Reflection: Setting Goals for 2010 Part 2
Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

The end of the year always inspires reflection. But it also offers an opportunity to set goals for the future. So as 2010 approaches, we asked more of our favorite travelers and career breakers to share their travel and career goals for the upcoming year.

[singlepic=1619,150,,,right]HOLE IN THE DONUT – BARBARA WEIBEL
After three years of devotion, my blog has finally started to take off. I even had to move to a virtual private server with a dedicated IP address because my previous host could no longer handle the traffic. When I first deserted corporate life to recreate myself as a travel writer and photographer, my plan was to write a book (a best-seller, of course) and break into traditional travel magazine and newspaper travel markets. The universe had other plans, however, and I am thankful that I was open to the path that was laid out before me. Instead of magazines and newspapers, I found opportunities for online travel writing, which provided exposure for my blog through backlinks and bylines. I am happy to report that my blog, along with my other contract online writing, has become my new career, and I couldn’t be more delighted.

I have been so busy building my new business that I have not been able to travel as much as I would have liked since returning from my R-T-W trip in 2007. However, I hope that will change in 2010. At the moment, I have tentative plans to go to Mexico in February and just keep going south. The countries on my radar include Guatemala, Belize, Panama, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Peru. A few travel bloggers are informally discussing a possible meet up at Machu Picchu in April or May. Then it will be back to the States for 3 or 4 months before heading for China, ending up at the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai. Afterward I hope to continue to Hong Kong, Malaysia, Macao, Myanmar, and spend a month in Laos before heading for a Yoga retreat in Thailand. If possible, I’d love to do side trips to Borneo and perhaps the Philippines. But, as with all travel plans, this is all fluid, but at least it’s a beginning plan.

Blog: Hole in The Donut | Twitter: @holeinthedonut

[singlepic=1630,150,,,right]NOMADIC MATT – MATT KEPNES
I’m planning a big year in 2010. It’s only fitting since it is the start of a new decade. Career wise, I plan to launch a contest right after the New Year giving away a free trip to Costa Rica. I’d also like to increase my Google rankings. I plan to travel through Australia, Asia, Europe, and drive across America in 2010. I’m going to live in NYC for the summer learning French and Swedish as well as improving my Spanish.

Blog: Nomadic Matt | Twitter: @nomadicmatt


Reflection: Setting Goals for 2010 Part 1
Monday, December 28th, 2009

The end of the year always inspires reflection. But it also offers an opportunity to set goals for the future. So as 2010 approaches, we asked several of our favorite travelers and career breakers to share their travel and career goals for the upcoming year.

[singlepic=1623,200,,,right]MARRIED WITH LUGGAGE – BETSY & WARREN TALBOT
Betsy and Warren Talbot will be starting their round-the-world adventures in Fall 2010. Here are some goals they have set before they take off.

  • Sell our house. Know anyone looking for a great townhouse in a funky neighborhood?
  • Get interviews, guest blog posts, articles, and reviews of our ebook on How We Saved Enough Money to Change Our Lives (and How You Can, Too!). Know anyone who could help?
  • A steady stream of side jobs for both of us so we can maintain a small income as we begin our travels in October. Warren is developing WordPress sites for small business, and I am still doing some business consulting for solo entrepreneurs.

Blog: Married with Luggage | Twitter: @betsytalbot

[singlepic=1626,200,,,right]THE PROFESSIONAL HOBO – NORA DUNN
In 2009 I was relatively stationary (for a variety of reasons) and it led to putting full-time hours into my writing. This worked well with the release of my first book: 10,001 Ways to Live Large on a Small Budget, and allowed me to achieve some big career goals. But as a lifestyle, this is not what I intended. I want to write part-time and continue to earn enough money to sustain my location independent full-time travel lifestyle. (Because really – what’s the point of traveling if you’re stuck in a room 60 hours/week working for it?!)

2010 is the year to kick things into second gear; to ease up on effort expended and stop spending time on unnecessary things. This goal will be tangibly achieved when I can comfortably fit my work into 20 hours per week or less and maintain a similar or increased income. Wish me luck!

Blog: The Professional Hobo | Twitter: @hobonora


Reflection: Giving Thanks for Career Breaks Present
Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

In celebration of Thanksgiving this week, we’ve asked career breakers past and present to share with us what makes them thankful for having taken their career break to travel.


[singlepic=55,250,,,right]Sherry Ott – Otts World
I’m thankful for taking a traveling career break because…

  • it opened my eyes to a world and cultures beyond my imagination.
  • it unleashed a creative side of me that I didn’t know existed any longer.
  • it helped me understand the definition of patience.
  • it provided me options for new careers.
  • it provided me a new friend support network all around the world.
  • it taught me how to give back through hands on volunteering.

I am no longer doing something that made me miserable wondering what lie outside my cubicle walls.

