we have no idea how we impact others. I walked the Camino because I happened to pick up this guy’s book randomly in a bookstore. I’ve never spoken to him again, but nothing has ever been the same since I read his book.

What is your travel philosophy?

AM: I do believe that Paul Theroux theory about ‘Go, go long, go far, don’t come back for a long time.’ I think sometimes the more out of touch we can be, the better because I think we cling to our handheld devices the second we get uncomfortable and if we can unplug them, I think that’s a great thing.

Best travel tip?

AM: Asking for help. I try to ask for help even when I don’t need it, when I’m in a foreign place. It opens me up to a connection with the people there; the minute you ask for help, you’re saying to the person, ‘I’m making myself vulnerable before you.’ That’s always been received on my part, I’ve never had anyone say no.

I’m the guy at home, I’ll never ask for help. ‘I know where we’re going, don’t put on the GPS. We’re fine, I know where it is.’ But on the road, it’s the first thing I do. ‘Hi, can you help me?’ When you do that, you open yourself up in a way that makes us sort of right-sized.

In The Longest Way Home, McCarthy shares a strange phenomenon that I’ve often experienced from the non-traveler. “Tough life,” or “must be nice,” they often say, as if it’s some unreachable thing they can never attain. McCarthy writes, “[t]ravel—especially by people who rarely do it—is often dismissed as a luxury and an indulgence, not a practical or useful way to spend one’s time. People complain, ‘I wish I could afford to go away.’ Even when I did the math and showed that I often spent less money while on the road than staying at home, they looked at me with skepticism.

He adds that the reasons people give for not traveling are complex and varied justifications. “Perhaps people feel this way about travel because of how it’s so often perceived and presented. They anticipate and expect escape, from jobs and worries, from routines and families, but mostly, I think, from themselves—the sunny beach with life’s burdens left behind. For me, travel has rarely been about escape; it’s often not even about a particular destination. The motivation is to go—to meet life, and myself, head-on along the road. Often, the farther afield I go, the more at home I feel.”

You can purchase The Longest Way Home via Amazon.com

Meet, Plan, Go! Austin co-host Shelley Seale has been traveling since right out of high school 25 years ago. For the last 10 years she’s been a full time professional writer, doing about 50% travel writing. She travels about 8-10 times a year domestically, and 3-6 times a year internationally – often for weeks or months at a time. Along with co-host Keith Hajovsky, she wrote a book about traveling as close to free as possible, and has made her lifestyle and business all about travel and writing. She’s authored or contributed to six books, and has written for National Geographic, Globe Pequot Press, Andrew Harper Traveler, BootsnAll, Intrepid Travel, Matador Network and many others.

Join us on October 16, 2012 for our nationwide Meet, Plan, Go! events:

Austin | Boston | Chicago | Minneapolis | New York City

San Diego | San Francisco | Seattle | South Florida | Toronto

We will be giving away a copy of The Longest Way Home to one lucky attendee at each Meet, Plan, Go! event!

The Ultimate Tech Guide for Travelers
Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

The Ultimate Tech Guide For TravelersIf you plan on hitting the road for extended travel, chances are you are going to take at least one electronic device with you. From cell phones, digital cameras and video cameras to eReaders, iPods, and laptops, chances are your electronic devices may be the heaviest items weighing down your pack.

One of the concerns that you don’t want weighing on your mind, however, is how to protect not just your physical items on the road, but your personal information as well.

That is where “The Ultimate Tech Guide for Travelers” can help. This eBook is packed full of extremely useful information from someone who really knows his stuff – Anil Polat, aka foXnoMad. Before setting off to travel the world with his adorable pets by his side, Anil was a computer security consultant. And through his websites, he offers information on the best ways and gadgets vagabonds can use to stay in touch, save money, and make the most out of any vacation.

In “The Ultimate Tech Guide for Travelers”, Anil walks you through the various ways you can accomplish just about anything you want from a laptop or electronic device from anywhere in the world.

Among the topics, you will learn:

     

  • Which laptop is best for you if you choose to travel with one;
  • How to create a good backup plan, which is robust, automated and physically separate;
  • How to obtain free software that can provide you with tools to edit photos, learn languages, and stay in touch among others;
  • How to navigate the wireless landscape – know before you go;
  • Helpful security tips to keep your items safe from physical theft and your online content and passwords safe from hackers;
  • And useful tech tools to help save on travel costs.
  •  

You may not think this will help you but you may also not imagine the possibility of your computer crashing, devices being stolen, your private information being hacked at an internet café, or the possibility of not being able to access important online information that may be blocked in certain countries.

And these tips and more are designed not just for safety but to save you money as well.

The best part? With purchase of this eBook, you will also receive 6 months of free personal tech support from Anil as well as a year of free updates. That in itself is a fantastic value for just $37. And we can speak from personal experience. When you face an issue like your site being hacked or run into a coding issue, there is no better person to have on your side than Anil.

You can find more tech advice from Anil on Tech Guide for Travel and Travel Blog Advice.  And follow him on Twitter @foxnomad

And read our review of his other eBook “Overcoming the 7 Obstacles to Traveling the World”.

