Posts Tagged ‘blog’

Favorite Blog: Quitter to Winner
Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

Quitter to WinnerWe recently discussed how many career breakers remain in the “career break closet” – keeping their upcoming travel plans from friends, family, and especially colleagues and bosses. Some spend months, if not years, planning their escape, but are afraid to share the news too soon out of fear of losing their jobs – much like Keith & Amy Sutter. “We could not afford, either financially or professional, for word of our plans to leak back to our companies before we were ready.”

Quitting can be difficult for anyone, especially career breakers. Doubts can seep in as you start to question your decision. Hearing others stories of quitting can make it that much easier, and now you can on Quitter to Winner”, a resource for those quitting their job for a career break, sabbatical, entrepreneurial venture or new gig.

The blog was started by Michael Sjostedt, who noticed that “over the last few years people held onto jobs they weren’t satisfied with. But recent stats show that more and more workers are voluntarily leaving their gigs for yet-to-be-determined opportunities.

Job burnout certainly plays a role in the trend. Some might have a little red devil on their shoulders who whispers ‘life’s too short.’ Others have the hutzpa to strike out on their own, thinking they can crack the ‘earn more, work less’ algorithm.

Everyone’s got a reason and a story. I’m curious to learn why people jumped, how they navigated the free fall, and if they succeeded.”

You can read stories like Alice Gray and Lyon Graulty, who are taking several months off between jobs to bike the West Coast and raise money for Posada Esperanza, an Austin-based shelter for immigrant women and their children. Or James Morgan, who talks about his difficult transition from a teaching career into architectural woodworking. And Ryan Fuller and his wife, Jen, who got burnt out from their high-pressure consulting jobs and are now in rehab: via extended vacation in Argentina.

And be sure to visit their Facebook Fan Page as Michael features inspiring career-related stories, blogs, and job boards from around the web.

On the Road: Extended Honeymoon
Monday, May 24th, 2010

[singlepic=1787,250,,,right]Nathan Hale & Carolina Bolado were both facing changes in their careers – Carolina’s job had taken a turn away from what she wanted to be doing and the struggles of the newspaper industry had created a lot of uncertainty in the outlook of Nathan’s position. So they decided it was a good time to take a break and reassess what they wanted to do.

So at the end of January 2010, they decided to take off for six months of travel around the world – just three days after their wedding! And rather than having a traditional registry, they registered for unique experiences during their travels.

What came first – the wedding plans or career break plans? When and how did you decide to combine the two?
Carolina: I had thought about doing extended travel, although I don’t think I originally thought of it as a career break. Basically, I wanted to travel for more than my annual two weeks of vacation would allow. I had the time when I was younger, but not the money. Now I had some money saved and wasn’t entirely happy with my work situation, so it seemed like a good time to take that trip I’d been dreaming of and at the same time step back and reassess my career.

Nathan: I hadn’t really thought about a traveling career break before. While the idea of the trip preceded our engagement, we had already discussed marriage. Once I proposed, the trip pretty naturally became a possible honeymoon. There may have been some question of the timing for the break/extended trip, but it seemed to make the most sense to combine it with the honeymoon.

[singlepic=1788,200,,,left]What were some of the items/experiences on your registry?
Most of the items on our registry were for activities (a cooking class in Chiang Mai, whitewater rafting on the Zambezi River) and accommodations (five nights in Sydney, three in Lisbon, etc.). For the most part, we avoided putting in transportation costs like airfare and bus rides, which we thought people would be less excited about. Our trip was long enough that we had plenty of other expenses to put on the registry. One friend who travels a lot for work actually did get us a transportation gift though: enough frequent flier miles for one business-class fare from Africa to Europe.

Have you traveled extensively together before? How has the honeymoon experience been for you so far?
We took our first trip together — a Memorial Day baseball road trip to Pittsburgh and Cleveland — six months after we started dating. We had a great time and learned that we make pretty good travel partners. Since then, we’ve done a fair amount of traveling, both close to home and to some far-flung places (Vancouver, South Korea and Argentina).