[singlepic=1577,250,,,right]Jason Castellani & Aracely Santos – Two Backpackers
I am thankful that I have the ability to financially enjoy a trip like this. My parents ensured that I received a good education and I have worked for many years earning a good living. Now, more than ever, I realize the world has much to offer and we should all get out and see it!

Aracely: I am thankful to my mother for all her hard work everyday of my life. She gave up everything she knew in Ecuador and took a huge risk to immigrate to U.S hoping for the best. Because of her courage, I have enjoyed great opportunities and been able to experience really amazing things.


Reflection: Giving Thanks for Career Breaks Past
Monday, November 23rd, 2009

In celebration of Thanksgiving this week, we’ve asked career breakers past and present to share with us what makes them thankful for having taken their career break to travel.


[singlepic=1487,250,,,right]Marc Hoffmeister – 4Suitcases
We’re very thankful to be spending this Thanksgiving back at home, surrounded by family, friends, and the proper food! Even though it caused me to miss out on those things last year, I still owe my career break a huge debt of gratitude.

So thank you, career break:

  • for helping me build a stronger relationship with the most important people in my life;
  • for shattering my misconceptions and stereotypes about other countries & cultures;
  • for teaching me to appreciate the good things about my own country & culture, and putting the bad stuff into perspective;
  • for introducing me to so many wonderful people all over the world, who continue to help and inspire me every day;
  • for showing me so much beauty;
  • for showing me how silly most of my fears are;
  • and most of all, for giving me time to evaluate my priorities and lifestyle choices – and for presenting me with lots of other options that never would have occurred to me otherwise. I can’t wait to try some more of them out!

[singlepic=1581,250,,,right]David Lee – Go Backpacking
I’m thankful for having taken a career break because it allowed me to fulfill a personal dream of mine to travel for an extended period of time. I felt completely free and it was everything I hoped for and more.

In addition to the travel itself, I learned a lot of practical lessons before leaving home which I will be able to apply for the rest of my life. For example, how setting short-term financial goals can make achieving a big, long term goal more realistic of an endeavor.

I’m also thankful that I had the guts to go through with the whole plan! It was incredibly fulfilling, and I returned home a more self-assured person.


Michael Bontempi: How My Career Break Helped My Career
Monday, July 20th, 2009

[singlepic=323,400,,,right]The decision to take my career break began in August of 2007. I had reached an impasse in my career as a management consultant with my current employer and had decided it was time for me to pursue a new organization to continue my career path. For most people, the typical approach to leaving a job is to remain in their current position as they seek other opportunities. For me, I knew if I continued in my current position, my daily responsibilities would continue to take top priority over seeking a new opportunity. I’m not sure if this is a character flaw or my sense of dedication and work ethic, so I knew that taking a break was my best alternative.

What amazed me the most was the number of colleagues who advised me to take the typical approach to leaving a job. Of course for many of them, there were other responsibilities (spouse, children, mortgage) that I did not have to consider as part of my decision. But in the end, the choice to leave without another position secured did seem incredibly risky.

By nature, I’m not the most foolish individual, nor do I avoid a new challenge. I consider myself a prudent saver and investor, so I took this opportunity to invest in myself for a period of time. I wanted some time to examine what I had accomplished in my career and begin to understand not only my strengths and weaknesses, but also what were the characteristics I would be looking for in new position and employer.


Reflection: Meet Sherry…This is Now
Wednesday, April 15th, 2009


As Sherry Ott approached the end of her trip, she reflected on how her career break opened up a new world to her.

Sixteen months…wow…I’ve surprised myself. All of you out there (specifically my brother and sister), who bet that I would never make it past a month…hand over your money.

I was looking at my original ‘This is Me’ post I did in July 2006 and I was taken aback. First of all, I looked a lot thinner, younger, and very blonde…but looks aren’t everything. The important thing is how you feel. Sixteen months have gone by and I feel like a completely different person. I honestly have no idea what I used to do at work any longer.


Reflection: Travel by Numbers
Thursday, January 15th, 2009

After her first 16-month journey, Sherry reflected on the experience through numbers.

[singlepic=1116,200,,,right]I must admit, I went to school for Accounting, why – I have no idea.
“Hello my name is Sherry and I’m a bean counter.”
Yeah – it never quite fit me, nor my personality, which is probably how I ended up in Information Technology. However, there was something about numbers that I liked which seems to fit with my Type A personality.

As I spend my days reuniting with old friends in New York, I am constantly asked to summarize my 16 months for everyone. This is not an easy task – therefore I started to actually prepare for this question in advance. I made lists…lists of countries, airlines, money, experiences, and anything else I could anticipate being asked. It provided me a summarized look at my travels through numbers…and I love numbers. So here it is – my around the world travels by numbers.


Career Break Guide Table of Contents

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