Posts Tagged ‘top-feature’

‘Try Before You Buy’ A Career Break
Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

Sherry & her motorbike in Vietnam

When I was preparing to run my first marathon in 1998, I started telling all of my family and friends about it; even though I had never run more than 10 miles at that point and really had no idea if I would be able to do the marathon or not. Yet I proudly told people that I would be running 26.2 miles in a little over 3 months.

When I started considering moving to Vietnam in 2008, I started to slowly mention to people that I would be moving to Saigon to teach for a year. I would hear and see their reactions and tuck them away in my brain. I wasn’t too confident yet that I would be moving – but I continued to spread the Vietnam-expat message in order to see how it felt to say me hear the words aloud.

Verbalizing Goals Is Powerful

Basically – I like to try big goals on for size; verbalize them, and then listen to what they sound like. Does it sound good? Does it roll off my tongue? How do I feel when I say it? What are people’s reactions?

Many goals dance around in our heads, but once you actually verbalize them it’s different – they move from your head into sounds. Sounds other people hear, digest, and remember.

It’s like seeing a great pair of jeans on the rack that look perfect – and then you go try them on and realize they make your ass look big and they go back on the rack. Sometimes you need to try your goals on for size. See what they look like and how they feel. Do they flatter you, or do they make you feel uncomfortable? What do others think about them?

This is what I recommend people do when it comes to their career break or travel goals. I know you dream of seeing the Pyramids, volunteering in India, or living in Bangkok, but have they been verbalized yet? Have you ‘tried them on’?

Try It On For Size – Say It Aloud

You can do it. Just let the words come out of your mouth in the privacy of your home…

“I’m going to take a career break and travel.”

How does it feel to allow the words to come out of your mouth? Liberating? Scary?

Now – go to your trusted friend and say it.

Next, go to a stranger at a Meet, Plan, Go! meetup and say it.

By stating your goal – you are more likely to do it.

This is one of the reasons we hold Meet, Plan, Go! events in your city; you can meet and talk to others about your travel goals – A supportive community who is more than happy to help you ‘try your goal on.’

Once you say it, it sounds good, it feels liberating; this is only the first step. Next start taking actions to plan that career break or sabbatical. What’s that? You don’t know where to start?

Hold On Before You Feel Defeated

Consider signing up for the Career Break 30 e-course – it’s free. It will lead you over the hurdles and through the entire process of planning and taking a meaningful career break or sabbatical; from the contemplation and preparation to on-the-road and re-entry. Plus, you’ll have support along the way from a group of people who all hold your same goals to travel.

And in the vain of trying before you buy – here’s a free checklist Go ahead. Download it. Try it on. See if you like it. If you do – then consider signing up for the Basic Training class and community to equip yourself with the tools to achieve your goal.

Try it on…verbalize it…and then move in the direction of your travel dreams.


A Career Break One Second At a Time
Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

Have you ever wondered what’s it really like to be traveling for a year? If you’ve only ever taken a 1 to 2 week vacation up to this point, but you desperately want to take a career break and do longer term travel, it can be hard to imagine.

Imagine no longer!

Career Breakers and Meet Plan Go attendees, Dave and Noelle, took off on a year long career break shortly after they got married.

“As a couple in our late twenties/early thirties, we made the decision to take the ‘now’ route of ‘now or never,’ and we haven’t looked back since!” –Noelle

Over the course of 12 months they visited 26 countries on 6 continents. Like many, they blogged about their experience at Best Kind of Lost, where you can read about their year long adventures.

However, they also went a step further and set out to capture their career break in 1 second video snippets using an app called 1 Second Every Day. It’s a super depiction of what a year of travel is really like – the exciting and the mundane.

Want to do this yourself? Then check out the apps.

Photo credit: Dennis Jarvis

How to Travel As a Couple on Career Break
Monday, May 19th, 2014

Warren and Betsy Hiking the Lycian Way in Turkey. Travel is a real test of a relationship!