Nathan: We’ve found that some of our happiest times together have been during our travels. The honeymoon experience has been going great. We had read about the need to be sure to take breaks from each other and have some alone time, but in three months, I think we’ve done this only twice, and it’s been fine. Maybe it’s because when we first started dating we were sitting at adjacent desks every day at work, but being together all the time hasn’t been a problem for us

Carolina: I think on this trip we’re really learning to rely on and support each other. I’ve noticed a few things about Nathan that I hadn’t before, and I think we’ve become quite good at sensing when the other is uneasy or unwell and might need some help. Right now we’re in India, which can be an exhausting place to travel, and I’m so happy Nathan is here to take the reins sometimes when I’m feeling overwhelmed.

You have decided to do two significant life events at the same time – get married and take a career break. What (if any) challenges have you faced during this time?
One thing we talked about before leaving was the possibility that, given the job market, one or both of us might be out of work when we return, and what the added stress might do to our still-very-new marriage. That’s still up in the air of course. But we decided that we felt comfortable enough with both our relationship and the state of our savings account to take the risk. We also have the support of our family, which helps a lot.

Nathan: It was overwhelming simultaneously planning a wedding and preparing to take off for six months, especially in the final weeks. In some way, combining the two life changes, I think, could result in less upheaval than if we had gone through each one separately. We were both thinking a lot about our careers, and we felt that if we put off the trip/break because of our marriage, those issues would still be there.

[singlepic=1789,250,,,right]Any advice/tips?
For those planning to do this as a honeymoon, definitely leave some time between the wedding and your departure. We had two days before our early-morning flight to Hawaii, which led to some frantic wrapping up of loose ends.

Also, just go for it. We’ve had so many amazing experiences so far, and we’re only halfway through our journey. At times, we keep looking at each other and asking, “Can you believe we’re actually here?” But we are. Somehow we made it happen, and we are both so happy that we did.

Nathan: I have a newfound appreciation for how much time and work go into blogging, but I’d recommend it as a fun way to stay connected with friends and family, and it should make a terrific record of our adventures when we get home.

You can follow along on Nathan & Carolina’s blog – Around the World in 180 Days

Favorite Blogs: Travels with Children
Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

Traveling long-term on a career break with children can seem very daunting, but the Vogel Family (Family on Bikes) and the Hoffmeister Family (4Suitcases) have shown what an incredible experience it can be.

And even short-term travel with children can be overwhelming. But here are a few sites that offer some great insight into making it a fun and rewarding experience.

[singlepic=1728,275,,,right]Debbie Dubrow’s blog, Delicious Baby, offers advice on “Making Travel with Kids Fun”. Her blog details her own experiences traveling in the US and internationally with young children as well as product reviews, city guides and travel tips like “Ten Tips for Keeping a Toddler Busy on a Plane”  and “Breeze Through Airport Security with Kids”.

Perhaps my favorite tips include the ones listed under “Why Travel?”

Everyone knows that travel with children is unpredictable, difficult, and definitely not at the same pace or with the same freedoms that pre-child travel afforded, so why do it at all?

  • Through our children’s eyes, we see the world in a new way.
  • You get to immerse yourself in the local culture. Traveling with children forces you to do as locals do… shop in the grocery stores, bakeries, and pharmacies, not just tourist shops. You get to connect with locals in a way that’s difficult to do as adults traveling alone. People love kids. They’ll go out of their way to connect with you and see you as a family rather than just tourists, and you’ll gain insights into what it’s like to live in a different place.
  • The kids love getting out of their everyday routine, and being in new situations helps everyone to reconnect. Whenever we travel, we find that there’s a special brand of giggly, silly fun that happens after a long day of travel that we just don’t seem to have at home.
  • The kids learn new things. For young kids it isn’t so much that they’ll learn world history as that they are exposed to new experiences, sights, sounds and smells. With a little thought, you can bring those experiences home to make your everyday life a little richer too.
  • For school age kids it’s much more engaging and fun to learn history by doing than by reading.

[singlepic=1729,300,,,right]Michelle Duffy’s blog, WanderMom, offers insight and resources for independent family travel. As she says “The goal of this website is to share my experiences as a traveling parent with you and through that to encourage and inspire you to take your children to interesting places far and wide, inside and outside your home country.”

Other blogs that focus on traveling as a family and with children include:

Travel Blog Success Giveaway
Thursday, February 4th, 2010

You’ve heard the buzz, now here’s your chance to win a subscription to Travel Blog Success.

