We’ve recently been featuring many of our Kick-Ass Meet, Plan, Go! hosts to show you why we are excited to have them on board. Collectively they have some great experiences to share from their career breaks that will inspire you – both before and after your own career break.
Here’s a round-up in case you missed any of them!
Was Your Career Break a Job Killer?
There are some career breakers who turn their travels into a new career path. But for most, like our Seattle hosts Paul & Christine Milton, they knew they wanted to go back to their careers.
“Let’s face it. Most of us aren’t witty travel writers and we’re not glamorous TV stars. We’re not going to spend the rest of our lives traveling the world, submitting creative blog posts or poignant documentaries from exotic distant lands. Of course there are those doing it, but they’re the minority in the global travel community.
The travel community is made up of people like you and me. Most who mark the calendars, strap on a backpack and look forward to scuba diving, mountain trekking and passport stamps are the temporary traveller. We’re able to take 3-12 months and head out into the world – seeking to learn about the unknown in other countries, and deep within ourselves. Sooner or later, the trip will come to a conclusion and you’ll be back in the job market, nervously anticipating sitting across the table from a prospective employer in an interview.
Was your trip a waste of time? Was it a job killer? Honestly . . . no.”
Paul & Christine offer some great advice on working your career break into interview questions.
Join Paul & Christine at our Seattle event.
Following the Imperfect Career Path
In college, did you feel pressure to pick just the right major in order to start that perfect career path? So did our Las Vegas host, JoAnna Haugen.
“Resumes begin in college, so I majored in a broad and widely defined field, and I minored in a foreign language and international business. I studied hard, held offices in several student organizations, paid my way through school with scholarships and graduated with honors and an emphasis in international studies. All of these things were meant to prepare me for the perfect career. You know, the career where my skills were needed and appreciated, where my creativity was coveted and where I could scoot right up the corporate ladder while collecting hefty bonuses along the way.”
Re-Entry is a Whole New Journey
Think your career break is the biggest challenge you’ll experience? Re-entry and reverse culture shock is a challenge and journey all unto itself. Just ask our San Francisco Host, Sarah Lavender Smith.
“About a year ago, our family experienced the shock of re-entry when we moved back home after nearly a full year of traveling around the world. Our big house felt so oversized, and the four of us felt so natural being close together after months of sharing small spaces, that we spent the first night huddled in sleeping bags on the floor of one room.
The thoughts swirling around my head back then included, I don’t want us to move back into our own rooms and separate offices, where we’ll be out of eyesight and earshot of each other. I don’t want to unpack our household stuff and fill up this space with things I no longer feel we need. I don’t want to lose our closeness and feel stuck in one place. I don’t want to go back to work, and I have no idea what we’ll do for work…”
Following Someone Else’s Dream
What if the career break dream isn’t yours but your partners? Do you take the chance and say yes to join them? That’s what happened to two of our hosts.
Our Los Angeles host, Lisa Niver Rajna was just a couple of months into dating George when she said yes to joining him on a trip to Fiji. And while in Fiji, he presented the idea of taking a career break together.
“Most of the career break stories I hear are about the person who cannot wait to go. My story is the opposite. I wanted to want to go, but I was so afraid. Off the beach and back home, all I had were the WHAT Ifs? What if we don’t get along? What if there is nowhere to stay? What if we get sick? I had lived on a cruise ship for nearly seven years, so I knew I could leave and come back, but to travel with George without a set plan; this was a challenge I was not sure I could handle.”
Adam Seper, our St. Louis host, also followed someone else’s dream – his wife’s.
“After spending the first half of my 20’s trying to figure out what it was I wanted to do, I finally went back to school to get my teacher’s certificate and master’s. I became a high school English teacher and soccer coach. I really enjoyed my job. I was happy. I was nearly through my first year of teaching and my new career when my wife first came at me with this idea of a year-long RTW trip.
At first, I thought she was nuts. We were both finally out of school and making good money. We were paying off our debt. We were saving up for a house. We were about to fulfill the American Dream! Why in the world would I want to give all that up?”
Travel is the Ultimate Education
Our Orlando hosts, Mike & Catrell Cooney, made financial sacrifices in order to fulfill a promise they had committed to their sons – that they would travel around the world as a family.
“The purpose of our hair-brained idea was to expose our three sons to the world before starting college. As I always like to say, we spent the funds for their Ivy League education up front. Our philosophy then and now, is that ‘Travel is the ultimate education.’ The knowledge they gained, the people they met and the cultures they experienced were not something they could learn from a book. It could only occur by being immersed in a journey that taught all of us more about the world in which we live.
And in the process, Catrell and I believe we helped create better global citizens who have memories to last a lifetime, and will make travel apart of their future as well.”