Editorial disclaimer: We are an affiliate member of Anil’s books and receive a percentage of sales if purchased through our site. We only join affiliate programs of products that we believe in and support.

The Joy of Less
Monday, December 6th, 2010

The Joy of LessI’ve undergone many changes in my life thanks to travel. However one of the greatest changes I’ve experienced is the change in my weight; the weight of my possessions. I’ve gone from a 1,000 square foot Manhattan apartment to 2 suitcases and a small closet sized storage unit. This downsizing wasn’t necessary to travel, but it was something I wanted to do to feel lighter and more flexible.

Many people who are planning an around the world trip typically go through a purge process; sometimes it’s motivated by money, and sometimes it’s motivated by the fact that they are going to sublet their place and put things in storage. Whatever the reason, when you are standing in the middle of your living room full of stuff, it’s hard to know where to start.

That’s where Francine Jay, Miss Minimalist, comes in. She’s the Wonder Woman of simplicity! I just finished reading Francine’s book, The Joy of Less, A Minimalist Living Guide: How to Declutter, Organize, and Simplify Your Life and can happily recommend it to anyone looking to downsize their life, their home, a room, a closet, or a to-do list. She covers it all with a very simple, effective process called STREAMLINE.
S – Start over
T – Trash, Treasure, or Transfer
R – Reason for each item
E – Everything in its place
A – All surfaces clear
M – Modules
L – Limits
I – If one comes in, one goes out
N – Narrow it down
E – Everyday maintenance

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Negotiating Your Sabbatical or Career Break
Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

Negotiating Your SabbaticalNot everyone is lucky enough to work for these companies…the companies that understand the value of unplugging from your career and taking a sabbatical. There are many people who love what they do and the challenges of their career, but they feel burned out. They feel if they don’t step away from the position for a bit, they may lose the love for their job. Most of these people don’t feel like they have any options.

This is where Barbara and Elizabeth Pagano come in. They are teaching people how to negotiate a sabbatical with their company. This mother-daughter duo are no strangers to sabbaticals. They took their own sailing career break; learning new skills, and getting some much needed time away from the 9 to 5.

Barbara and Elizabeth’s typical 9 to 5 is yourSABBATICAL.com – a firm that partners with businesses to deploy programs that attract, retain, and accelerate top talent through the use of structured leaves of absences.

However, through their eBook Negotiating Your Sabbatical, this time they are working directly with the employees – helping them lay out a plan to ask for and be granted time away for a career break or sabbatical.

The book walks you through the steps to going in and having ‘that’ conversation with your boss. All the bases are covered:

  • Building the foundation
  • Creating the proposal
  • Engaging in negotiation

In addition it includes an appendix which houses templates and Q&A.

Their advice? Don’t be spontaneous! Yes – you heard me right. Don’t decide at the spur of the moment to talk to your boss about a sabbatical, your chances of succeeding are about as likely as the US embracing healthcare reform. What this book teaches you is to plan, prepare, and practice asking for a sabbatical. Sabbaticals aren’t whimsical, they are serious. This doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun on your desired sabbatical, it simply means the conversation with your boss should be serious!

The book states:

“The most meaningful sabbaticals are planned ones, with specific goals and objectives – even if one of those goals is simply to recharge.”

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Art of Non-Conformity
Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

I’ve always been someone who strives to be different, stand out, and be unique. Back when I had my very own drab cubicle walls I tried to decorate them to make them less gray, sad, and boring. I had a small coral colored card I always hung next to my computer monitor that simply read:

“Conform and Be Dull”

Yet the irony was I was staying in a job I didn’t love, depriving myself of my real passions so that I could simply be like everyone else and fit in. Fit into my company, fit into New York City, fit into my parent’s expectations, and ultimately fit into society; my life was all about conforming.

As you read in Steve’s post “Notes from a Briefcase” earlier this week, over the last 4 years I have broken out of that life of conformity and really followed my passions. And guess what – I’m surviving, and happier than ever. Steve also is happy doing his corporate job which takes him all over the world, but provides him a regular paycheck as well as stimulates him. Everyone has different things which make them happy, but the key is – live the life YOU want.

AONC Book SigningI stumbled upon Chris Guillebeau’s blog a few years ago; he writes on unconventional strategies for life, work, and travel. He espouses the message of ‘you don’t have to live your life the way other people expect you to’ and ‘work should be fun and meaningful’. I felt as if he had been eavesdropping on my inner thoughts and desires. In many ways it speaks to the Briefcase to Backpack mentality; you don’t have to defer your desires and wanderlust until retirement, why not set your own rules and put career break in your vocabulary. I signed up for his newsletter and have been following him ever since.

Chris recently moved beyond bits and bytes and became an author; his book The Art of Non-Conformity was released in September. The book goes into more detail on how you can go about setting your own path, your own rules, and find your purpose in your career and life. It covers the idea that career and life don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Sure – that’s easy to say; we all strive to spend our time doing things we love, but something stops us from doing that; normally it’s the expectations of others and our own desire to conform.

