Posts Tagged ‘host’

MPG 2012 Toronto Host: Janice Waugh
Monday, October 8th, 2012

All of our local Meet, Plan, Go! hosts have inspiring stories of their own career break travels. In the months leading up to our National Event on October 16, we will introduce them to you so you can see why they are part of our team.

Meet Our 2012 Toronto Host: Janice Waugh

We’re thrilled to have Janice Waugh hosting Meet, Plan, Go! in Toronto for the third year in a row. Janice has enjoyed many forms of travel at different times in her life – twenty-something travel, family travel, career break travel and most recently, solo travel.

In August 2001, Janice left on a ten-month career break with her husband and youngest son (age 10 at the time). Her other sons joined them at times along the way. Janice wrote about their decision to stay or to go, saying,

“We could finally see our way clear to living our dream of long-term travel. Having sold our business and with two sons out the door, one entering his last year of high school and the youngest going into grade six, it all seemed possible.

To others, it may have made more sense to wait, at least a year, but we planned and went. We bet on the present over the future and, as you’ll see, we won.”

Janice is grateful for taking her career break when she did; just a few years after returning from their trip, she lost her husband to a rare illness known as Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP).

“While our choice to take an extended trip at that particular time of life may have seemed odd to some, it made sense to us. At least, we made it make sense. We put our present and our future on a scale and chose to live in the present for that year. And, at the time, we had no idea that it was our last chance to do so.”

Today, Janice travels solo and devotes a lot of her time to inspiring others to discover the world as they discover themselves.  She publishes Solo Traveler and recently launched a book, The Solo Traveler’s Handbook. She has spoken at The Smithsonian on solo travel and has been quoted in many media outlets including CNN, the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, LA Times and USA Today. She is a strong proponent of career break travel and eager to help others pursue their career break dreams.

Last year, Janice wrote about the 18 loves she discovered during her 10-month career break. Today, she shares some practical advice about renting out your home before traveling long-term:

Is renting your home right for you?

Renting out your home is not for everyone. You need to decide if it is right for you. Do you get stressed by the idea of someone living in your home and using your stuff? Then it’s not for you. Are you easygoing about your things? If you will travel and not worry about your home, go for it. Are you allowed to rent your home? If you rent or live in a co-op, you need to ensure that you can legally sublet.

How to find the right tenant

To take the work off your shoulders completely, you can hire a property manager to handle the renting and maintenance of your home. They’ll collect the rent and pay the bills and do the occasional drop-by… whatever you want. But it will cost you. I am more a DIY gal. I do things myself whenever I can. If you want to do it yourself, here are some of the steps to follow.

♦ Identify the type of person or people you want to rent your home.

♦ Specify your criteria regarding smoking, pets and any other detail that is important to you.

♦ Decide what you will include in your rental. What utilities and technology?

Once you know the type of person you want to rent your home:

♦ Create a mini website that shows off your home. Google “make a free website” and you’ll find that you can do this yourself at no cost.

♦ Let friends and family know that you are looking to rent your home. Let them know your criteria and share your website with them.

♦ Use an online service like SabbaticalHomes.com to list your home. If you want to stay in one place, consider trading places with a service like Home Exchange.

If you’re not having success or are not comfortable managing the process yourself, find a real estate agent to do the job for you.  Unfortunately, they’ll make more from the sale of a house than from renting yours, so they are not going to work at it very hard.

When you’ve found a prospective tenant, check them out thoroughly. You’re going away. You don’t want any headaches. You need financial, business and personal references.

This is an excerpt of a post that originally appeared on the Solo Traveler on September 12, 2012.  To read more of Janice’s advice on finding and preparing for a tenant, see the full article here.

Join us on October 16 at one of our 10 Meet, Plan, Go! events across North America:

Austin | Boston | Chicago | Minneapolis | New York City

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

MPG 2012 South Florida Hosts: Jillian & Danny Tobias
Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

All of our local Meet, Plan, Go! hosts have inspiring stories of their own career break travels. In the months leading up to our National Event on October 16, we will introduce them to you so you can see why they are part of our team.

Meet Our 2012 South Florida Hosts: Jillian & Danny Tobias

What’s in Your Travel Web?

Remember in elementary school when your teacher stood in front of the class and taught word associations?

Blue is to sky as green is to grass,” the teacher would say.  “Hard is to pavement as soft is to pillow.

These simple exercises created a web in our brains, associating words, experiences and memories into our pattern of communication.  For me, travel is a web of associations.  It’s not a singular word or a series of experiences; it is a web of experiences that build, influence and complement each other.

