Posts Tagged ‘San Francisco’

MPG 2012 San Francisco Host: Kristin Zibell
Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

All of our local Meet, Plan, Go! hosts have inspiring stories of their own career break travels. In the months leading up to our National Event on October 16, we will introduce them to you so you can see why they are part of our team.

Meet 2012 San Francisco Host: Kristin Zibell

On the Other Side are Your Travel Dreams

Recently, at a beautiful sun-soaked wedding in California’s wine country, I met two travel dreamers – they had fully-formed travel dreams in their head. Jay, a tall man with white hair who put the sport in sport jacket, wanted to sail around the world for two years; to take off from the East Coast of the United States and end up two years later on the Pacific Coast. His perfectly-coiffed wife, Liz, wanted to work with animals…a cruise to the Galapagos or perhaps observing Silverback gorillas in Africa.

Their travel dreams were inspired by their son, a former cubicle resident who put in five years at a big five services firm and was now captaining tourist sailboats off the coast of Croatia. I thought that was much more exciting and said so. Liz assured me that he was headed for a top 10 business school in the fall, as if I would be worried that somehow he’d fallen off of life’s map.

I shared with them that I work with an organization that encourages people to do something similar – take sabbaticals for a year or so to travel the world. I had taken my own sabbatical from 2008 and 2010 and it was the best choice I had made. “How did you do that?” Jay asked.

I answered simply, “I left my corporate job, started to travel, worked as a consultant to pay for trips, and came back.”

You just came back? What about your career?” he inquired.

That was it – the big question, what happens to my career after traveling long-term? In working on my blog and with Meet Plan Go!, first as a panelist last year and this year as San Francisco’s host, I found that would-be travelers feel like their career will go into a big black hole if they leave them. I assured Jay that it did not, explaining “I found a job that uses all my skills and made more money than I ever have. My career is my own. I think about what I want my life to be like and shape my work to fit it.”

Not only did my career avoid the black hole trajectory (and so many other long-term travelers will attest to the same), I am living the life that I have always dreamed: a world traveler who’s settled down in San Francisco, working at a job I enjoy, travel writing and blogging, and having fun with an incredible network of friends.

And all that happened because I went in the direction of my dreams and trusted my gut along the way.

Jay seemed partially satisfied with my response and joked that he’d sail around the world and return to the job I promised him after being in the engineering business for 32 years. I smiled, hoping that he would realize that he had 32 years of professional experience and could name his own terms when he returned. After our talk, I sat and reflected on the conversation and realized how much fear of the unknown keeps people in jobs they don’t like and careers that own them. This Rumi quote captures it best:

“Why do you stay in prison, when the door is so wide open?”

My hope is that we all realize that on the other side of departure, are our dreams. It’s certainly what I want Meet Plan Go! attendees to realize after they attend the 2012 event on October 16th.

Walk through the door, on the other side, is your dream trip.

In 2008, Kristin Zibell left marriage and corporate life to begin living her travel dreams. She traveled around the world over the next two years to India, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Europe—volunteering, touring, trekking, photographing and blogging along the way. To pay for her adventures, she used her past life’s professional experience to consult between trips. Traveling long term has changed her forever and now she writes the blog Take Your Big Trip to inspire others to live their travel dreams. After her last big trip in 2010, Kristin chose San Francisco as her new home and travels around the city discovering its treasures with her Treasure Map Project.

Join us on October 16, 2012 for our nationwide Meet, Plan, Go! events:

Austin | Boston | Chicago | Minneapolis | New York City

San Diego | San Francisco | Seattle | South Florida | Toronto

Meet, Plan, Go! 2012 Hosts
Monday, July 30th, 2012

Two weeks ago, we revealed which cities Meet, Plan, Go! is coming to in 2012. Now, we are excited to announce our fabulous hosts! We have many returning hosts and several new hosts. You’ll be able to get to know them more over the next two months, but here is a sneak peek at who they are. And be sure to check out their websites to see why they are excited to be hosting Meet, Plan, Go! this year.

Shelley Seale and Keith Hajovksy (new hosts) | Travel Sherpa Keith
Twitter: @shelleyseale | @SherpaKeith
Facebook: How to Travel For Free | Travel Sherpa Keith

Shelley has been traveling for 25 years and Keith has hit over 40 countries in his travels. Together, they wrote a book about traveling as close to free as possible and continue to center their lives on travel. Shelley is a professional writer who does about 50% travel writing, while Keith works as the director of a startup nonprofit organization and runs a tour company.

