Posts Tagged ‘family’

Traveling with Kids: Building a Foundation of Learning
Friday, June 28th, 2013

Rainer Jenss was a Vice President and thirteen-year veteran of National Geographic. As the Publisher, he helped transform National Geographic Kids into the most widely read consumer magazine for children throughout the world. In the summer of 2008 he decided to put his professional expertise and personal passion to the ultimate test by traveling around the world for a year with his family.

Rainer continues to report on family travel as a Special Correspondent for National Geographic Traveler’s Intelligent Travel Blog and shares with us why traveling is a great way to build a foundation of learning in your children.

Kyoto, Japan

If you’re reading this post, you’ve probably fantasized about quitting your job, packing a suitcase, and leaving town for a while to travel the world. When we first got married, my wife Carol and I often contemplated taking the leap — sometimes seriously, sometimes not. There always seemed to be some excuse why we couldn’t, wouldn’t or shouldn’t. Our careers, responsibilities, and commitments had to be considered, and how about what our friends and family would say? It was always something. Then after the birth of our sons Tyler and Stefan, all this talk about packing our bags seemed to suddenly fade away. After all, you can’t possibly do something like this with kids, right?

If we teach our children to travel, we thought, then they will travel to learn –
a foundation that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.

In January 2004, it all came roaring back. I had just returned with the family from Europe after visiting relatives for the holidays when Carol and I started reflecting on how much the boys (then seven and four) seemed to enjoy the experience of being in another country. Couple that with the post-9/11 mood of a country that was getting deeper into a war in Iraq and isolating itself more from the rest of the world, and suddenly it dawned on us that taking a year off to travel the world might actually be more sensible now that we had children. Increasingly, we found ourselves looking at taking a year off to travel not from the perspective of what we had to lose, but from all the benefits we could gain.


Reverse Culture Shock: Dealing With It Without Spreading It
Friday, May 31st, 2013

You’ve just returned from a life-changing adventure around the world, where every day brought you something new and exciting to experience. You can’t believe how much you’ve accomplished in such a short period of time, yet the second you walk through the door to your home, it feels like you never left, as everything looks the same.

And that feeling is only enhanced when you meet up with family and friends, as it may seem as if nothing has really changed with them either. But you have changed, and you’re not sure what to make of the roller coaster of emotions you’re feeling. You, my friend, are experiencing reverse culture shock.

You’ll be happy to know that you’re not alone. Just about every traveler experiences it in some variation (including our very own Sherry Ott). And although it’s not contagious, you can spread it to non-travelers. Here are some tips on how to deal with Reverse Culture Shock without spreading your anxiety, and even depression, to those around you.


Are Societal Pressures Stopping You?
Thursday, March 14th, 2013

When pondering the idea of a career break, there are a multitude of hurdles one has to overcome. We have touched on the “career fears” that prevent one from embarking on a career break. Another fear we come across are those that society places on us. Many people can’t relate to taking a career break and veering off the expected path in life – and those people are the ones that can make you question your own decision.

Many of our career break experts for Meet, Plan, Go! share the reactions they received when telling family, friends and colleagues about their decision to take a career break to travel. And you may be surprised by how positive people can be.

Meet, Plan, Go! NYC Panel

So what were some of the reactions our panel received?

Brook Silva-Braga (A Map for Saturday)
Co-workers and family were surprised such a career-focused person would up and leave. They didn’t understand my ambition transcended money, it was an ambition for accomplishment and adventure in various forms. But in my experience very, very few people took a negative view of the decision; they were jealous or perhaps confused, they didn’t think it was realistic for them (for a series of dubious reasons) but they thought it was a cool idea.


2011 Recap: On-the-Road
Monday, December 5th, 2011

Traveling with kids, living in Paris, taking a writer’s retreat, and staying in hostels – just a few of the topics we highlighted this year On-the-Road.

Traveling with Kids: Building a Foundation of Learning

Rainer Jenss was a Vice President and thirteen-year veteran of National Geographic. As the Publisher, he helped transform National Geographic Kids into the most widely read consumer magazine for children throughout the world. In the summer of 2008 he decided to put his professional expertise and personal passion to the ultimate test by traveling around the world for a year with his family.