Travel is to explore. To explore is to take chances.  To risk is to experience. To experience is to feel.

To feel is to make a memory.  To remember is to want for more.

My travel web started small, incomplete and somewhat fragile.  When I left as a teenager for a trip in the United Kingdom, I had little idea of the path I was starting to lay out for myself.  Three weeks passed in a flash and before I knew it that trip had faded into the darkness of my memory.  Years later I spent a few weeks in France, then Canada, and finally I studied in Italy.  To this day I’m not quite sure what pushed me to make the impulsive decision to spend a few months in Italy; it must have been something lurking in my web.

You see, my travel web is made up of emotions.

For me, travel is an intensely emotional experience.  It’s emotions that are triggered when I hear the muezzin call Muslims to prayer, smell cinnamon and cardamom in a market, and taste the juice of a passion fruit.  Joy, surprise, happiness, mystery, reflection, excitement, existence, these are the emotions that I associate with travel.   The moment I leave and the moment I return I dip into my web, fishing around for the right emotions.   90% of the time I can never catch the right one.

But that is ok.

Because a web is there to catch you when you can’t catch yourself.  When you feel excited to leave on a career break when you know you should be at least a little afraid.  When you feel afraid even though you’re about to reach for your dream. When you feel sadness at returning home even though you are heading into the arms of loved ones and when you feel longing to be back on the road when you’ve just gotten settled.Your travel web – the association of experiences, feelings and memories you create yourself as you explore the world – is there to catch you.  You don’t need to build the largest, strongest or tightest web in order to break to follow your dream.  You simply need to trust it.  If you’ve never been out of the country, that doesn’t negate a trip around the world.   If you’ve never taken your two weeks of vacation that doesn’t prevent you from broaching the topic of a career break sabbatical with your boss.  It simply means you’ll have to learn to trust yourself and trust your web.

On the first day of my 21 month trip around the world I didn’t know where I was sleeping that night.  It was an immediate far cry from the “type A” personality that walked briskly down the hall of a multistory office building the month before.  I think I left that personality at the border. Over the next few weeks and months I broke nearly every travel rule I had laid out for myself – no overnight buses (broken on the first night!), no meat from street vendors (broken on day 2), don’t drink the water.  Looking back, it was my travel web that saved me – the trust and emotions I had built into that web were what allowed me to take the changes, weigh the risks and reap the rewards of a journey around the world that changed my life.

That’s the best thing about your travel web – it is constantly expanding, reaching for new areas and filling with new experiences.  It is flexible, stretchy and the associations you make, the experiences you have will only serve to enrich your web so that they next time you can stretch a bit further, push a bit harder and go a bit longer.

Jillian and Danny Tobias traveled around the world for 21 months, traversing famous overland routes like Capetown to Cairo and the old silk road from Istanbul to Beijing. They conquered mini-buses on four continents and enjoyed street food in fifty countries, all without a single broken bone or parasite!

Experts in budgeting and financing your dream, Jillian and Danny have been featured by finance and business writers from The New York Times, Sun-Sentinel, and US News & World Report. In 2011, the couple started a budgeting website to help others achieve their financial goals, Doughhound. Jillian transitioned from a corporate career to owning her own media relations business after her career break.   You can follow her on Twitter as @IShouldLogOff or connect on Facebook.

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

MPG 2012 Austin Hosts: Shelley Seale & Keith Hajovsky
Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

All of our local Meet, Plan, Go! hosts have inspiring stories of their own career break travels. In the months leading up to our National Event on October 16, we will introduce them to you so you can see why they are part of our team.

Meet Our 2012 Austin Hosts: Shelley Seale and Keith Hajovksy

It’s literally the ticket to the whole world…but only 30% of Americans have a passport. A passport is about so much more than travel; and travel is about so much more than sightseeing and vacationing. It’s about witnessing different ways of life than your own, experiencing different cultures and ways of thinking, meeting and interacting with people who have a completely different lifestyle than your own.

It’s about their traditions, beliefs, loves, foods, hardships, dances, songs, history, geography, and passions. It’s about life itself – and there is far, far more to life and the world than what any of us see in our own backyards, in the little corner of this planet that we are born into.

Neither Shelley Seale nor Keith Hajovsky came from families that traveled much while they were growing up; family road trips were the most of it. When they finally started traveling as young adults — decades before they knew each other — worlds were opened up that they had previously only dreamed about.

Keith: A Serial Career Breaker And Loving It!

