Posts Tagged ‘Favorites’

Favorite Blog: Almost Fearless
Thursday, November 5th, 2009

[singlepic=1570,300,,,right]One of our favorite blogs, Almost Fearless, comes from a fellow career-breaker, Christine Gilbert. The blog follows along on Christine’s journey from corporate manager at a large Fortune 500 Company to full-time freelance travel writer. In addition to her adventures on the road, Christine shares great tips on becoming a digital nomad and a location independent professional.

According to Christine:

I always wanted to travel the world. Who doesn’t? But somehow I ended up trading in my 20’s for a job I didn’t love, money I didn’t need (but happily spent on things I didn’t need), and a burgeoning sleep problem. One night after I ran out of valerian root and melatonin, I stayed up all night looking through job listings in my field. I realized something—I didn’t want to do any of them. None. I could change my job, change my environment, but the work itself had become excruciating.

It was time to take the leap and start over. I would finally pick up that writing career I had been tinkering with for years. I would start living the life I wanted now, instead of waiting for some far off reward. My husband and I would sell everything and move abroad with our two dogs, Molly and Jack.


Favorite Books: Inspired by Asia
Monday, August 10th, 2009

Summer is generally the time that most American’s are taking vacation. (At least we hope you are!) So whatever destination you choose to relax, whether it’s the beach, lake, mountains, or desert, we hope that you are also dreaming of the far-off countries you plan to explore on your future career break.

So with summer reading lists being so popular, we decided to have our own. Here are some memoirs based in Asia that have inspired, enlightened, and opened us up to new worlds. We hope they do the same for you. (Note: These aren’t our reviews but descriptions of the books. Because they are listed means that we enjoyed them!)

The Road of Lost Innocence – The True Story of a Cambodia Heroine
A memoir by Somaly Mam

[singlepic=1500,200,,,right]A riveting and beautiful memoir of tragedy and hope–by a woman named to Time magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world.

Born in a village deep in the Cambodian forest, Somaly Mam was sold into sexual slavery by her grandfather when she was twelve years old. For the next decade she was shuttled through the brothels that make up the sprawling sex trade of Southeast Asia. She suffered unspeakable acts of brutality and witnessed horrors that would haunt her for the rest of her life – until, in her early twenties, she managed to escape. Unable to forget the girls she left behind, Mam became a tenacious and brave leader in the fight against human trafficking, rescuing sex workers–some as young as five and six–offering them shelter, rehabilitation, healing, and love and leading them into new life.


Favorite Blogs: Career Breaker Round-Up
Monday, July 27th, 2009

We are all about inspiring people to take a career break and travel, so we were excited when we came across three couples who will be venturing off soon on year-long traveling career breaks! We can’t wait to follow along on their adventures and hope you do the same as well.

Two Backpackers
[singlepic=1496,200,,,left]Jason and Aracely are a couple that understand there is more to life than a successful career. After college, Jason spent much of his time chasing his career and financial goals, which included jobs at Mercedes-Benz USA and Mercer. Likewise, Aracely was groomed into a young professional at Mercedes-Benz USA and as a Finance Manager at American Express. But both find greater joy in being outdoors, learning about the world, and lending a helping hand – activities that better shape and define them as individuals then any job title could.

[singlepic=1495,150,,,right]With no set itinerary other than using Guatemala as a starting point, Jason and Aracely hope this experience will validate their passions, step outside of their comfort zone, and grow as individuals. As Jason writes: “Part of this journey is learning to let go; live in a way that is completely different from the way we currently live our lives. Today, we spend a significant time planning and organizing because we only have a weeks’ worth of vacation from our jobs. Now, there is no need to crunch everything possible into a week, plan extensively or recuperate. You can do what you want, when you want, on your own terms for as long as you want. It’s exhilarating just to say those words.”


Favorite Website: Indie Travel Podcast
Monday, May 25th, 2009

[singlepic=1468,150,,,right]Since the moment I started prepping for my career break in 2006, I started listening to the Indie Travel Podcast (ITP). At the time, they were only one of two travel podcasts out there covering long-term travel around the globe. Now, the market has exploded, however I still always stay true to Craig and Linda of ITP.

Through iTunes they provide easy to download 20 min. podcasts about how to pack, how to stay in a hostel, what to do when you miss a flight, the 15 essential items you need in your bag, how to buy insurance, and a million other travel topics. And you can find three years of archived travel tips, city guides, interviews, and even videos on their website.


