2011 Recap: Preparation

Traveling with a partner? Moving abroad? Want to travel with a purpose? We’ve had some great guest posts covering these topics as well as other preparation tips. Here is a recap of those featured in 2011.

Preparing for Long-Term Travel with Your Partner

Adam Seper and his wife Megan have embraced travel throughout their decade long relationship. And after getting married, they decided that instead of pursuing the “American Dream” of buying a house and starting a family, they wanted to travel the world instead. So in October of 2008 they set off on a 358-day adventure, visiting 4 continents, 11 countries, and nearly 90 cities. Since they’ve returned, Megan is back being an attorney and Adam is pursuing a career in travel writing – including running the site World Travel for Couples.

For other couples preparing for an adventure of their own, here are some important insights and tips they learned.

If you’ve never taken an extended trip before, you’re bound to have tons of questions. How do we begin planning for something like this? Do we just up and quit our jobs? Is a sabbatical possible? How do we choose where to go? What do we pack? What about visas? Certainly all important questions. But what some fail to think about is what it will actually be like out on the road, especially in regards to traveling with your partner. Continue…

Sorting Through Travel Information Overload

In January of 2012, Jannell Howell will set off on a year-long journey around the world. Her plans will take her West from San Francisco where she’ll travel through Southeast Asia, meander through India and the Middle East, explore Europe and the U.K., check out Morocco, then fly to the East Coast of the U.S. where she’s looking to relocate. Aside from some basic sightseeing and unique activities (e.g. ride an elephant, learn a language, etc), she would like to try working and volunteering overseas, as well as getting to know some locals and a different way of life.

Jannell has joined Career Break Basic Training to help with her planning and blogs about this preparation stage on her site Traveljunkies World Tour. Here she shares how her plans are coming along.

What inspired you to plan a career break?
I knew from an early age that I loved to travel and have gone on some wonderful vacations that allowed me to unplug from reality, but I always longed for more. Wanting to travel around the world has been a dream of mine for a long time, but I never thought I’d get to a point when I had the money or the time to go. Last year, the dream resurfaced as a way to celebrate my 40th birthday in 2012. Then, two weeks later, I attended a Meet, Plan, Go! event that gave me the courage to go for it! Continue…

Preparing to Move Abroad

Hudgins FamilyNot all career breakers dream of traveling around the world during their break away. Many prefer to utilize their time, no matter how long, based in one place, much like Abby Tegnelia did in Costa Rica. But unlike Abby, where a planned one-month stay turned into 12 months, the idea of moving abroad, even temporarily, can create some anxiety.

Coley Hudgins understands this after making the decision to move his family to Panama. Here he offers 5 risk-free strategies to get out of the “Inertia Zone” and on the move.

For many of us anxiety breeds inertia. When we’re outside our comfort zone, productivity stops. We surf the Internet, read, sit on the couch in our underwear eating cheese doodles, anything to avoid pushing through the anxiety. Continue…

Traveling with a Purpose: The Happy Nomad Tour

Adam Pervez in JapanAdam Pervez is no stranger to traveling. He’s been to 47 countries and has lived in six. “I am a master at hit and run travel. I arrive, run around like a madman for three days, see the museums and monuments, and leave feeling like I know the place. Yet I often don’t get a chance to talk to a local person!”

“After college I took a job with an oil services company in the Middle East that allowed me to travel extensively. I then did an MBA in Spain and ‘redeemed’ myself by working for a wind power company in Denmark. By all accounts, it was the perfect job in the happiest country in the world. It really was exactly what I thought I wanted – a comfortable life with stability and nothing to worry about. But it didn’t take long for me to start questioning, well, everything!” Continue…

Travel Health Insurance Providing Creditable Coverage

Delphine Foo-MatkinFiguring out health insurance options in the United States isn’t simple. Throw two-year round-the-world travel plans into the mix and it starts looking even uglier.