I never really had the opportunity to travel while growing up, but even as early as in my middle school years I knew that I wanted to eventually get out and see the world. Then, burnt out on school after finishing my sophomore year in college, I decided that I was going to do whatever it took to backpack around Europe with my best friend. That decision ended up being one of the most important and best decisions of my life.

To save the money I needed for the trip I worked a ridiculous number of hours of hard labor at a box factory of all places and took any other odd jobs that I could find that summer. When September came around my friend and I flew standby to Brussels with the vaguest of plans, our precious travelers checks (no ATM cards back then!), a copy of Let’s Go Europe, and a sense of excitement that I cannot possibly put into words. Before that time I had never been more than 400 miles away from where I was born, and here I was about to backpack around Europe!

That three and a half month trip changed my life forever. The sense of wonder and excitement that I got from exploring different countries and cultures on my own never left me, and I knew without a doubt that travel would always be a big part of my life. Likewise, learning how to adapt to the unexpected while on the road made me much more confident in myself and prepared me for taking other worthwhile risks in life. And last but not least, getting outside of my ‘normal’ life and comfort zone to mix with people with such different lives and belief systems has enabled me to see our complex world in a much more open and understanding way.

Upon returning home from that auspicious trip back in 1985 I eagerly finished school, and I have been a regular career breaker ever since. Sprinkled all throughout my various stints in Corporate America and even after practicing law for a short while I have taken multiple extended trips abroad. From backpacking throughout different regions of the world, including a two year hiatus in Southeast and South Asia, to studying Spanish in Guatemala, to teaching English in Japan, to doing bits of volunteer work, I have taken breaks from work to recharge my batteries and to regain perspective.

And after my last job in Corporate America three and half years ago I decided to intertwine my livelihood even more closely with my love of travel. I simplified my life to give me the time and space to explore different opportunities, and I ended up starting a travel consulting business that has spread into travel photography as well. With my partner Shelley Seale, I co-wrote the book How To Travel For Free (or pretty Damn Near It!), and I likewise became the Director of Overseas Projects for a non-profit organization. Doing these things hasn’t always been easy, but it has certainly been well worth it.

Because travel has changed my life for the better in so many ways, I a firm believer that everyone should take an extended trip at least once in their lives. I can honestly say that I’ve never heard anyone who has done it say that they regretted it later, and at the same time I have heard plenty of people say that they HAVE regretted not taking the time to do it. So if you have been thinking about hitting the road, you really just need to make up your mind and take the plunge!

Keith’s website is Travel Sherpa Keith and you can follow him as @SherpaKeith on Twitter.

Shelley: A Passport to a New World — and Lifestyle

I got my first passport in my senior year of high school, in 1984. Up til that time I had only been to places in Texas and a few surrounding states (New Mexico, Oklahoma, Louisiana) and to Mexico (you didn’t need a passport back then). My high school’s Spanish teacher, Doctora Rodriguez, was organizing a month-long European trip – and that is what I wanted for my high school graduation present. With all my heart and soul, desperately. Many other people would have perhaps thought that was $2,000 that could have bought a car, something longer lasting.

But the truth is that it is the car, or any other thing that could have been purchased with that money, which would have been gone long ago. Now, more than 25 years later, I still have fond memories of my first glimpses of London, the Eiffel Tower and Leaning Tower of Pisa (you could actually climb it then!). I remember looking down from my hotel window in Rome, after Italy had just won a huge soccer match, to see the complete gridlock party in the streets. That trip fueled a lifelong love of travel – and the curiosity and desire for learning that came with it.

 

Over the next 15 years I didn’t travel extensively, internationally. I started a career (my previous career in real estate), got married, had a child. I traveled here and there, but it wasn’t until I took my daughter to France when she was 10 years old that my next phase of life — that of a global wanderer — really began. Within the next few years I began to transition out of real estate, which was a career that sort of chose me and that I wasn’t passionate about, and into a full-time writing career.

I also began to transition my writing around travel writing. I still write about a lot of other topics in addition to travel, such as food, lifestyle, nonprofits, health and wellness — but part of my crafting of a new work life including crafting of a new whole life. See, I came to realize that we shouldn’t have to compartmentalize our lives. Work shouldn’t be some separate thing that you do for 1/3 of your life just to pay the bills. I wanted to create a life that reflected my passions, values, interests and beliefs — and that certainly included travel.

You don’t have to be a writer to do this. There are plenty of ways that people find to earn money on the road or to support a traveling lifestyle. I have several friends who come home and work and earn money (which they save) for months or years at a time, then hit the globe for months or years at a time on that money. Others work their way around the world doing bartending, odd jobs, child care, English language teaching, working on farms, etc. Still others start businesses that can be done online or become consultants who can work virtually from any location.