If you’re reading this post, you’ve probably fantasized about quitting your job, packing a suitcase, and leaving town for a while to travel the world. When we first got married, my wife Carol and I often contemplated taking the leap — sometimes seriously, sometimes not. There always seemed to be some excuse why we couldn’t, wouldn’t or shouldn’t. Our careers, responsibilities, and commitments had to be considered, and how about what our friends and family would say? It was always something. Then after the birth of our sons Tyler and Stefan, all this talk about packing our bags seemed to suddenly fade away. After all, you can’t possibly do something like this with kids, right? Continue…

On the Road with Warren & Betsy Talbot

Shortly after hosting our Inaugural Meet, Plan, Go! event in Seattle this past September, Warren & Betsy Talbot (aka Married with Luggage) took off for their three year career break. Now with four months under their [shrinking] belts, we check in with them to see how they are adjusting to life on the road.

You spent two years planning your career break travels. Now that you have been on the road for four months, what have you found to be the most valuable aspect of your preparation process?
We have found that living on a budget is the most valuable skill for a long-term trip like this. In addition, doing the research to figure out what the trip would likely cost for our style of travel means that we are comfortable traveling with the budget we set out for ourselves and do not anticipate running out of money early. We lived for 2 years on a fairly tight budget, which means once we started on the trip, there was absolutely nothing to get used to. In fact, we felt like we could splurge more once we were on the trip because we had lived under budget for so long – which is a great feeling! Continue…

What’s the Right Amount of Time on the Road

San Blas, PanamaWhen I first started backpacking nearly 20 years ago, I never heard about gap-years, or for that fact, career breaks. I was traveling as a college student, adding to my education by backpacking through Europe and studying in London. That experience led me to realize that I wanted to incorporate travel throughout my life – whether it was three months in SE Asia or two weeks in Ecuador.

And during the majority of my travels, the Internet was not a prevalent part of my planning until the past few years. So I was unaware of any other people outside of my circle taking sabbaticals or career breaks to do extended travel.

But since co-founding Briefcase to Backpack, many more career breakers and RTW travelers have come on my radar. And sometimes it seems like many feel that they need to travel for at least a year or more, and in some cases, sell all of their belongings to do so. But in my experiences, I don’t feel that that is always necessary. Yes, there are many fascinating places in the world to see, but is it really necessary to check them off all at once? Continue…

A Year in Paris

Eiffel TowerIn the months leading up to her 33rd birthday, Jenny Sundel’s high-paying, but deeply unsatisfying interim job ended. After a decade of working around the clock – and sleeping next to her blackberry! – she knew she needed a break. “That only crystallized further when I attempted to find another job, right smack dab in the middle of a recession no less. ‘Knowing your background as a freelancer, are you sure you could truly be happy in an office,’ asked one interviewer. ‘Um uh um uh um uh um,’ I stammered. Needless to say, they gave the job to someone else.”

Jenny was so burnt out that she could no longer imagine returning to her prior freelance life either. “I had lost all motivation to hustle for assignments along with any passion for my work. I felt disillusioned, purpose-less and un-inspired. And all this right as I was turning 33, otherwise known as the Jesus Year. It was the perfect time for a reinvention.” Jenny decided to move to Paris and shares with us how her life is changing. Continue…

Studying Spanish in Argentina

Sarah GottliebMy backpack had hardly touched the floor in our new apartment in Buenos Aires when I was already illuminated by the friendly glow of my netbook, searching for a school to enroll in. I was eager to hit the books after so many years in the workplace and wanted to take advantage of every second of Spanish that I could absorb. Being a little older than your typical study-abroad student and already fairly fluent, I was a bit leery of the private language mills with their revolving hung-over students. My goal wasn’t to be able to say, “I’d like a shot of tequila please”; I wanted to speak with confidence about things that probably hadn’t happened in the past, but might have—in other words, to finally master the subjunctive mood.

I soon had a spreadsheet full of different programs ranked by cost per hour, students per teacher, reviews, and length of program. But after narrowing down the choices, I still wasn’t happy with the results. I was afraid that my classmates would all be Americans and the classes were surprisingly more expensive than I’d expected. Continue…

On the Road: Writer’s Retreat

Let’s ignore the fact that you’ll never work again. Skip over the part where you die alone and penniless on a twice-flipped mattress in some dockside flophouse. Such fates are inevitable if you walk away from your job. Accept it. Move on.

I know that’s slightly unfair to say, because I did exactly what you’re thinking of doing, and yet here I sit with all my original teeth and a perfectly pleasant relationship with my creditors. Still, it’s what folks told me, so I’m riling up your muse with an equal punch of pessimism.

