Posts Tagged ‘kayaking’

The People You’ll Meet at Meet, Plan, Go!
Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

People You MeetWe have asked all of our Meet, Plan, Go! hosts to hold casual meetups in their cities in the months leading up to our nationwide event in October.

Why? Because having an in person support group is important when you are deciding to take a big leap into the unknown or taking on big changes in your life. Whether it’s a career break, running a marathon, or moving to another country as an expat; we all need people to keep us accountable, energized, and focused on our goals.

And that power of the in person meetup proved true at a recent San Francisco event, which Sherry Ott attended. Here are some of the encounters she experienced.

The Surprise Sabbatical

Two women (A & M) who met for the first time talking about travel and how they’d love to get away and take a break. “A” talks about how she’d like to take a career break, but is fearful of leaving her job. “M” tells “A” how she’s planning a traveling career break for the future because her company offers a 6 month leave where you can take a sabbatical.

“A” says “ Oh, you are so lucky that your company offers such a program. Where do you work?”

“M” answers, “Wells Fargo.”

“A” looks shocked and exclaims, “I work for Wells Fargo too! I had no idea they had such a program!”

The conversation moved into laughter, exchanging information, and sharing details on how to find out more about the program.

The Shoulder to Cry On

Jen leaves in two weeks with a one-way ticket to Indonesia on her first career break. She looks frazzled – I know that look. She’s excited and scared at the same time. This is some big life change that she’s undertaking, flying off into the unknown – solo.

I looked at her and said…”you know – I remember when I was two weeks away from going – I was a basket case…I would cry at least two times a day”. She looked at me surprised, and somewhat relieved. She said in a meek questioning way, “really?”.

My good friend Amy, who was one of my friends whom I started my career break with, was there and overheard the conversation. She recounted the story of me crying on the plane on my way to Africa (we were flying to Kenya to begin my year career break and Amy was going for a two-week vacation).

I had been scared of what lie ahead of me, yet excited at the same time. It was a weird feeling and Amy was there to witness it all. As we both talked to Jen further, you could tell she felt a little better about her own fears – simply knowing someone else went through the same thing was comforting.

The Unplanned Reunion

Carol keeps saying I look familiar…but can’t figure out how she knows me. I assume it’s from my blog or something she’s read about MPG and we go on socializing around the event. She comes back to me with a mission and asks me if I ever went to Egypt. I assume she’s asking if I would recommend Egypt so I told her that I indeed did go to Egypt as part of my career break but that it wasn’t my favorite country and I much preferred Jordan over Egypt.

She paused, looked a bit confused and plodded forward and asked, “Did you take a tour in Egypt?” I said – yes I did take a small group tour with Intrepid Travel because I didn’t want to travel solo through Egypt. A big smile came across her face and she said, “I knew it! I knew I had met you before! I was on that tour with you!”

I could hardly believe that four years later our paths crossed randomly around our love for travel. The world is truly small.

Our local meetups are in full swing now with events already happening in San Francisco, Boston, Chicago and NYC; and scheduled for Portland, Seattle, New Orleans, and LA. Come join in and get travel ideas, share stories of your planning, ask questions of people who have done it, or simply share a beer.

Laos: Luang Prabang
Wednesday, December 10th, 2008

[singlepic=786,200,,,right]Michael and I traveled to Laos as part of our 2007 career break. The following is an excerpt from our travel blog.

It’s hard to believe we are already in Laos – our final destination. It’s bittersweet as this is the place I was most looking forward to going but it also means our trip is quickly winding down. But we couldn’t ask for a better place to unwind than the French-colonial town of Luang Prabang.

We knew very little about Laos beforehand, but that was part of the appeal. And the little that we did hear proved to be true – it was much more laid back and less hectic than other Southeast Asian countries, we’d run into far fewer tourists, and that the towns and people were lovely. And that is the perfect way to summarize the essence of Laos – lovely. Even before landing, the site of the green rolling hills from the airplane were so inviting and the friendly smiles of the immigration officers were so welcoming. We knew this would be a great place and way to end our adventures.


Thailand: Overview Video
Tuesday, December 9th, 2008

Following New Zealand, Michael and I traveled to Thailand as part of our 2007 career break. The following is a video overview of our experience. (This video also features Laos)

Text Version: We were excited to be moving on to Thailand and Laos  – two countries whose cultures were completely different from our own.


Thailand: West Railay
Tuesday, December 9th, 2008

Michael and I traveled to Thailand as part of our 2007 career break. The following is an excerpt from our travel blog.

[singlepic=664,200,,,right]One thing is for sure the Thais really have the tourist transportation down. Whether it’s by longtail, ferry or high-speed boat by water, or minivan, tuk tuk or bus on land, the various networks of getting from one destination to the next is relatively easy to do – even if you don’t speak the language.

Our next destination was West Railay beach, which is situated in the province on mainland Krabi. From Kho Ngai we took a high speek boat to Ko Lanta (1 hr.) where we met up with a ferry heading to Ao Nang – the drop off point for destinations to Krabi. And as West Railay was tucked in amongst massive limestone walls, the only way to get there is by longtail boat, which picked us up from the ferry.


New Zealand: Overview Video
Monday, December 8th, 2008

Following Australia, Michael and I traveled to New Zealand as part of our 2007 career break. The following is a video overview of our experience.

Text Version: Next stop – New Zealand. Known as the capital of adventure tourism, there is no shortage of activities to fill the days. And with 30% of the country designated as national parks or reserves, it is renowned for its walking trails.


New Zealand: Abel Tasman
Monday, December 8th, 2008

Michael and I traveled to New Zealand as part of our 2007 career break. The following is an excerpt from our travel blog.

[singlepic=263,200,,,right]Nelson, 1995 – the sunniest place in all of New Zealand. It failed to live up to that title the last time I was here as it down poured for three days straight. On the fourth day, the seas were deemed too rough to kayak the Abel Tasman, as we stood on the shoreline with paddles in our hands and frowns on our faces.

Nelson, 2007 – as we pulled into town the day before to overcast skies and light drizzle, I was apprehensive that Nelson would ever live up to its moniker in my presence. And I was nervous about our three-day kayaking/hiking experience we were to set out for today. As I awoke in our hotel in Motueka (which lives close to Abel Tasman National Park) blue skies did greet us on my birthday morning. I could only hope it would last.


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