Favorite Gear: Silk Sleep Sheets
Tuesday, May 12th, 2009

[singlepic=1465,175,,,right]One thing I don’t leave home without when traveling is a silk sleep sheet (also known as a mummy liner or sleeping bag liner). It’s lightweight and will be your savior when you check into a seedy hostel* in Greece, find yourself sleeping on an overnight train in Vietnam, or staying in a village in the hills of Thailand.

A sleep sheet is a lightweight sleeping bag minus the zipper. It’s made of silk and simply provides a barrier between you and any questionable beds, sheets, or bugs. (The silk versions are more expensive than cotton but much lighter and compact – worth the price difference.)


Favorite Gear: Eagle Creek Switchback
Monday, April 20th, 2009

[singlepic=1438,200,,,right]Suitcase or Backpack…why not both?

One of my favorite and yet to be retired travel items is my suitcase…I mean backpack…I mean suitcase; yes, it’s actually both.

When I started planning my around the world trip I had the typical dilemma of how I should carry my stuff. I knew I wasn’t a hard-core backpacker and I knew I wasn’t a luxury traveler either; my itinerary included both experiences. I was going to be backpacking through Africa, but staying in moderate places in Europe.

I knew that most of the time it would actually be possible to roll my luggage, but there would be some times when it was not an option and I would need to strap my possessions onto my back. I wanted functionality, yet a bit of sophistication. What a dilemma!


Favorite Blog: Hole In The Donut
Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

When I first came across the blog “Hole In The Donut” and read the description of its author, Barbara Weibel, I immediately knew she was a “Briefcase to Backpacker”.

[singlepic=1424,175,,,left]After years of working 70 hours a week at jobs she hated, baby-boomer Barbara Weibel felt like the proverbial “hole in the donut” – solid on the outside, but empty on the inside. Searching for meaning in her life, Weibel abandoned her career and set out on a six-month solo backpacking trip around the world, during which she pursued her true passions of travel, writing, and photography. Since returning, she has continued to travel and blog about her journey, both physical and spiritual.

It is always interesting to learn what inspires people to make life changes like this, and for Barbara, it was being diagnosed with chronic Lyme disease. Being practically bedridden for nearly six weeks gave her time to analyze the way she was living her life. During this time of reflection she decided that in order to live a life with purpose, she needed to figure out what brought her joy. And what brought her joy was photography, writing, and of course travel.


Favorite Blog: Otts World
Thursday, January 22nd, 2009

[singlepic=1123,250,,,right]I was first introduced to Sherry’s blog, Ott’s World, while working at Cross-Cultural Solutions. As part of her journeys, Sherry was volunteering with CCS in India, and my colleague thought I would love her site because of her beautiful photography. And she was right. I was also extremely envious of her incredible adventures, which usually happens when I’m stuck in an office and not traveling myself.

Fortunately I was in the middle of planning the career break Michael and I would be taking. During our trip, we kept a blog as well (called appropriately Briefcase to Backpack) and received envious feedback from friends and family. So much so that we felt like we needed to do more with the name and concept.


Favorite Website: SmugMug
Sunday, December 28th, 2008

Pictures are one of the most important things on my journeys; they are my eyes, and heart; often showing the emotions of my journey that words cannot show. While traveling around the world I took about 50,000 pictures and reduced that down to about 11,000 worth keeping on my laptop. I traveled through India, Africa, remote areas of China, and I crossed bodies of water in boats; all leaving me a bit on edge as I hoped and prayed that my laptop (mainly my photography) was safe and secure.


Favorite Book: Three Cups of Tea
Thursday, December 11th, 2008

Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin

After a failed climb of K2 in Pakistan, Greg Mortenson set out on a mission of another kind – one that required an immense amount of perseverance and passion beyond K2. This is the true story of Greg Mortenson’s journey to “promote peace one school at a time”. I thought that I would like this story – it has all of my favorite elements – non-fiction, global travel, athleticism/drive, and giving back; yet I not only liked it, I loved it. I can say that it is my favorite book I’ve ever read. Finally – I have an answer for stupid online dating questionnaires…”What’s your favorite book?”


Career Break Guide Table of Contents

Meet Plan Go