That’s right. In 2007, against all warnings, I traded my desk job in Manhattan for the wilds of New Zealand. The plan was to wander a bit, to clear my head so that I may pursue a dream: Writing full time. It was a gamble, but for some reason that didn’t worry me. I knew that when I was checked into hereafter and they asked me, “did it all work out?” I could at least shrug my shoulders and say, “I gave it a shot.”

Of course, giving it a shot can mean different things to different people. Here’s what it meant for me: Continue…

The Modern Hostel Experience

Traveling is about the journey, and not reaching the destination; from the moment you start packing until you have returned. Think about how long you have planned to conquer this journey, and how fulfilling it is to participate in this traveling phenomenon; whether you’re a career breaker or a backpacker. Your travel experience is unique; shaped by the travelers you interact with. Shouldn’t the way you book your travel be the same?

The GoMio Service
Travelers love to talk; we share information about how awesome the Salar de Uyuni was in Bolivia, or where to find budget accommodation in Amsterdam. The Gomio team does exactly this; booking hostels and connecting travelers at your convenience. Continue…

Kick-Ass Hosts: Mike & Catrell Cooney
Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

All of our local kick-ass Meet, Plan, Go! hosts have inspiring stories of their own career break travels. In the time leading up to our National Event in October we will introduce them to you so you can see why they are part of our team.

Meet our Kick-Ass Orlando Hosts: Mike & Catrell Cooney

Cashing In On Your Dreams

After receiving an appraisal on our Orlando home in 2005, Catrell and I came up with a great idea. Based on its market value at the time, we would sell our house, pay off the mortgage and use the balance to take our three teenage sons on an around the world trek. However, for various reasons, we did not want to begin our odyssey until 2008, and delayed putting it on the market until then. Of course that just happened to be when the real estate market was imploding, which meant our timing could not have been worse.

The proceeds from selling the house were the only means of financing our ambitious plans. What to do? What to do?

The Cooney Family at Angkor Wat

The Cooney Family at Angkor Wat

We had made our sons a promise and were committed to making the trek a reality regardless of the sacrifices required. Fortunately, Catrell and I were of like-mind so it wasn’t a question of if, but how. The housing market continued to worsen and we could see no improvement in the immediate future. Lacking a fat savings account, our only other asset was my retirement, which was loosing value almost as rapidly as the house. With no regrets then or now, we cashed in most of my retirement to make our dream a reality.

The first leg of our trek began on August 25, 2008 in Cancun, Mexico and lasted for nearly four months until we flew home from Sao Paulo, Brazil on December 12, 2008. We returned to our empty house in Orlando, and enjoyed time with our family over the holidays. In January 2009 we began planning the second leg of our trek, and cashed in nearly all of the remaining balance of my retirement. Our house finally sold a week before we departed, and we cleared one-tenth of what we had originally expected. However, we were happy to be rid of it and all of the financial responsibilities that go with what everyone lovingly calls home ownership.

The second leg of our trek began on March 1, 2009 and lasted for seven months. We spent two months in Southern Africa, two months in Southeast Asia, two months in Australia, two weeks in New Zealand and two weeks in Fiji before returning to the U.S. in late September. Combined with the first leg, we traveled to six continents, trekked through 22 countries and logged more than 61,000 miles by plane, bus, camper, van and car.

The purpose of our hair-brained idea was to expose our three sons to the world before starting college. As I always like to say, we spent the funds for their Ivy League education up front. Our philosophy then and now, is that “Travel is the ultimate education.” The knowledge they gained, the people they met and the cultures they experienced were not something they could learn from a book. It could only occur by being immersed in a journey that taught all of us more about the world in which we live.

And in the process, Catrell and I believe we helped create better global citizens who have memories to last a lifetime, and will make travel apart of their future as well.

You can read more about the Cooney’s family travels at Cooney World Adventure.

Check out the Orlando event details.

Kick-Ass Host: Sarah Lavender Smith
Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

All of our local kick-ass Meet, Plan, Go! hosts have inspiring stories of their own career break travels. In the time leading up to our National Event in October we will introduce them to you so you can see why they are part of our team.

Meet our Kick-Ass San Francisco Host: Sarah Lavender Smith

Re-Entry: A Whole New Family Journey

About a year ago, our family experienced the shock of re-entry when we moved back home after nearly a full year of traveling around the world. Our big house felt so oversized, and the four of us felt so natural being close together after months of sharing small spaces, that we spent the first night huddled in sleeping bags on the floor of one room.

