Posts Tagged ‘support’

The Importance of Support
Monday, October 24th, 2011

We’ve said again and again how it’s important to have a support system in place when you are planning any type of life-changing event – especially when pursuing your dream of a career break or extended travel. But don’t just take it from us. Here are some others who have been in your shoes.

And here is some feedback from those who recently attended our events around North America.

Going to the 2011 Meet, Plan, Go! event was more than I expected. To be around so many people who want to travel and to talk to and listen to people who have indeed traveled in bigger ways than I had considered was mind-opening and thrilling.
– NYC Attendee
It’s great inspiration for anyone considering either a long-term travel experience, or even just a change in their lives. The “good vibes” throughout the room would give anyone motivation to make a change.
– San Francisco Attendee
So many people could use the inspiration this event offers for taking the travel plunge.
– DC Attendee
It was really uplifting and inspirational to hear about people’s adventures and lives from all different age groups and stages in life.
– Toronto Attendee
It was inspiring and encouraging to hear the stories and meet other people who have a desire for world travel like I do.
– Los Angeles Attendee
For anyone intending to travel, as well as friends/family of those intending to travel, it’s a welcome support community of like-minded individuals. The process is so overwhelming, it’s nice to feel one’s not alone.
– Denver Attendee
It’s so valuable to hear from other people that have gone on these long trips when you’re contemplating going on one yourself. It validates it, and after attending you really feel like you can make the trip a reality sooner than I thought going into it.
– Chicago Attendee
It is great to hear from and talk with diverse group of individuals who have comepleted a career-break trip. In addition it is nice to connect with people in the area who are interested in pursuing the same thing, who have the same questions and concerns.
– Boston Attendee
For those interested in travel and career breaks, I think it is a great place to meet like-minded people, be exposed to resources, and get inspired with ideas!
– Austin Attendee

Kick-Ass Panelist: Alexis Grant
Wednesday, June 29th, 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. This week we are featuring one of our DC panelists and co-organizers – Alexis Grant – a journalist who is writing a book about backpacking solo through Africa. She blogs at The Travel Writer and tweets as @alexisgrant.

Meet our Kick-Ass DC Panelist: Alexis Grant

It’s Easier to Leap with a Network to Support You

Alexis GrantWhen I left my reporting job in 2008 to travel in Africa, I had no idea there was a career-break movement. In fact, I didn’t even call what I was doing a career break. I wanted to take a long-haul backpacking trip, and quitting my job was the only way I could see to make that happen.

I didn’t read travel blogs. Instead, I relied on books like Edward Hasbrouck’s The Practical Nomad (my favorite independent travel planning book), A Journey of One’s Own, and Lonely Planet guides checked out of my local library. I didn’t know anyone else who had taken time off to travel, and honestly, it never occurred to me to find them. I focused on blazing my own path.

I was eager to learn about cultures that were different from my own. And see how much my mind could soak in when I was able to live in the moment, without worrying about returning to work on Monday. I wanted a challenge, a chance to sleep under the stars, rough it in a bush taxi and meet other travelers who, like me, believed that living meant more than earning a paycheck from behind a desk.

So I was thrilled to discover Meet, Plan, Go!, which is more than an event – it’s a community. For much of the year, that community is virtual, but it morphs into in-person network when we all meet at events around the country in October. Here in Washington, D.C., where I’m helping to organize, we’re getting started with a series of pre-event meetups.

These events will no doubt be helpful for wannabe career-breakers and travel evangelists. But you know who I think will most benefit? Anyone who has dreamed about taking time off to travel but hasn’t yet made the decision to do it. Because hearing other people’s stories and learning about the logistics involved and realizing you could actually do this will light a fire under you. Or, hey, maybe you’ll see all the planning it requires and say nope, it’s not for me. But more likely, you’ll walk away from that night feeling super excited about taking your leap, with a network of supportive friends ready to help you make it happen.

Even after my six-month backpacking trip, I need that inspiration. Because it’s so easy to get caught up in career and family and working our way up the ladder, that sometimes we forget the benefit of taking a detour. Just three years after taking off to travel, I’m already scheming for my next getaway – and I’m counting on Meet, Plan, Go! to kick me into gear.

Check out the Washington DC event details.

Kick-Ass Host: Adam Seper
Wednesday, June 22nd, 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 St. Louis Host: Adam Seper

“I’m done.” “I can’t take it anymore.”
“I work 70+ hours a week.” “I hate my boss and colleagues.”
“I have no life.” “I can’t live like this anymore.”

When talking sabbaticals and career breaks, the above statements ring true for so many Americans. If you’re one of those people, then making the decision to say “Screw it!” and head out on the road may be pretty easy.