How will your relationship fare during a career break? It’s easy to romanticize the entire thing, thinking your trip will play out like the couple version of Eat, Pray, Love. Even though reality is not quite as easy or predictable as the movies – thank the travel gods! – our friends and career break veterans, Betsy and Warren, say you can plan on a stronger, healthier relationship by the end of your career break by setting just a few ground rules and expectations.

Betsy and Warren Talbot first began planning their career break in 2008, and in 2010 they set off to travel the world (after hosting the first Seattle Meet Plan Go event!). While on their career break they began writing about their experiences and lessons, and it eventually spawned their own publishing business of books, courses, and a weekly podcast. Their career break actually led them to a brand-new career!  We’ve actually featured a number of their books on Meet Plan Go as they are great resources for career break planning, teaching you how to save money, get rid of your stuff, and overcome fear of making big changes in your life.

Now that they’ve been living, traveling and working together non-stop for four years, we wanted to ask them some specific questions about what they learned, and they sat down on the terrace of their new home in Spain to reveal some of the insights from their new book, Married with Luggage: What We Learned About Love by Traveling the World

Here’s what we covered:  

  • Travel actually strengthened your relationship – why is that? (0:25)
  • How did you handle the planning stages as a couple?  Did someone take the lead or was it shared responsibility? (1:23)
  • How do you make decisions as a couple when you travel? (2:25)
  • How do you manage when something really goes wrong? (4:25)
  • What one new thing did you learn about each other once you started traveling?  (5:33)
  • What tips do you have for spending 24/7 together as you are traveling? (6:48)

Popup_MWL_FinalWhat’s next for these two? They are taking a 12-city tour of Europe by train to mark the release of their latest book, and they are calling the whole trip An International Love Affair. Follow along at Married with Luggage to see what they uncover about love and romance as they ride the rails this summer.

And if you want an inside peek into the evolution of a marriage on the road, check out their 5-star rated book, Married with Luggage: What We Learned About Love by Traveling the World.

Overcoming Fear and Mental Hurdles
Monday, April 21st, 2014

Each person’s situation and fears are different, but most often our fears of career break and sabbatical travel fall into four main areas:
Financial: I don’t have enough money – you have to be rich to travel

Societal: What will others think if I leave my job to travel – my family, friends and peers won’t be supportive

Career: I will ruin my career with a gap on my resume

Safety: fear of travel in general (health, safety, theft)
You may relate to one or all of these fears to varying degrees. But an important first step is to recognize that these hurdles and thoughts are really stories you have created about yourself. They are not necessarily true, but they can have self-fulfilling consequences.

Best Case Scenario and Positive Thinking

We usually default to assuming the worst-case scenario will come true. But we challenge you to think about “What if everything goes right?” for a change. That’s right – just close your eyes and think about those perceived hurdles as opportunities.
Financial: I can learn how to better save money & budget which will benefit me/my family in the long run. I will also realize that I don’t need as much money as I think to be happy.

Societal: Others will love hearing my story of following my passions and I will inspire others to do the same.

Career: By taking this career break I will be more knowledgeable of the world and it’s cultures, a better communicator, able to work in a variety of environments, and demonstrate great flexibility that will make me stand out in interviews and cover letters.

Safety: I will learn ways to remain safe no matter where I am in the world and will see that how people & places are perceived in the media is not necessarily true for entire countries.
There is always a way to over get hurdles – always. Positive thinking is just a start.

Time is On Your Side

Keeping your fears all bottled up inside makes them turn into irrational monsters. Simply confronting and talking about your fears over time is another way to climb over the hurdles. Just listen to Kim Dinan, a future career breaker, speak about how her and her husband have been working through their obstacles over time:

Research the Fear

Another way to overcome hurdles is to educate yourself. It’s easy to jump to conclusions; it’s hard to do research. Instead of letting the fears spiral out of control, stay calm, do some research, and see if your fears are real or not. Adam Seper’s initial fear was that they didn’t have enough money to take a career break and travel, however once he started researching it and reading about others who have done it, he realized the fears were unfounded.