Travel Blog Success GiveawayNow through February 9th, leave a comment under our Travel Blog Success Review about why you want to join Travel Blog Success, and you will be entered to win!

For an additional entry, Tweet this:

  • I just entered to win a subscription to Travel Blog Success via @CareerBreakHQs – you can too!

We will announce the winner (chosen at random) on Thursday, February11th!

Travel Blog Success Review
Monday, February 1st, 2010

Think blogs are just for keeping your friends & family updated on your travels? Think again. The rise of travel bloggers has grown so much that World Hum called 2009 the “Year of the Travel Blogger”.

“Sure, travel bloggers—like travel blogs—have been around for years. But this year, travel bloggers began organizing in new and increasingly prominent ways—and as never before, they were treated to many of the same perks (and some of the same scrutiny) as traditional big media travel journalists.”      – World Hum

So if you have big dreams of doing more with your travel blog, you’re in good, and very crowded, company.

How do you make yourself standout? With Travel Blog Success!

Travel Blog Success

We recently shared David Lee’s career break story, and featured why we love his site, Go Backpacking. And now David has used the successes he has learned in travel blogging to help others achieve their goals.

There are a lot of great resources to help you build your blog, but you could easily spend countless hours sifting through forums, tweets, and websites trying to figure it all out. Travel Blog Success presents it all in one place.


Favorite Blog: Go Backpacking
Thursday, January 28th, 2010

[singlepic=1656,300,,,right]We recently highlighted David Lee’s career break, which he documented in his blog Go Backpacking. But Go Backpacking is more than just a journal of his adventures – it is a site that encourages and inspires people to independently travel abroad. And with three years of blogging and over 1,000 posts, David has a lot of great content and resources to do just that.

In addition to the 20-month archive of David’s 22-country round-the-world trip, the site offers tips for budget planning, interviews with fellow travelers, book reviews, how-to articles, and news from the online travel community. He has even expanded his site to include several contributors, adding a variety of voices and experiences.

One of the most popular posts is ”Cost of a Trip Around the World”, which is usually the first concern on potential travelers minds.  And by breaking down his daily expenses by country allows future backpackers to understand where their dollar can go farther.

Another popular post is “Final Thoughts – Annapurna Sanctuary Trek” in which David offers great tips based on his experiences to anyone planning a trek in Nepal.  I did the Annapurna Circuit in 2001 and definitely agree with many of his points – although I’d like to add one. Boiled water in a nalgene bottle makes a wonderful bedtime companion. Helps to keep you warm and stays warm throughout the chilly nights!


David Lee – Realizing a Dream
Monday, January 25th, 2010

[singlepic=1654,250,,,right]David Lee’s path to a life of travel started with a job layoff. And after spending 20 months on the road, David is still keeping the travel spirit alive through GoBackpacking, MedellinLiving, and  Travel Blog Success. He shares with us his career break experience, including some great preparation advice.

What made you decide to take a career break?
My first unofficial career break occurred after a layoff. I suddenly had the free time to reflect on how I’d lived in my early 20’s, and spent my money. I realized backpacking was not a part of those years, and committed to making my next job a means to travel around the world. Ultimately, I chose to save money to spend on experiences, rather than material wealth or a new home.

What was your travel experience like prior to your break?
Aside from family trips when I was younger, my first backpacking trip abroad was a Summer spent in Europe after college graduation. I started off with a few of my best friends, and when they went home after just a few weeks, I stuck around to explore on my own, developing a newfound sense of independence and self-reliance in the process.

The knowledge that I was about to do something amazing always trumped my fears.

What were some of the ways you prepared for this new experience? Were there any experiences from your corporate life that helped you in the preparation process?
As I’d been backpacking for a few months before, I knew how it worked to travel by way of hostels and guidebooks, so I didn’t have to prepare too much. In 2005 and 2006 I took short trips to Costa Rica and Belize to stay motivated for the bigger trip around the world which began in late 2007.

I used my experience with Microsoft Excel at work to create a few spreadsheets using Google Docs to track both my pre-trip “to-do” list and budget, along with my actual costs once I hit the road. By posting my plans online, I was able to ask for feedback on my budget and itinerary in the BootsnAll message boards.