Smith family in Argentina

The thoughts swirling around my head back then included, I don’t want us to move back into our own rooms and separate offices, where we’ll be out of eyesight and earshot of each other. I don’t want to unpack our household stuff and fill up this space with things I no longer feel we need. I don’t want to lose our closeness and feel stuck in one place. I don’t want to go back to work, and I have no idea what we’ll do for work …

Renting out our home, leaving a business partnership, pulling our son and daughter out of school, and living nomadically on five continents with only as much as we easily could carry was the most meaningful, rewarding, transformative and mind-expanding thing we have ever done.

But I won’t sugarcoat the fact that ending travel and starting a new chapter professionally and personally is just plain hard. Instead of writing about our year away, I decided to focus on re-entry to show how we’ve managed—and why using extended travel as the jumping-off point for a major career/life transition ultimately is so very worth the effort.

In many ways, the year after the year away has been a journey, too. My husband Morgan, successful for over a decade at a law firm he co-founded, spent several months at home while trying to figure out what he would do next. Losing his income as well as jeopardizing those close professional relationships felt incredibly risky and put us both on an emotional roller coaster.

Thanks to the year of travel, however, we felt much more capable of working closely together in our house and living frugally to stretch our savings. (Budgeting for travel is a topic for another post, but suffice to say we’re proof that most people need a financial cushion upon return. My advice: Save for re-entry as well as for travel.)

Meanwhile, I felt adrift and highly ambivalent for months after ending our trip. I missed my “job” of homeschooling the kids and blogging about our travels. I resented the return to household-related chores and monthly utility bills that disappeared during our year away. I spent five months unsuccessfully developing a manuscript and felt like a failure when I shelved it indefinitely.

Smith family in Barcelona

Our daughter and son fared better, since they were happy to reconnect with friends. Entering 7th grade, my 12-year-old daughter met the academic rigors and sidestepped the social landmines with an inner strength and easygoing attitude that I credit in part to our travel, which helped her develop self-reliance, intellectual curiosity, and an ability to get along with all types.

Our 9-year-old son had a bit more trouble transitioning to 4th grade, however. When we traveled, his core schoolwork of math and language arts boiled down to just an hour or two a few days a week—and then he’d learn a great deal experientially about our destinations. He found it difficult to go from the one-on-one, self-paced nature of “road”schooling to being one of 27 kids stuck in a classroom for six hours. Ultimately, though, he adapted and did fine.

Fast forward six months, and Morgan and I find ourselves working side by side on a new business he launched in early 2011: a litigation graphics and consulting firm. He is leveraging his favorite part of being an attorney—the creative and strategic side of case preparation—in a way that he hopes will help others. I’m handling the marketing and assisting with business development. As much as possible, I also carve out time to develop a new blog that combines my twin passions of long-distance running and travel.

Our business venture sometimes feels like the kind of seat-of-our-pants adventure we experienced around the globe. We’re forced to adapt to change, cope with risk, work collaboratively, keep odd hours and learn as we go—skills enhanced by long-term travel.

I honestly don’t think Morgan would have had the vision for his new business—or could have mustered the courage to change his career—without taking the round-the-world departure from our “regular” lives. As he wrote last year in a post reflecting on how the trip changed us:

“Taking this trip was seizing hold of an opportunity to do something different with the remainder of my life. … The process of travel allowed me to slowly change my focus from the past to the future. Travel forces ‘the new’ upon you on a daily and moment-to-moment basis. Trying to figure out how to order in Spanish, or work a foreign ATM or get a phone card in another country, all combine to make change a constant in your life—and a pleasure.”

Smith family RVing in New Zealand

On days when all four of us feel harried, disconnected and overscheduled, I ache to be on the road again, when we had a common, relatively simple mission: get from Point A to Point B, learn about the destination, and figure out where to sleep and buy groceries. But I also value relationships in our hometown and getting involved in our community so that we feel we have a real home.

I have no doubt that the year of traveling as a foursome—an experience I sometimes call “radical marriage and family therapy” or “extreme quality time”—bonded the kids as siblings, Morgan and me as spouses, and all of us a family in a way that will keep us close for life, no matter what happens. Instead of getting sick of each other, feeling homesick and “needing our space,” we grew closer together and made whatever apartment, motel or campground we spent the night in feel like home.

