MPG Panelists – Inspiration Part 1

We love sharing career breakers stories to help inspire your own career break.  And with our upcoming event, we are so impressed and inspired ourselves by our 70+ panelists. So we thought we would share some of their stories and hopefully you will find yourself close to one of their cities to meet them in person.

Angela Petitt

“If not now, when?” Unable to shake the nagging desire to travel and live life to the fullest, Angela took a step of faith and quit her corporate IT job in August 2009 to go on sabbatical. In spite of being in the throes of the recession, she decided that she would rather take a chance on her dreams to see the world instead of continuing on in the ordinary daily grind. When she made the decision, Angela really had no clue what was next. But, a few days after her last day at work, she was on a plane to Italy! From that point on, she found herself on a different adventure every month!

Angela’s sabbatical has enabled her to enjoy new experiences such as playing golf, horseback riding, flying a small airplane, climbing the Great Wall in China, narrowly escaping the earthquake in Japan, zip lining in Cabo, cave diving in Punta Cana, and freezing with bone-chilling temperatures in Siberia. She has also traveled to Egypt, Israel, Greece, Colombia, Nicaragua, Germany, Turkey, Panama, and many other amazing destinations.

The adventure continues as she is currently pursuing her Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership…but the travel definitely continues. When not traveling, Angela makes her home in Houston, Texas.

Website: Sabbatical Scapes | Twitter: @angelwings1723

Want to attend the Austin event?

Janet RileyJanet Riley

Janet is just returning from a career break year. Following a layoff from her programming job, Janet accepted a volunteer position at a children’s hospital in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Janet spent eight months working on a software project, and missed one of the snowiest Boston winters in memory. When not working, she visited Phnom Pehn, got her scuba certification in Sihanoukville, and visited Bangkok with other expats.

Shortly before leaving for Cambodia in September, Janet attended the first Meet, Plan, Go! in Boston. She entered the MPG raffle, and won the Conversation Corps prize donated by 2010 sponsor GeoVisions. The Conversation Corps program focuses on cultural exchange through English conversation practice with a host family. On the way home from Cambodia in June, Janet stayed with a family in Lyon, France. In addition to conversation practice, Janet got to attend a wedding, visit a first grade class, meet the family’s friends and relatives, and watch and discuss the fine points of the Simpsons, It was an invaluable chance to learn French and experience everyday life in another culture.

Website: Janet Riley

Want to attend the Boston event?

Keith Savage

Keith spent nearly eight years as a writer at a high-tech electronic medical health software company before trading it in for a shot at his passions: travel and writing. Though married and saddled with a mortgage, Keith and his wife Sarah refused to give up his professional happiness and plotted a course to make a new lifestyle work. After more than a year of strict budgets and hardcore saving, Keith was ready to take the plunge.

Since November 2010, Keith has spent one month in Argentina and two months in Scotland under the moniker Traveling Savage, where he blogs. Currently, Keith spends 3-4 months each year traveling around Scotland searching for the perfect dram of whisky and those unexpected liminal moments of transcendence. Otherwise, you can usually find him in Madison, Wisconsin catching up on his writing and enjoying a green smoothie.

Website: Traveling Savage | Twitter: @TravelingSavage

Want to attend the Chicago event?

Jim & Wendy PearsonJim and Wendy Pearson

Jim and Wendy have been intrepid travelers since they married in 1997. A motorcycle adventurer at heart, Jim’s dual-sport escapades have taken him across Alaska, Central America and even the Australian outback. Wendy’s less dusty travels have landed her in place as diverse as Russia and Manila, Brazil and Singapore. Together and apart they’ve traveled the Americas and beyond, but each time with one pesky restriction: two week trip maximums.

After many years of feeling of being held hostage by their lifestyle of “live to work, work to live,” they decided to make a change. In November 2011, Jim and Wendy are leaving corporate America and embarking on a three-year around the world trip by road. They are packing up their 2006 Ford F550 camper, giving away all their belongings, renting out their house and taking their marketable skills on the road with their dog Neva. Not sure what they will find, they are taking stock in the fact that whatever it is will bring them happiness and growth.

Website: Global Road Trekker | Twitter: RoadTrekker

Want to attend the Denver event?

Diana Edelman

In 2010, Diana decided she needed a change. She was no longer satisfied with her career in public relations, she had always dreamed of traveling the world so, on March 7, 2010, that is exactly what she did. Diana put her belongings in storage, drove her car back to Maryland and parked it in her parent’s drive, strapped her backpack on, and headed over to Europe and Africa. For seven months, she backpacked solo, writing about her adventures on her blog, D Travels Round.

When she returned, she relocated to her former home, Las Vegas, and accepted a position with MCC Hospitality Group as the Director of Communications for the company’s many restaurants in Las Vegas and LA. She still writes for her blog and is also a contributing travel writer for

Website: D Travels Round | Twitter: @dtravelsround

Want to attend the Las Vegas event?

Doris Gallan and Jacob Frank

Doris and Jacob quit the rat race in 2006 to pursue their life-long passion of traveling. The two left their corporate jobs, sold their Los Angeles-area home and everything they owned to travel the world for five continuous years. The couple went around the world twice, visiting all seven continents and 50+ countries.

The first ’round-the-world trip lasted 26 months, spread through 42 countries on six continents (including Antarctica), and used up three backpacks. The second RTW voyage was less ambitious: a dozen countries on three continents over two and a half years. The much slower pace was due to the decision to live nine months in Mexico, six in Costa Rica, and a year in China where Doris wrote books while Jacob taught English as a foreign language.

Website: Baby Boomers Traveling | Twitter: @boomertraveling

Want to attend the Los Angeles event?

Check out all of our 17 event locations on October 18th!

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