Adam Seper

My story took a different path. I never uttered any of those above statements. After spending the first half of my 20’s trying to figure out what it was I wanted to do, I finally went back to school to get my teacher’s certificate and master’s. I became a high school English teacher and soccer coach. I really enjoyed my job. I was happy. I was nearly through my first year of teaching and my new career when my wife first came at me with this idea of a year-long RTW trip.

At first, I thought she was nuts. We were both finally out of school and making good money. We were
paying off our debt. We were saving up for a house. We were about to fulfill the American Dream!
Why in the world would I want to give all that up?

At that point, a little over 4 years ago now, I knew nothing about this whole RTW, career break, long term travel phenomenon. I thought sabbaticals and long term travel was for rich people and Europeans. I loved to travel, sure. It was one of my top passions, and while traveling for a year sounded great, my initial reaction was that it was completely unrealistic and stupid considering our situation. After Megan’s suggestion and my immediate dismissal, we got in a fight.

The next day, links to blogs and message boards appeared in my inbox. After perusing them for a few
days, suddenly I was intrigued, excited even. I was astounded that normal people like us did this. Was
this really possible? Could every day Joe’s like us really quit our jobs at the beginnings of our careers and travel the world for a whole year?

It didn’t take long for me to change my tune. Suddenly, even though I liked my job, I wasn’t as
concerned about leaving it. I didn’t love it. While I was happy and content, I wasn’t passionate about it.
Besides, why couldn’t we both just go back to our respective careers when we returned? Once I really
thought seriously about owning a home and all the responsibilities that came with it, it seemed much
less appealing, certainly less than traversing the globe. We were saving for a home because that’s what we were supposed to do.

When we sat down and went over our finances, budget, and how much we could realistically save if we cut back our spending, I was shocked. When we ran the numbers of how much we could save versus how much it would take to travel for a year in developing countries, I was sold.

After initially being dismissive and negative about my wife’s idea, suddenly it was all I could think
about. If we could legitimately swing it, why would we not do it? At first, leaving our jobs and giving
up our lives to travel seemed crazy, wreckless, and irresponsible. After some research, reflection, and contemplation, though, we realized that if we could legitimately make this travel dream come true, it would be crazy, wreckless, and irresponsible not to do it.

So we took the plunge. What most of society would deem to be a crazy and childish decision became
the best one we ever made. Our decision to chuck it all and travel together for a year changed
everything: our lives, our relationship, our thoughts on our careers, our views of the world, and our
views on life and what it should really be like. Does that sound crazy to you?

Check out the St. Louis event details.

Supporting a Career Break Dream
Monday, June 20th, 2011

A Career Break Three Years in the Making

Kim and her husband Brian are planning an around the world trip in 2012. They’re currently in the process of planning, packing and preparing to see the world. You can follow their journey on their website So Many Places, Twitter @rtwsomanyplaces, or Facebook.

I’ve followed a very traditional career path. I graduated college and spent a year as an AmeriCorps volunteer before landing my first job in 2004. I moved across the country and settled in Portland, Oregon where I began climbing the ladder in my field. In 2006 I changed employers. In 2008 I changed again. With each new job I acquired a larger salary and more impressive title.

In March of 2008 my husband Brian and I were hiking in the Oregon backcountry. It had been a long, gray, Pacific Northwest winter and we were feeling disillusioned and unsatisfied. As we hiked we discussed a big, looming life question “Isn’t there more to life than this?”

Kim and Brian
I had become increasingly disillusioned with my job. I longed for freedom and creativity and adventure. I was making more money than I ever had before but I had no control over my own time.

I had always dreamed of traveling the world but never had the means to do it. As we hiked I slowly realized that if Brian and I were diligent about saving money we could use that money to travel long-term. In the middle of the Oregon forest I posed two questions to Brian:

“Why are we working like this if we aren’t happy? What if we quit our jobs and traveled the world?”

It took two years for that initial conversation to turn into a real plan. During those two years I realized that fulfilling my desire to travel was more than just a crazy idea, it was a critical part of who I longed to become.

Kim and BrianI had to approach the topic with Brian again and this time it wasn’t just a philosophical “what if?” I wondered, what will Brian think? And I also wondered, what will I do if Brian says no?

It took some time but in the end Brian was supportive of my dream. He wrote a post about his experience called Coming to Terms with Life Change. We are now planning and saving towards long-term travel and we hope to leave on our adventure sometime in early 2012.

When Brian and I were married we vowed that we would support each other’s dreams. We had no idea that my dream would lead our lives in this direction. I’m grateful that Brian chose to support my dream and I hope that someday I can support his dream too.

Above all else, I hope that the experience of traveling the world will open new doors for us and introduce us to opportunities we would not have otherwise. I hope that traveling the world will allow us to build new dreams together.

Career Break Guide Table of Contents

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