Through this course, we will help you confront these hurdles and leap over them. Most importantly we will introduce you to and surround you with people who have overcome these perceived hurdles. People who have done it and whose lives are better because of their breaks. It may not be an easy process, but nothing worth doing is ever easy.

Of all the risks you can take in your life, the one that stands out the most is the risk never taken at all.

 

A simple exercise to overcoming your fears;

ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR FEARS

“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing, which you think you cannot do. “ – Eleanor Roosevelt

Writing down your fears creates awareness and choice. Make a list of all of your fears you have about taking a career break or sabbatical and traveling.  Write as fast as you can in a brainstorming format. Include EVERY fear, however small or irrational. Then read them aloud, suspending judgment. Allow yourself to feel the fear without letting it spiral you into negativity. Notice that being afraid does not have to mean being pulled off center and losing ground.

If it feels comfortable, share your list with a friend. Before sharing your list, explain that you simply want a witness, that you are playing with how it is to acknowledge your fears without being pulled off center by them. Be clear that you are not asking for help and that you do not need advice. You do not need to be ‘fixed’. Ask your friend to simply listen, and to acknowledge you for being conscious of your fears.


 

How to Get Started Blogging on Your Career Break
Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

A BLOG’S LIFE – Part 1

Sherry Ott talks with David Lee of GoBackpacking.com & Travel Blog Success on why you should blog about your travels & other useful tips on how to get started. (Runtime – 13:14)

A formal apology for the audio quality of this interview! We conducted this interview between Colombia and Belgium and the Skype internet Gods were not with us that day! We’ve tried to transcribe the main points below!

  • 1:05 – What should people consider when they want to blog about the travels– For family and friends – still post on a regular basis
  • 1:55 – Making money from the experience requires more effort. Recommend start 1 year before you leave if possible.
  • 2:30 – What’s the difference between blogging for fun and blogging for money?– Fun = Can be less formal and go with the flow, consistency not as important- Money = Very important to establish a schedule and stick to it
  • 4:30 – What’s the best time to start a blog?– Dave started his 11 months before he left home. It helped him find his voice and style. The more time the better.
  • 5:14 – The readers like to read about the preparation. It’s important to document the steps you are taking so people can use it as a resource.
  • 6:10 – What do you need to start a blog– Access to computer and internet connection!- For casual bloggers you don’t need to bring your own laptop- WordPress software is free and can be found at www.wordpress.org– Dave’s recommendation!- Buy your own domain name. This is important if you want to blog for money.
  • 8:29 – How do you build a cohesive blog?– Think about what your niche or topic is. This helps you build an audience.- Incorporate photography. Provides an easy visual experience. Breaks up the writing and helps expand your audience.
  • 10:12 – What would have you done differently?– Spend a bit more money in the beginning to start out with a professional theme (frontend to wordpress). People will take you more seriously with a theme and it helps to attract advertisers. $75- Spend money on a domain name $10- Spend money to host your blog $75

A BLOG’S LIFE – Part 2

David Lee shares with Sherry some of his favorite travel blogs as well as some skills you can learn in advance of your journey that will enhance your blog. (Runtime – 9:13)

  • :56 – What are the elements of a good blog– Everything Everywhere is very honest and open about what he writes. Posts a Photo of the Day also. Good at forecasting trends that are happening.- Two Backpackers include HD video into their blog regularly (not an easy task!). Honest writing – they tell it like it is.- Backpack with Brock – Film student who blogged solely in HD Video. (If you want to do this – make sure you have some experience editing.)
  • 4:06 – Content is the most important. Being honest, using photography or video.
  • 4:52 – What do you recommend to do before you go to prepare?– Photography lessons- Travel Writing class
  • 6:12 – Travel Writing/photography tip – Take pictures of small moments you come across when you are traveling and not only the landmarks.
  • 7:45 – Don’t be intimidated, it’s not highly technical.