Lillie Marshall (returning host)
Around the World L | Teaching Traveling
Facebook:Around the World L | Teaching Traveling

After taking a year-long leave of absence to travel the world in 2009, Lillie returned to her teaching career with renewed energy and focus. Now, she is launching a movement to inspire and assist more teachers to travel, and more travelers to teach, thus transforming the educational experience of our world.

Lisa Lubin (returning host)
LL World Tour
Facebook:LL World Tour

After working in broadcast television for more than a decade, Lisa took a career break which turned into nearly 3 years traveling and working her way around the world. A three-time Emmy® Award winning television writer, producer/director, photographer and video consultant, Lisa’s writing and photography has been published by the Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Tribune, Smithsonian, Encyclopedia Brittanica and American Way Magazine.

Katie Aune (new host)
Katie Going Global
Twitter: @katieaune
Facebook: Katie Going Global

A former attorney, Katie left a job in fundraising and event planning last August to travel and volunteer in all 15 countries of the former Soviet Union. She will return home in September after a 13-month career break that included running a marathon in Estonia, teaching English in Russia and Tajikistan, volunteering with the national tourism board of Armenia, living with local families in Azerbaijan, and trying her best to speak Russian on a daily basis

Sherry Ott (former host and co-founder)
Twitter: @ottsworld
Facebook: Ottsworld Travel and Life Experiences

Sherry is a Co-Founder of Meet Plan Go! and is a refugee from corporate IT who is now a long term traveler, blogger and photographer.  Her travels include hiking the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal, traveling the globe house-sitting, volunteering in India and Nepal, driving 10,000 miles from London to Mongolia for the Mongol Rally and, most recently, walking 550 miles across Spain on the Camino de Santiago.

Elaine Masters (new city and new host)
Trip Wellness
Twitter: @tripwellness
Facebook: Elaine Masters Travel Wellness

Elaine is a travel writer, international scuba diver, award-winning author of Drivetime Yoga and a Yoga teacher. Her podcast, The Gathering Road, airs on the WRN and she has been mentioned in Women’s Day Magazine, San Diego Living and the Huffington Post. One of her favorite memories is teaching Flytime Yoga at 30,000 feet on a flight to Fiji!

Kristin Zibell (new host)
Take Your Big Trip
Twitter: @takeyourbigtrip
Facebook: Take Your Big Trip

In 2008, Kristin left marriage and corporate life to spend 2 years traveling to India, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Europe. Volunteering, touring, trekking, photographing and blogging along the way, she used her past professional experience to pay for her adventures by consulting between trips. She settled in San Francisco in 2010 and writes a blog to inspire others to live their travel dreams.

Lori Stone (new host)
The Joy Guild
Twitter: @thejoyguild
Facebook: Art Camp for Big Kids

After 20 years in the corporate, nonprofit and technology sectors, Lori began a research sabbatical and career break this year. She is taking time off from contract management work to explore the world around her by leading creative art retreats, traveling, writing, learning, continuing outreach as a cancer survivor-turned-advocate, building communities and – most importantly – having fun.

Jillian & Danny Tobias (new hosts)
I Should Log Off
Twitter: @ishouldlogoff
Facebook: I Should Log Off

Jillian and Danny traveled around the world for 21 months, traversing famous overland routes like Capetown to Cairo and the old silk road. Experts in budgeting and financing your dream, they have been featured by finance and business writers from The New York Times, Sun-Sentinel, and US News & World Report. In 2011, the couple started Doughhound, a budgeting website to help others achieve their financial goals.

Janice Waugh (returning host)
Solo Traveler Blog
Facebook:Solo Travel Society

Janice has enjoyed many forms of travel at different times of life…20-something travel, family travel, and career break travel. As publisher of Solo Traveler, author of The Solo Traveler’s Handbook and moderator of the Solo Travel Society on Facebook, she aims to inspire others to discover the world as they discover themselves.She has spoken at The Smithsonian on solo travel and has been quoted in many media outlets including CNN, the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, LA Times and USA Today.

Join us on October 16, 2012 for our nationwide Meet, Plan, Go! events:

Austin | Boston | Chicago | Minneapolis | New York City

San Diego | San Francisco | Seattle | South Florida | Toronto

To be the first notified when tickets go on sale this fall, sign up for our newsletter.

Career Break Guide Table of Contents

Meet Plan Go