In today’s world, with the Internet and mobile phones as well as the new workplace norm of more freelancing, entrepreneurship and virtual offices, it’s much easier to make a living, and a life, while traveling. I encourage anyone to follow their dreams in this regard. Yes, it takes time and patience and a lot of hard (but mostly just consistent) work to make it happen. But if it’s really what you want, I promise you — if I can do it, so can just about anyone else!

Shelley’s website is ShelleySeale.com and you can follow her as @shelleyseale on Twitter.

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

MPG 2012 Boston Host: Lillie Marshall
Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

All of our local Meet, Plan, Go! hosts have inspiring stories of their own career break travels. In the months leading up to our National Event on October 16 we will introduce them to you so you can see why they are part of our team.

Meet Our 2012 Boston Host: Lillie Marshall

Why Taking a Career Break Can Be Great for Your Career

I had just returned to the United States after a year-long leave of absence from teaching to travel around the world. I was unemployed, disoriented, and scared about my future.

Reader, is this what you fear will happen if you take a career break to travel? Read on to see how it turned out.

I squirmed nervously in the hard blue chair in my first job interview since returning to the United States.

I wasn’t going to call you back after you emailed your resume,” declared the director. “I mean, you have a pretty standard teacher background.”

I gulped, saddened.

But,” the director continued, smiling, “then I saw this line.”

She pointed to the words I’d typed under “Experience:”

Circumnavigated the globe for nine months to volunteer, launch two travel websites, and learn.

I grinned. I hadn’t been so sure how that fact would go over.

Remarkable world experience like that is rare,” mused the director, “and it’s something we search for in hiring a 21st century employee. We’d like to formally offer you the job.”

I silently cheered and told her I would get back to her. That evening I received five other responses to job applications I had submitted, all saying the same thing:

“We want you, because you’ve bravely seen the world as few have!”

Ultimately, I chose not to take any of those jobs. My year abroad made me realize how much I loved my former Boston Public Schools teaching job, and I was able to reenter the district in an even better position than I had left, thanks to the fact that I’d taken a leave of absence instead of signing resignation papers before leaving.

In addition to improving up my teaching career, taking a career break to travel has provided exceptional other career opportunities: freelance writing for the Huffington Post, speaking at the opening of the third biggest hostel in America with the Mayor of Boston, leading student trips abroad, presenting at education conferences, and more.

The moral of the story is this: It actually may be worse for your career to stay in your current job than to leave and follow your dreams!

Once you see the world, you’ll reenter the workforce with an almost magical resume, not to mention a new clarity of purpose and perspective.

Go travel! Don’t wait.

Lillie Marshall is a six-foot-tall Bostonian who began solo traveling during her college summers through Latin America. Directly after college, Lillie entered the Boston Public Schools as a high school English teacher and proceeded to teach for six fascinating and intense years.

In the summer of 2009, after much planning and saving, Lillie took an unpaid leave of absence from teaching to circumnavigate the globe. For the next nine months, she had a truly wonderful time sightseeing in Japan and Southeast Asia, volunteer teaching in Ghana, and writing like crazy in Iberia! You can read about the whole adventure at AroundTheWorldL.com.

Lillie is back in her hometown of Boston, totally re-energized in her public school teaching career. Seeing the difference that extended travel made in her career and her life, Lillie has launched a movement through TeachingTraveling.com to inspire and assist more teachers to travel, and more travelers to teach, thus transforming the educational experience of our world.

Lillie is thrilled to now have a career that combines teaching, writing, and travel… and helping guide great people like yourself to make their travel dreams a reality!

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

Meet, Plan, Go! 2012 Hosts
Monday, July 30th, 2012

Two weeks ago, we revealed which cities Meet, Plan, Go! is coming to in 2012. Now, we are excited to announce our fabulous hosts! We have many returning hosts and several new hosts. You’ll be able to get to know them more over the next two months, but here is a sneak peek at who they are. And be sure to check out their websites to see why they are excited to be hosting Meet, Plan, Go! this year.

AUSTIN
Shelley Seale and Keith Hajovksy (new hosts)
ShelleySeale.com | Travel Sherpa Keith
Twitter: @shelleyseale | @SherpaKeith
Facebook: How to Travel For Free | Travel Sherpa Keith

Shelley has been traveling for 25 years and Keith has hit over 40 countries in his travels. Together, they wrote a book about traveling as close to free as possible and continue to center their lives on travel. Shelley is a professional writer who does about 50% travel writing, while Keith works as the director of a startup nonprofit organization and runs a tour company.