Resources Referenced by David Lee:

 

Making the Leap
Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

I’ve had a camera in my hand since I was a child, introduced to photography by my dad. My sister and I grew up with his Bronica ever present, despite our “Daaaad” (with whiny tone) protestations. I’m glad he persevered because we now have a priceless archive of thousands of slides showing our family and the countries we grew up in from the 1960s to the 80s when my sister and I left home for college.

I love photography. I love the process of creating a photograph: visualising the final result, making the shot, developing the film (yes, I still shoot on film) and then coaxing the final image out, gently shaping it during the printing stage. I also love being outdoors and walking. Mick (hubby) is also into photography, which makes things much easier. We focus on landscapes and wildlife.

I’ve had a day job as a project manager for 25 years. The thought of completely walking away from the corporate world and becoming a full time photographer has come and gone many times over those years. It hasn’t been practical, but as I trundle to work year after year, in the same zombie-like state as the thousands of other black-clad corporate commuters shoving their way off of train platforms and onto London Underground Tube platforms, my soul rebels.

Now, finally, we’re calling time on that life, even if only temporarily. We’re launching our On Your Doorstep photographic project which aims to (1) celebrate the great British landscape and (2) encourage people everywhere to get out and see the natural beauty that’s around them. For more information, check out our blog.

So, Mick, Bea (the dog), and I are packing our tent and heading out for a while. I can’t wait! We have some broad thoughts about where to go (The Lake District in England and various locations in Scotland), but we haven’t made any firm plans beyond the first week. The sense of freedom from not having every day mapped out is tremendous!

That’s not to say planning isn’t required; ours just focuses on what we need to stay warm, safe, and healthy rather than travel logistics.

Research

  • We’ve researched places that look interesting all over Scotland. We probably won’t get to them all, but it’s good to know. where we stand a good chance of getting the kinds of images we want. We’re also banking on local knowledge and lots of exploring to find hidden gems.
  • We’ve ordered a selection of good walking maps (Ordnance Survey).
  • I’ve found a couple of darkroom(s) in Scotland where I can at least make contact prints while we’re away, otherwise I’ll drown when we get back. Mick, being all digital, only needs to worry about having enough space on the external backup drive.

Packing

  • We have a well-worn packing list with everything from tents to smaller items like salt and pepper in the cook box (I love cooking).
  • British weather can be unpredictable, so we’re packing for cold, wet, snowy, sunny, hot and windy
  • Sturdy walking boots and good trekking poles go without saying.
  • Our emergency kit with compass, whistle, foil blanket and much more is ready. Every year the weather strands hikers walking the munros, even in Spring and mostly they’re not prepared.

Health

  • We’ve packed bug juice for midge season in Scotland as well as aspirin, bandages, antiseptic wipes, bandaids, etc.
  • We’ve ordered extra supplies of our prescription meds.
  • Bea has had her check-up and vaccinations, and we have tick treatments to take away.

Home

  • We’ve arranged house sitters.
  • We’ve arranged for our mail to be held at the Post Office while we’re away.
  • Our bills are all paid automatically; our bank’s great iPhone app allows us to manage our money.

Keeping in touch

  • Our website and blog are up
  • A Google custom map, embedded in our blog, will allow family and friends to follow our journey. You’ll find us on our website or Twitter @Thurmanovich.

This “just go” approach isn’t for everybody. We’ve quit our jobs, so we don’t have any guaranteed income to come back to; we’re making this our opportunity to really get our photography business going. We can supplement our income with temporary work where we need to, and even if we have to go back to “day jobs” for a while, the new business will have benefitted from some undivided attention at the crucial start-up phase.

Sometimes you have to close one door before another can open.

Baby Boomers Are Going Places
Saturday, April 5th, 2014

Yep. It’s official. My unofficial wandering research project has proven that Baby Boomers are going places. To conduct this unscientific and completely biased investigation, I simply chatted up any Boomer who complained during our cruel winter—which happened about a million times. The results are staggering. Here are the top three findings.

