Letting Go

Letting Go: Project Plan – Packing
Monday, April 20th, 2009

[singlepic=1441,150,,,right]The first step is to decide what you are going to carry – suitcase or backpack.

Look at your itinerary and think about the types of places you’ll be staying, the types of transportation you’ll be using, and how often you are going to be moving from place to place. If you are staying in hostels, camping, and traveling in less developed countries by bus or car, then I personally think that a backpack is the way to go. However, if you are staying in nicer hotels, traveling by air, and focusing on developed countries, you can simply take the weight off your back and use a traditional suitcase with wheels. Look for something durable, yet lightweight.

I actually compromised and purchased an Eagle Creek Switchback (a suitcase with wheels that turned into a backpack), a great solution for me since I was planning on doing both types of travel. My Eagle Creek Switchback was made of heavy-duty nylon which was lightweight and ‘moldable’ – good for stuffing a lot of items into it!


Letting Go: Project Plan Overview
Tuesday, February 10th, 2009

I started telling close friends and family about my future career break about nine months before my ‘D Day’ (Departure Day). I did this for a few reasons. First, I wanted to give my parents time to adjust to the thought of me giving up my job and traveling. They needed every bit of those nine months to go through their stages of shock, anger, and eventual acceptance. In addition, I felt that by telling my close friends it would make me actually follow through with the crazy idea. Finally, I told people so that I could start to mentally and physically prepare for this break and begin to ‘shut down’ my life as I knew it in New York City.


Letting Go: Project Plan – Apartment
Tuesday, February 10th, 2009

I decided to sublet my apartment rather than give it up. These were the steps I took to do so.

[singlepic=1230,250,,,right]RESEARCH – First, research your rental market, understand how quickly things rent, and research costs of corporate housing and furnished apartments in your area. Luckily I had a friend in real estate in NYC so he was a great resource to understand pricing, contracts, and the market in general. Friend or not, you can ask this of any real estate agent. Start this research early in case you find that you need four months to sublet your place.


Letting Go: Project Plan – Financial/Legal/Medical
Tuesday, February 10th, 2009

[singlepic=1235,250,,,right]FINANCIAL – The first thing to do is to move EVERYTHING you can to online banking. However, I quickly found that you can’t do anything online without a mailing address. So, the prerequisite to changing everything to online banking and bill pay is to have sorted out what your mailing address will be and do a change of address with your post office.

When faced with choosing a new mailing address, I first had to choose a reliable, close friend whom I knew would stay put for a year. He was my ‘go-to’ person in the States if I needed anything done – you really need one of these. It’s inevitable that you will need this person to mail something, cash something, or meet with someone in your absence.


Letting Go: Preparedness
Sunday, December 21st, 2008

[singlepic=849,150,,,right]Part of the anxieties people face before traveling is the feeling that you are not prepared enough. But being unprepared may actually help to make the experience much better. I found this the case when I traveled to Nepal in 2001.

For years I wanted to travel to Vietnam and Cambodia – two places that I was fascinated with since high school.  So I decided that in the year 2000, I would spend 3 months traveling through those countries.  Then my great friend and traveling partner, Holly, said “Wait!  If you go in 2001, I’ll go with you, but I also want to go to Nepal.”  It’s hard to find such a great traveling companion, so I immediately said “sure!”

So for the next year or so, we planned our travels.  My focus was purely on Vietnam & Cambodia, so we decided I would start there, and then we would meet up later in Nepal, continuing our journeys together to Thailand and then back to Australia, where we visited together in 1995.


Letting Go: Self-Doubt
Thursday, December 18th, 2008

Self-doubt and nerves play a big part in the pre-departure process of just about every traveler – especially when it involves a life-changing journey. Looking back before Sherry’s first 16-month adventure, she learned to cope with the various degrees of doubt she experienced.

[singlepic=1357,200,,,right]Freaking Out…Six Weeks To Go

Well, I have found out that the closer it gets to my d-day (departure date), I seem to be getting more and more freaked out about everything. Yes – I suppose this is normal, completely normal for anyone who is trying to put their life on hold for a year, keeping a secret from their employer that they are going to quit, dealing with the prospect of leaving friends and family, fear of the unknown, fear of loneliness, fear of living out of a backpack for a year, and the prospect of leaving my cat. So, I know that this is nothing unusual, all very normal, but I feel like I need to vent a bit in the hopes of feeling a bit more sane and able to cope with the next 6 weeks…so here goes…


Career Break Guide Table of Contents

Meet Plan Go