BOSTON
Lillie Marshall (returning host)
Around the World L | Teaching Traveling
Twitter:@WorldLillie
Facebook:Around the World L | Teaching Traveling

After taking a year-long leave of absence to travel the world in 2009, Lillie returned to her teaching career with renewed energy and focus. Now, she is launching a movement to inspire and assist more teachers to travel, and more travelers to teach, thus transforming the educational experience of our world.

CHICAGO
Lisa Lubin (returning host)
LL World Tour
Twitter:@llworldtour
Facebook:LL World Tour

After working in broadcast television for more than a decade, Lisa took a career break which turned into nearly 3 years traveling and working her way around the world. A three-time Emmy® Award winning television writer, producer/director, photographer and video consultant, Lisa’s writing and photography has been published by the Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Tribune, Smithsonian, Encyclopedia Brittanica and American Way Magazine.

MINNEAPOLIS
Katie Aune (new host)
Katie Going Global
Twitter: @katieaune
Facebook: Katie Going Global

A former attorney, Katie left a job in fundraising and event planning last August to travel and volunteer in all 15 countries of the former Soviet Union. She will return home in September after a 13-month career break that included running a marathon in Estonia, teaching English in Russia and Tajikistan, volunteering with the national tourism board of Armenia, living with local families in Azerbaijan, and trying her best to speak Russian on a daily basis

NEW YORK CITY
Sherry Ott (former host and co-founder)
OttsWorld
Twitter: @ottsworld
Facebook: Ottsworld Travel and Life Experiences

Sherry is a Co-Founder of Meet Plan Go! and is a refugee from corporate IT who is now a long term traveler, blogger and photographer.  Her travels include hiking the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal, traveling the globe house-sitting, volunteering in India and Nepal, driving 10,000 miles from London to Mongolia for the Mongol Rally and, most recently, walking 550 miles across Spain on the Camino de Santiago.

SAN DIEGO
Elaine Masters (new city and new host)
Trip Wellness
Twitter: @tripwellness
Facebook: Elaine Masters Travel Wellness

Elaine is a travel writer, international scuba diver, award-winning author of Drivetime Yoga and a Yoga teacher. Her podcast, The Gathering Road, airs on the WRN and she has been mentioned in Women’s Day Magazine, San Diego Living and the Huffington Post. One of her favorite memories is teaching Flytime Yoga at 30,000 feet on a flight to Fiji!

SAN FRANCISCO
Kristin Zibell (new host)
Take Your Big Trip
Twitter: @takeyourbigtrip
Facebook: Take Your Big Trip

In 2008, Kristin left marriage and corporate life to spend 2 years traveling to India, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Europe. Volunteering, touring, trekking, photographing and blogging along the way, she used her past professional experience to pay for her adventures by consulting between trips. She settled in San Francisco in 2010 and writes a blog to inspire others to live their travel dreams.

SEATTLE
Lori Stone (new host)
The Joy Guild
Twitter: @thejoyguild
Facebook: Art Camp for Big Kids

After 20 years in the corporate, nonprofit and technology sectors, Lori began a research sabbatical and career break this year. She is taking time off from contract management work to explore the world around her by leading creative art retreats, traveling, writing, learning, continuing outreach as a cancer survivor-turned-advocate, building communities and – most importantly – having fun.

SOUTH FLORIDA
Jillian & Danny Tobias (new hosts)
I Should Log Off
Twitter: @ishouldlogoff
Facebook: I Should Log Off

Jillian and Danny traveled around the world for 21 months, traversing famous overland routes like Capetown to Cairo and the old silk road. Experts in budgeting and financing your dream, they have been featured by finance and business writers from The New York Times, Sun-Sentinel, and US News & World Report. In 2011, the couple started Doughhound, a budgeting website to help others achieve their financial goals.

TORONTO
Janice Waugh (returning host)
Solo Traveler Blog
Twitter:@solotraveler
Facebook:Solo Travel Society

Janice has enjoyed many forms of travel at different times of life…20-something travel, family travel, and career break travel. As publisher of Solo Traveler, author of The Solo Traveler’s Handbook and moderator of the Solo Travel Society on Facebook, she aims to inspire others to discover the world as they discover themselves.She has spoken at The Smithsonian on solo travel and has been quoted in many media outlets including CNN, the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, LA Times and USA Today.

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

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