Our goal now is to establish a new career with flexibility and financial success that allows us to take off for extended periods. Rather than be digital nomads who work on the road, we prefer to try to establish a home/travel cycle where we work hard and take long breaks away—easier said than done, but a goal worth striving for.

And if it doesn’t work out? Well, at least we had that year!

Check out the San Francisco event details.

Worried What Others Think of Your Career Break Plans
Monday, May 23rd, 2011

We hear it often that one of the biggest decisions career breakers make is when do they come out of the “career break closet” to family and friends. A big concern is that they won’t be supportive of the decision – and not everyone will be. So how do you cope with that?

Katie recently “came out” to her family and friends and shares with us their reactions and how she has dealt with it. (Katie’s last name is being withheld because she has yet to give notice to her employer).


How long have you been planning for and what inspired your career break?

I have always loved to travel, but usually in 2 weeks stints. The idea to take a break and travel for several months first popped into my head about 5 years ago when I was thinking about leaving the practice of law and changing careers (possibly a career in travel). It was a very fleeting thought and I didn’t think about it again until about 3 years later after I had gone through a tough breakup, become disillusioned with my second career and realized I just wasn’t that happy in Chicago. I started thinking about moving back home to Minnesota and decided to take the summer of 2010 off to travel before finding a job in the Twin Cities.

Then, I was offered a promotion at work and it just made sense to put everything off until 2011. Since I was postponing everything, I decided I might as well make it a year-long trip. And after some more thought, I realized I didn’t necessarily want to end up back in Minnesota and that I wanted to try a career in travel, wherever that might take me.

I put my condo on the market in December and figured I’d set a departure date once it sold. But after a heart-to-heart with my realtor in February, I realized the likelihood of it selling at a price I could afford was about zero. I also realized I just didn’t want to wait any longer – I needed to start moving forward. So I decided to go with Plan B – trying to rent it out – and set a departure date of August 30, 2011 – my 35th birthday!

What was the reaction of your friends and family when you shared your news?

I was very nervous to tell my parents, afraid that they would be disappointed in my decision. To my great relief, they were very supportive (I think it helped that I initially told them in the context of moving back to Minnesota). When I officially announced a departure date, though, I think they were surprised. I had been talking about it for so long, I suspect they didn’t really think I would go through with it.

When I initially started thinking about taking a break to travel, I told friends gradually, but when I finally set a departure date, I sent a mass email out announcing it. I got a slew of “that’s great, I wish I could do that” responses and I know many friends are genuinely very excited for me. But I was disappointed that many others did not show much enthusiasm or even questioned my decision to do this. It was interesting to see the different responses among from my friends because it wasn’t always what I expected.

Have they been supportive of your decision?

Luckily, my parents have been very supportive. I got my travel bug from my dad, who traveled all over the world for business when I was growing up. And my mom knows very well what it’s like to be stuck in a career you don’t enjoy, so she thinks it is great I am pursuing a happier life.

For the most part, my friends have been supportive, although it has been hard at times. I’ve had to cut back my social life quite a bit in order to save money and I know some are definitely tired of hearing me say I can’t do something because of the cost (and some have just stopped inviting me out!). The best part has been friends who have said they’d love to do something like this too and have been inspired by my decision.

How have you dealt with those who have not been as supportive of your plans?

I have really learned who my real friends are. I have drifted from several – it has become clear that we are just in different places in our lives now and I feel like they don’t understand or really support what I’m doing. But I have also made some great new, like-minded friends – through events like Meet, Plan, Go!, online through blogging and Twitter and even through taking improv classes. The key has been surrounding myself with the positive, supportive people!

What advice would you have for others who may not have the support they would like while planning a career break?

Building a support system is crucial. With less than four months to go until my departure, I am feeling stressed, panicked, emotionally drained and overwhelmed. I have always been very responsible, playing things safe and planning everything down to the smallest detail. Planning this trip involves so many unknowns and so many things over which I have little control – it is very scary. What if I can’t find a tenant for my condo? What if I don’t find a job when I return? What if I end up bankrupt and homeless? If I didn’t have the support and encouragement from my parents and from friends, old and new, I’m not sure I’d be going through with this.

I definitely recommend getting involved with Meet, Plan, Go! – it can be a great way to meet others in your city who have already taken career breaks or are in the process of planning one. Take advantage of the internet. Travel blogs can be a source of inspiration, encouragement and great advice. Connecting with other travelers and career breakers on Twitter, Facebook and email is a great way to build a support system. Finally, if you can, start your own blog and share your preparation with the world. I have not been able to share my plans on my blog yet, but I am counting the days until I finally give notice and can go public with everything!