They’re tired of home work

A big chill like so much of the country has endured causes problems. Ice dams become roof rot and leaks. Shoveling breaks backs. And falling icicles may impale slow-moving mid-lifers. Summer, meanwhile, brings little labor relief with yardwork, painting, patio projects, and more. And as for fall and spring? More maintenance—and who really likes raking or spring cleaning?

So it’s little wonder an alarming number of people have said to me, “I’m tired of my house; I’m starting to think about a smaller place or a nice, little condo.” My heart aches, frankly. After all, some of these folks still have a kid or two at home—or host college offspring during breaks and summers. It seems so soon to empty the next.

Not to mention: Some of these homes were once the Dream of a Lifetime. I’ve assisted with teardowns, architect plans, art procuring, landscaping, sauna designs, and (for those near water) boat chores (my job is packing the cooler). But many Boomers now dream less about walk-in closets—and more about walking away from honey-do weekends.

It’s true: Homes suck up life’s two most precious commodities: Time and money. As more Boomers realize this, I predict a mass-nomadic shift from spacious abodes to modest hovels. Expect a McMansion-bubble crash, complete with Millennials (the ones not still living at home) replying “lol” when offered 5,500 SF at fire-sale prices.

They’ve had it up to here with crappy weather

In Minnesota, we believe we’re been grandfathered-in to gripe about the weather since Ole Rolvaag wrote Frozen Giants in the Earth and Laura Ingalls Wilder penned Little Igloo on the Prairie. But this year left many folks speechless—and not just in the upper Midwest. After all, NYC had 55+ inches of snow. Atlanta became a skating rink (and car-crash capitol). And oranges froze in Florida; few states escaped winter’s wrath.

So where’s a Boomer to go? Not surprisingly, many have begun ponder snowbirding in Mexico, Panama, and Costa Rica. Some say Australia. Others simply scream, “Anywhere but here!” FBOW, many in my study seem unmoved by Florida, California, and other congested, Paradise-Lost locales. This could get interesting.

They really, really want to travel

Fingertip research verifies the travel hunger: Boomers spend $157 billion per year on it and list it as their #1 leisure activity. Surveys find they’re warming up to the idea of spending their children’s’ inheritances (literally) on cruise ships to Alaska and Big Breaks to Big Island, Napa, and Sedona.

So, no: It’s no longer about just gambling on Vegas or golfing in Phoenix. Boomers on the move dig ecotourism, volunteer vacations, adventure (hiking, biking, sailing), multigenerational journeys, passion pursuits, and other ambitious experiences. They’re looking outside of gated resorts and resolving to make it real.

Samplings from my wandering research: One couple will celebrate his 50th by finally taking their first trip to Europe (I’ve helped convince them to stay longer, visit fewer places, and budget more); another is planning a fly-in fishing expedition to Canada for three generations; a nurse is committing one month to help in Haiti.

Profound things happen as you age. Like, you realize you won’t live forever, so you better stop filling up your bucket list and start fulfilling it. Like, you see how each decade takes a physical toll so you can’t count on Kilimanjaro-climbing in your 70s.

Like, you realize you’ve likely worked your brain off, worried about others, and shoveled snow for about as long as you can remember. So, yeah, you deserve a BreakAway.

And that goes for you non-Boomers too!

Kirk Horsted blogs at MakeYourBreakAway.com and offers speeches and seminars too. Since 1990, he’s taken five sabbaticals ranging from 35 to 355 days, from Grandma’s farm (SD) to Waiheke (NZ). He’s embarked alone, with partner, and with his perfect children. When he must, he works as a writer, creative consultant, and college teacher.

Photo credits: GlacierNPS, all other photos courtesy of the author and may not be used without permission.

Boomers Know: Vacations Waste Time!
Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

Did you know that Americans left 577,212,000 unused vacation days on the table last year? Now THAT’s a stat to be proud of! And since Baby Boomers still comprise 31% of the workforce (despite that the youngest of them is 50), we owe them a big thanks for their outstanding live-to-work ethic! 