When my husband and I started seriously considering the idea of traveling around the world to surf for two years, one of our most pressing concerns was how to protect our health during our trip as well as after we return back home to the U.S. My husband holds a full-time position that provides health insurance coverage for both of us. However, we won’t be eligible for COBRA since he isn’t being laid off, and his company has fewer than twenty employees at the moment. Those are both requirements for COBRA eligibility.

In addition to finding the best level of coverage and customer service, it’s important to ensure that the travel health insurance policy you choose offers what is known as “creditable coverage.” “Creditable coverage” signifies a comprehensive health insurance policy within the U.S. in which the health coverage is not secondary to any other kind of insurance (eg. Liability or accident insurance). Continue…

A Career Break with a Purpose

Lisa Dazols & Jenni ChangAs if taking a year off to travel the globe was not enough of a thrill, Jenni and I decided to give our trip a little something extra. Overachievers by nature, we wanted to use our year abroad to accomplish something meaningful.

What began as a conversation with a friend who spent a year interviewing healers around the world for her PhD has now turned into an ambitious project to tell our story as a lesbian couple and interview gay people across the globe. We named our project Out and Around: Stories From a Not-So-Straight Journey and launched a website to tell these stories. Our latest goal is to raise $6,000 to make an educational documentary out of our journey

During our travels through sixteen countries, we’ll be on the hunt for the Supergays – individuals who are leading the momentum on the LGBT movement. Supergays may be directly involved in community organization, or they may be using their influence in politics, health, arts, entertainment, or business to raise awareness and make progress on gay issues. Continue…

Checklist Chaos

“I can’t wait to board the plane… I can’t wait to board the plane…”

As planning for the big trip continues, it’s turning into a mantra that I continue to recite to myself as I once again fold the lined 8 ½ x 11 sheet of paper in half, in half again, and one final fold to get the result to a manageable size. As I tuck it away, this sheet joins its brothers and sisters as just one of a stack of several pieces of paper all quarter folded now in my front right pocket. This small stack of paper has become the source for most of my brain power when I am not at work…

What’s on these carefully folded sheets of paper? Checklists. Pages and pages of checklists. Continue…

Choosing the Perfect Backpack

How to choose the perfect backpack for long-term travel is no easy task. Dr. Sarah Johnson of the Spine Wellness Center in Las Vegas offers some key advice to help you through the process.

As a long-term traveler, you’ll need to carry everything with you, which means your backpack becomes your closet, you office and your home. Over the course of your trip, you’ll have to lift your bag hundreds of times, carry it dozens of miles and slip it on and off over and over again.

All of these actions can be rough on the body, so before you leave for your trip, take the time to find a backpack that fits properly, feels comfortable and doesn’t put any undue stress on your back or shoulders. Here are a few things to keep in mind when finding—and using—the perfect backpack: Continue…

How Much of My Trip Should I Plan?

Balancing Spontaneity and Preparedness

When planning that big trip I spent a lot of time daydreaming. I was going to glide from place to place with the wind; it would be amazing, we would just meet someone in a cafe in a small town who would tell a story of a lovely little island, and then we would say, “lets go”.

Well, it sort of can work that way, but enter Reality. It turns out long-term traveling has just as much to do with counting days on your visa, understanding bus routes, and knowing which day of the week an entire town is likely to shut down as it does with improvisation. Most travelers have a tendency to either over-plan every aspect of their trip, or remain blissfully ignorant under the belief that “everything will work itself out.” Here are some great tips on how to keep a healthy balance when planning your trip. Continue…

Leaving Your Job Gracefully

Warren & Betsy TalbotThere was nothing scarier for me after the decision to travel around the world than the aspect of leaving my career.

For 20 years I had identified myself by my career and the idea of leaving terrified me. I’ve written a lot about this internal turmoil and the resulting feelings a year later.

One of the many aspects I had to confront, and I am sure you are wrestling with as well, is how do I leave my job gracefully and when do I tell them. There have been jobs in my past where I wanted just to light a match, set it to the kindling, and burn the bridge in spectacular fashion. Trust me when I tell you that the corresponding elated and satisfied feeling will die away quickly when you see the impact in has on your career prospects. Continue…

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