Dealing with Tragedy Back Home
Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

It’s every travelers worst nightmare – what do you do if tragedy strikes back home while you are on the road? You can never predict when illness or death may occur, nor should you let the anticipation of those events prevent you from traveling. It’s a situation you can never quite prepare for, but a conversation definitely worth having before you leave.

Amy Sutter shares with us how she and her husband Keith determined in advance what plan of action they might take if someone in their family fell ill, and how they inevitably had to put it into action.

Dealing with Tragedy

Nine thousand five hundred twenty-four miles. That is approximately the distance we were from home when we got the news that turned our world upside-down. We were about to go to sleep, only our second night in our campervan, mere meters from the ocean in Kurrimine Beach, Queensland, Australia. We had no internet and no international cell phone service, and it had been a few days since we last got in touch with anyone back home.


Should I Stay or Should I Go?
Monday, August 2nd, 2010

Have you ever asked ‘Should I Stay or Should I Go’ when contemplating your own career break travels? Janice Waugh of Solo Traveler shares with us how she and her family decided to go on their travels – and where she has arrived today.

[singlepic=1858,250,,,right]How does one balance the importance of living in the present with the need to prepare for the future? Some people don’t contemplate this issue. They simply do what comes naturally – sometimes suffering the consequences of favoring one over the other.

But, if you are one who does consider how to balance the two, where does the answer lie. And, what is the question?  If you love travel, the question is: should I stay or should I go?

We chose to go.
Late in 2000 my husband and I decided to go.


Reflection: Morgan’s Tale
Monday, July 26th, 2010

[singlepic=1854,250,,,right]In August of 2008, the Cooney Family set off on their year-long travels. Together with their three teenage sons, Mike & Catrell wanted their children to have a unique experience. “Our theory was to give our three sons a way to see the world, experience other cultures and appreciate what all of us tend to take for granted before they go to college.  That experience, coupled with a good education, will almost assuredly put them on the road to success, regardless of the vocation they choose.”

Were they successful? Ask their son Morgan.

In the months leading up to the trip that would take our family across six continents and through 23 countries, we could not have imagined the things we would do, the people we would meet, or the places we would see. No book, TV show, movie, or story could have taught us what we would learn in the months of travel through Central and South America, Southern Africa, Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji.

A textbook would never give you the experience of watching the sunrise a top a Mayan pyramid set deep in a jungle or teach you how to make coconut curry while overlooking the ancient ruins of Angkor Wat in Cambodia. There is absolutely no substitute for travel and having those experiences firsthand.

“We must go beyond textbooks, go out into the bypaths and untrodden depths of the wilderness and travel and explore and tell the world the glories of our journey.”  – John Hope Franklin

[singlepic=1853,250,,,right]When my brothers and I were younger, our dad would show us a map and would teach us about other countries. We would always ask if we would ever go to these exotic places in Africa or the Inca ruins in Peru and he would say, “Yes, one day we will go.” When my parents first told me about a trip around the world it was as if my dreams came true. The mysteries of other countries have always held my thoughts.

I have always dreamt of learning about other cultures and new places. Even at a young age, I realized that watching the Travel or Discovery Channels would never fulfill my need to explore. The burning desire to wander to new lands cannot be quenched by anything other than through travel itself.

[singlepic=1851,250,,,right]A day does not go by without me thinking about my family’s yearlong trek around the world. Smells, sights, and sounds bring my mind away from where I am, and back to where I have been; the billabongs of Australia, the bushland in Africa, the beaches of Brazil. The trip I took with my family was the best time of my life, we followed our dreams of travel and I encourage everyone to do the same! In fact, the dream is still alive and kicking inside of us. My twin brother and I are leaving in September for a three month expedition to Costa Rica and perhaps will visit a few adjacent countries as well.

As my mom and dad like to say, “Travel is the ultimate education.”, and my brothers and I are living proof that this statement is true.

Morgan, 19 years old, has now graduated from HS and is attending college in between traveling. His future plans are to work with animals and he has spent years volunteering at the Central Florida Zoo and Gatorland.

You can meet Morgan and the Cooney Family at Meet, Plan, Go! in Orlando on September 14, 2010. Be inspired by their world adventures and learn how you can follow your own dreams.

Meet, Plan, Go! Orlando

Career Break Guide Table of Contents

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