Beginning or Ending in Hawaii

Beginnings and Endings are always the most challenging when it comes to a career break. In fact, I never really know which one is harder. When you begin your break, you are normally a bundle of nervous excitement with your head aching from all of the planning and checklists you’ve been working with for the last few months. But the real part that makes you break out into a cold sweat is you are heading out into the unknown and outside of your typically predictable life.

Equally perspiration inducing is the return and re-entry into your ‘old’ predictable world when you finish your career break. If you’ve been traveling in far off countries for a significant time, coming home to your own culture can be jolting. You are bombarded with marketing, politics, high prices, questions about what you are going to do next; it makes you want to hop on the next plane out to anywhere!

Abrupt transitions such as the beginning and end of a career break can be challenging and in order to ease that transition we suggest that you consider easing into or out of your break. And one very good place to do that is Hawaii.

The little chain of islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean are the perfect place to ease into cultural transition.

Hawaii is indeed the US on paper, but once you get there you won’t feel as if you are in the US any longer. It’s a mix of east meets west, of American culture and Polynesian island culture.  You will feel as if you are in another country as you try the new food, get used to the new vowel-centric language, and understand the different customs of Ohana (family).

If you are leaving on a career break to Asia, this can be the perfect place to ease into the Asian culture. And if you are on your way home to the US after being gone for months of traveling, Hawaii can be a way to ease you back into American culture.


The great news is that you can potentially do this for free, or a very low cost thanks to the possibility of stopovers offered from various airlines. If you are flying to/from Australia, New Zealand, and many parts of Asia stopovers in Hawaii are a real possibility. Check out the stop over destinations and deals on the Web sites for companies like New Zealand Air, Quantas , Air Tahiti Nui, and Hawaiian Air (stopover rules). And if you don’t know much about how stopovers work (strangely they aren’t publicized very well), then check out this great stopover article from Bootsnall.

What to Do

So now you know that you can consider Hawaii an easy and affordable stop on the beginning or end of your career break – but what do you do once you get there? You can do much more than you think; Hawaii isn’t just about beaches and Hawaii golf courses. You can hike the hundreds of trails on Oahu, engross yourself in Hawaiian royal history, stay with/meet locals via, learn to surf, go shark cage diving, and go horse back riding. You may even be able to catch a Meet Plan Go Travel meetup in Honolulu! Or you can simply soak in the Aloha spirit and prepare for your next stop on your career break.

This post was sponsored by PGA Championship golf vacations

Photography from Sherry Ott’s recent Hawaii ‘break’:

Career Break Guide Table of Contents

Meet Plan Go