It gets better. 49% of Boomers intend not to retire until they’re 66 or older. And 10% say they’ll never retire at all! And to think we’re wasting online ink here trying to promote career breaks? The average employed American takes only 10 days off—and refuses to use the remaining 4. We’ve got 144 million workers; you do the math! 

So let’s stop this balderdash about the beauty of breaks, retirement (temporary or otherwise), and time off. Let’s dispel some myths about this nirvana-utopia that one allegedly lands at when, say, you pack your bags and fly to Vietnam or Cabo or San Fran or wherever.

Myth #1: Vacations offer rest.

This, of course, is poppycock—since vacations stress the already over-stressed routine, require months of planning, days of packing, and hours of travel—and often on jets with bad air, dangerous food (if any at all), not to mention seats the size of one butt cheek. Once “there,” simple but essential acts like procuring Pizza Hut and finding a decent toilet can be a chore. The R&R happens when you finally get home and collapse back into your harried life. 

Myth #2. Vacations are affordable.

You kidding me? You gotta buy gas to drive anywhere, if only to the family cabin. And what about sandals and straw hats and Tommy Bahama shirts for the cruise or beach? Plus airfare and sleeps? Better to save your hard-earned cash for more important things, like big vehicles, Fleetwood Mac reunion tickets, and the newest iPhone.

Myth #3. You meet interesting people.

Nonsense! Vacationers (and the people who serve/sell to them) are unrealistic dweebs who like to set aside sanity for careless silliness. Take this guy. I recently met him while vacationing (gasp!) on St. John. He entertains lazy grinners and diners, makes guitars out of cigar boxes, and has been mastering his own musical style for years. Poor guy. He could have been a banker in North Dakota and gotten rich on the oil boom. 

Myth #4. You bond with family.

Yeah, so what? Who doesn’t get enough family—especially Boomers (who have had to deal with them for decades). Why make sandcastles with your grandkids when you already spent the holidays spoiling them? Stay home and stay tuned in and turned on. Find some Gilligan’s Island reruns and pay close attention to those hemorrhoid-remedy commercials! 

Myth #5. Vacations encourage exploration.

Ya sure, you can leave your comfort zone and go swim with man-stinging rays or climb rocks. But those are slippery slopes—and you could get your eye poked out. Stay on the job, I say, and keep up with your BookFace and Social Security and GetIntoMe accounts (when the boss isn’t looking). There’s SO much to explore in the office and online! 

This topic grows more vital daily—as frozen Americans fly recklessly away for warm “escapes” to potential doom and destruction, and others begin to ponder summer BreakAways. 

But you know better, right? Good! So stop dreaming. Stop scheming. And stop saving your money. Thank you!

Now, get back to work. 

Kirk Horsted blogs at MakeYourBreakAway.com and offers speeches and seminars too. Since 1990, he’s taken five sabbaticals ranging from 35 to 355 days, from Grandma’s farm (SD) to Waiheke (NZ). He’s embarked alone, with partner, and with his perfect children. When he must, he works as a writer, creative consultant, and college teacher.

Connect With Other Like-Minded People
Thursday, March 20th, 2014

Meet, Plan, Go is all about community.

That was the whole idea behind its creation. We knew we weren’t the only ones who wondered if there was something more out there to life than the 9-5 grind of work.

Throughout our existence, we have met loads of other people and companies who share our same passion of the value of career breaks and long-term travel, and we want to continue to make and foster new connections.

Meet, Plan, Go and BootsnAll have worked together on a number of projects over the years, including the 30-Day Career Break Planning E-Course launched in 2013.

In less than two weeks, on April 1, BootsnAll is teaming with Dani from Going Nomadic to launch a new community building project that we wanted to share, called 30 Days of Indie Travel Art Project.

We thought this might be right up the alley of career breakers as we know many of you are looking for something different – a new avenue of expressing yourself and possibly finding or rediscovering a new passion.

You probably already have a love of long-term travel or else you wouldn’t be here, and if you are also the creative type (or want to become the creative type), then this project is for you!