In the News: Networking for Briefcase to Backpack
Thursday, January 14th, 2010

[singlepic=1646,250,,,right]Since we launched the site last year, we have made many great connections through the power of social media (facebook, twitter, blogging). In fact, networking online has been our main source to finding great material and inspirational stories to share with you. After all, we do focus on the wonders of travel!

And even though we feel we have great ties with these virtual relationships, it is always wonderful to still network in person and to meet some of our virtual friends face-to-face. And that’s what we have been doing this week in San Francisco!

As Sherry Ott makes her way around the country visiting with friends and family since her return from Vietnam in November 2009, we decided to take advantage of her return to San Francisco (where she once lived) to network with many of our contacts. And the pay off will be passed on to you.

[singlepic=1647,200,,,left]Part of our goal for this year is to connect more with career experts to bring you the best advice on transitioning careers during your break. We’ve already introduced you to The Sabbatical Coach, Clive Prout, and we will also be working with Tara Russell, who offers life/career coaching and long-term travel planning through her company Three Month Visa. What was supposed to be an introductory coffee meeting turned into a four-hour brainstorming session where we developed many great ideas for collaborating together. We are very excited about some of the ideas that were born and can’t wait to share them with you.


Amanda Pressner – Losing Myself on the Road
Monday, November 30th, 2009

[singlepic=1587,275,,,right]Amanda Pressner is one of The Lost Girls, three twenty-something New Yorkers who ditched their media jobs in 2006 to embark on a yearlong, round-the-world journey in search of adventure and inspiration. Amanda shares with us how she found self-fulfillment not through a successful career but through travel. You can read about her adventures with Jen and Holly on their blog, The Lost Girls, as well as their book The Lost Girls: Three Friends. Four Continents. One Unconventional Detour Around the World. which was released in May 2010.

I can still remember staring at a bizarre, other-worldly reflection of myself as I zipped up the skirt on a black Ann Taylor sale-rack suit just before heading out the door for my first-ever internship interview. My hair had been yanked into some sort of severe French twist and I was wearing matching black pumps that I probably thought made me look older and more professional. Realistically, I probably looked like I was my way to a funeral.

Perhaps to some degree, I was.

Back then, as my teens were transitioning to my twenties, I simply assumed that becoming an adult meant the death of childhood, a sacrifice which would require me to toss out the flip-flops and frayed jeans I’d worn growing up in Florida and totally abandon my carefree ways of being. No longer would I ditch class to hit the beach with my girlfriends, watch sunsets over the rim of a rum runner and sneak back home just as morning rush hour was starting for somebody else. Now was the time for me to dive into that very rat race, to begin a new the chapter of my life. It was time to get a real job.


Life on the Road: Ben & Alonna
Friday, November 20th, 2009

[singlepic=1580,300,,,right]It has been three months since the three couples from our Career Breaker Round-Up have hit the road, so we thought it would be fun to check in and see how they have been adjusting to life on the road! The fun part is that all three took off in completely different directions, so they’ll have very different cultural experiences to share as well.

We’re checking in last with Ben & Alonna, who started their travels in Europe, where they visited Amsterdam, Belgium, France, Spain, Austria, Germany, Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy and Greece. They have just returned home to Boise, Idaho this week, where they will celebrate the holidays with family before hitting the road again.

What has been the most difficult thing to adjust to on the road?

Alonna: Two things….

Trip planning on-the-fly. I’m the travel planner of the two of us, and in the past I loved planning every detail of our 1-week vacations. However, for 3 months that’s not possible, and we wanted to allow flexibility to our schedule anyway. But finding somewhere to stay, transportation, and food is a decent amount of work while you’re traveling. At first it was an adjustment and I spent way too much time planning head. But now I’ve gotten used to finding a “good-enough” hotel, and I even think it’s better for negotiating rates when you’re booking last-minute.

Figuring out the right pace. Our initial itinerary seemed pretty relaxed – at least 3 nights in each place, and we prioritized where we wanted to go. But very early in our trip we realized that we needed to slow down. This meant staying in places longer, and also not packing too much into a single day. Instead of trying to see everything the guidebook tells us to, now we just pick a couple things and spend the rest of the time walking around and enjoying the city.

Ben: Everything. Living out of a suitcase, moving constantly, choosing from the same 5 shirts, trying to figure out what to eat every day, figuring out basic communication and orienteering in every new country, etc. It’s not as bad as it sounds, but it’s a lot of adjusting.


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