Manali & Terry: Content, Relaxed Yet Energized
Manali and Terry just recently returned from eighteen months of extended travel, visiting 27 countries and have now settled in Boston, MA trading their backpacks to briefcases once again! You can check out their website at www.manaliandterry.com or follow them on twitter @manaliandterry.
On your blog you describe yourselves as “Yuppies to Hippies”.
Now that you have returned from your career break and extended honeymoon, how would you describe yourselves?
Content, relaxed yet energized! We would definitely also add the word “appreciative” to how we describe ourselves. We appreciate that we took the time off to explore the world and yet we appreciate even more the opportunities that we have back home compared to some of the places we visited. We are so glad that we were able to take the leap and take full advantage of an extended career break, leave all our worries behind and be a part of this strong traveler community!
That was quite a honeymoon.
What was your favorite part of the experience?
Our favorite part was meeting new people, experiencing new cultures and just being able to relax with no set deadlines or specific “things to do”. We learned so much about being able to be adjust to unknown surroundings quickly and be comfortable among strangers. We met some amazing and inspirational people in every country we visited and have been trying to keep in touch!
How has your transition to life back at home been going?
Have you experienced any reverse culture shock?
As soon as we landed stateside, we were glad to be home but definitely noticed the “in your face” marketing, large billboards and loud ads on the tv as soon as we had two feet on the ground for busy Christmas shopping season. Although people were still friendly, everyone was in a rush to cross items off the list with their “to go” food and coffee, scurrying to their next destination. We are going to try very hard not to fall back into the ‘checklist’ mentality and enjoy every moment of every precious day!
You’ve actually settled into a new city.
How did you come to that decision?
When our travels were nearing the end, we were really tempted to continue to live abroad and begin a new adventure as expats in a foreign country. We attempted to find corporate jobs abroad but nothing really caught our attention, so we focused efforts back home in the States, keeping our options completely open to all 50 states. Eventually, wonderful opportunities arose in Boston, MA. After moving a day before a massive blizzard hit the area in January, we are still awaiting the warm weather everyone has promised will come soon!
What are your career plans now?
And how did your break influence your decisions?
Before we left and during our travels, we were worried that we won’t be able to go back to a “normal” corporate desk jobs again, so we really tried to list out qualities that were important to us before we jumped back into the “real world”. During our job search, we looked for opportunities that allowed us to make an impact at work, schedules that were flexible and had great cohesive team environments. Although there is no perfect job, we are happy with our current situations, have shared many of our travel experiences with intrigued coworkers and hope they catch the travel bug soon! Our career break also taught us that there is definitely life outside the cubicle and we may even change our career paths in the future to incorporate some extended travel, whether it may be helping other people plan, hosting travelers or even retiring on a small remote island!
You’ve gone from honeymooners to expectant parents.
How do you plan to incorporate travel into your life as a family?
We are expecting a little baby backpacker this October! We definitely will be taking international trips as soon as we feel ready, especially since we have family abroad. We’re hoping our kids are curious and interested in traveling early – we’ve been inspired by many families that travel long term and plan to take a year off again sometime in the future!
What were you doing one year ago today?
Living the good life! We were cruising the Greek Isles, basking in the sunshine on the white sand beaches and enjoying plenty of delicious cheeses and wine!
We would highly recommend long-term travel to anyone! There isn’t a day that goes by that we aren’t reminded of the fantastic places and people we encountered. We hope that we will cherish those memories forever as a couple and inspire future travelers.
People always say that we are “lucky” but honestly, luck has nothing to do with it! Once you take the first step, you will have wonderful experiences at your fingertips – the world awaits!