The Details

Each day for the entire month of April, BootsnAll will offer a new prompt having to do with long-term travel. Anyone is encouraged to join and participate as much or as little as you want.

Each prompt is meant to inspire your post, art, video, photography, or however you choose to express yourself that particular day.

No matter where you are in the blogging world – established blogger, just starting out, or somewhere in between – we want you to participate!

This might even be the kick in the pants you need to get a blog started if you’ve ever thought about it. You’ll have 30 new content ideas by the time April is up, and you’ll have a community to connect with and get feedback from.

How to Join

BootsnAll will post a new prompt each day, and you can receive them in a number of ways:

  1. Sign up for the Daily Dose Newsletter to get prompts delivered to your email each morning (at 10am EST/7am PST).
  2. Check out the articles page or the BootsnAll home page each morning (a new article with that day’s prompt will be posted at 6am EST/3am PST).
  3. Check their Facebook page for the prompt each day.
  4. Check their Twitter feed for the prompt each day.
  5. Bookmark this page as the new prompt will be added to it each day.

After receiving the prompt and creating your response, tweet it to BootsnAll with the hashtag #indie30. They’ll be reading all submissions and creating weekly round-up posts with their favorites.

The goal is to blog each day, but it is not a requirement to do it daily or even on the day a prompt is published. Do it on your own timeline and respond to the prompts that speak to you most!

We love to connect with like-minded career break travelers, and if you have any questions or comments, leave them below.

Packing Tips from Career Breakers
Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

There are endless packing lists and tips on the Internet – and they are a great place to start – but we find that no matter how much advice you are given or receive, it will really come down to personal choice.

So you won’t find any lists here, but but you will hear tips on what worked for us and some of our career break vets.

Minimalist Packing Advice

For career breakers, one of the hardest things to do is imagine what life is like living out of a single suitcase for an extended period of time. This means leaving behind many things. So we asked Francine Jay, aka Miss Minimalist, to provide some ‘minimalist’ packing advice.

  • Bring a travel clothesline, and travel packets of laundry detergent. These two simple items will save you tons of space in your suitcase. The more often you wash, the less clothing you’ll need to lug around!
  • Use packing cubes. Life on the road is much easier (and more organized) when you don’t have loose stuff rolling around in your suitcase. I think of my packing cubes as “drawers,” and use them to keep like items together. If space is at a premium, you may want to consider compression bags.
  • Don’t pack stuff you can buy on the road. For example, bring only small quantities of toiletries, and simply buy more when you run out. I have fond memories of shopping for toothpaste in Tokyo!
  • When it comes to clothing, versatility is key. Pack items that go from daytime to dinner, or can be dressed up with accessories (like a scarf or necklace). Favor items that can be layered, so they’ll work in a variety of climates. And choose your shoes wisely, so that you can get by with one pair (or two at the most!).
  • For winter travel or colder climates, pack silk long johns. They’re extremely lightweight, take up next to no space, and eliminate the need for bulkier clothing. You can even wear them as pajamas in a pinch!

Career Breaker Must-Haves

No matter how many times we say “no really, you don’t need to pack everything!” people don’t seem to listen. So we asked some of our career break vets to tell us what things they can’t travel without. You might find some surprising items!

MICHAELA POTTER

Michaela shares why carabiners, a head lamp, and her journal are the three things she never leaves home without.

KIRK HORSTED 

Ever think a frisbee was an essential item to pack? It is for Kirk, and you may become a believer too! Hear why he loves packing a frisbee, plus ear plugs and his Swiss Army knife.

LILLIE MARSHALL

If you are packing something that only has one use – leave it behind. Hear why from Lillie.

SHERRY OTT

Sherry shares some of her packing tips along with the items she doesn’t leave home without.

LISA LUBIN

Lisa shares her profound love for her laptop and the other items she doesn’t leave home without, including a raincoat, watch, and packing cubes.

What items do you think you can’t leave home without?

 

Career Break Guide Table of Contents

Meet Plan Go