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The Lost Girls: Book Review
Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

The Lost GirlsThe Lost Girls: Three Friends. Four Continents. One Unconventional Detour Around the World. Or as we like to call it here at Briefcase to Backpack – a career break.

One of these Lost Girls shared with us the struggles she faced letting go on the road: Amanda Pressner – Losing Myself on the Road. And now with the release of the book, we are able to learn much more about her career break experience, and those of her fellow travelers Jennifer Baggett and Holly Corbett.

Whether they were running away from something (Jen), searching for something (Amanda), or seeking adventure (Holly), The Lost Girls took a leap of faith together and ventured off on a global journey that took them to South America (Peru & Brazil), Kenya, India, Southeast Asia (Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia) and Oceania (New Zealand, Australia).

Like many career breakers featured on our site, The Lost Girls were on the expected path in life, but questioned whether or not that was the right one for them.

“As we rocketed toward the next major stage (the one involving mortgages, marriages, and 2.2 children), we all wondered: Were the paths that we were heading down the right ones for us – or were we simply staying the course because we thought we should? Was the road most frequently traveled the one that we wanted to follow?”

They hoped that life on the road would help them gain the perspective they were looking for.

What is fascinating about the book is how we are able to delve into their hearts & minds and how the same journey is interpreted & experienced in three very different & unique ways. The Lost Girls do a great job of sharing their experiences – including the struggles & triumphs, the ups & downs – while still maintaining their individual voices. Not only do they guide us through their actual travels, but they open up to how each experience was affecting their own internal journeys.

The Lost Girls

Jen, Holly, and Amanda - aka "The Lost Girls"

And by sharing their thoughts and feelings about each other demonstrates the power of having a support system when taking such a huge risk in life – whether that is one on the road, back home, or both. Though it’s not always easy to travel long-term with one partner, let alone two, they were able to utilize each other’s strengths throughout and lean on each other during their weaknesses.

For the armchair traveler or workaholic, their story may be unique. But it fits right in here at Briefcase to Backpack. They touch on the circumstances that brought them to this point, the steps they took in planning & preparing, and even a glimmer of their reflections afterwards.

But the main crux of the book covers life on the road – and not just climbing Machu Picchu, volunteering in Kenya, surviving the trains in India, and bungy jumping in New Zealand. But also the struggles they faced letting go of their careers, loved ones, and sense of identities in order to gain new insight into themselves.

As they learn, the road doesn’t always have the answers to the questions you seek, nor will it serve them up on a nice silver platter. But by the end of this journey they realized that it wasn’t over, and lessons learned would only serve as guides as they navigate through the next steps of their lives.

Something every career breaker should embrace.

The Lost Girls: Three Friends. Four Continents.
One Unconventional Detour Around the World

Released May, 11, 2010 (hardcover) | April 26, 2011 (paperback)
Order now!

Paperback price: $9.75
Kindle price: $9.99
Hardcover price: $16.49

Let’s Go With No Debt World Travel
Monday, January 11th, 2010

If you’ve decided to take a career break or sabbatical, you’ve already faced a big hurdle. And if you are new to long-term and round-the-world travel, trip planning can seem incredibly daunting, especially if you have other things to take care of like leaving your job, leasing your place, packing up your life, and even preparing for your return. (I know – you haven’t even left yet.)

There is a plethora of information on the web for RTW travel, but Brian Peters has made it easier by putting many great resources in one place with “No Debt World Travel: The Ultimate Guide to Traveling the World”.

Brian is a fellow Briefcase to Backpacker and transitioned from working a white-collar 9-5 job to traveling the world. As he says in his e-book “Admittedly I was not such a big travel fan, even up to a few years ago. I was busy living life, mainly working and playing my part in Corporate America. Travel was for people who had money, or had the free time. I had none of these…or so I thought.”

Brian finally set off on his travels after he was laid off from his job, and a lot of what he learned in preparing and during his six months of travel he shares in this e-book.

Some of the areas he covers includes:

  • Deciding Where to Go
  • Cash and Credit Cards
  • Method of Transportation
  • Travel Insurance
  • Passports and Visas
  • Your Health
  • Your Safety
  • Hostels
  • Food
  • Travel Tech
  • Language

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Favorite Books: My Travel Journals
Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

These days many people who venture off on RTW travels tend to keep a blog. Whether it’s to keep in touch with friends & family or share their experiences with other travel dreamers, blogs have become a common place for detailing trips.

In addition to blogs, it’s just as important, if not more so, to keep a handwritten travel journal, especially if you are embarking on a trip for self-exploration such as a career break.

Blogs are great for sharing details of your hike up Machu Picchu and the crazy street food you tried in Cambodia, but a journal will allow you to open up more about what those experiences meant to you in your journey for self-discovery. And even in this day of sharing just about every aspect of your life online, there are moments that you will want to keep to yourself.

In her book, Writing Away: A Creative Guide to Awakening the Journal-Writing Traveler (Travelers’ Tales)Lavinia Spalding offers advice on using your travel journal to help you through personal development, starting with even the most basic of steps: selecting the ideal journal and writing device for yourself.

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Career Break Guide Table of Contents

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