The movie version of Eat, Pray, Love is coming out later this summer, amidst great hoopla. Fans of the book are excited. Fans of Julia Roberts are excited. Fans of chick flicks are just about beside themselves. And the travel community is psyched for an entirely different reason: yet another mainstream outlet is helping legitimize the concept of a career break.
Back in 2007 when I quit my job to travel through Central America, I didn't realize I was taking a "career break." I just knew it was time for a change! Inspired by superstars Rolf Potts and Rita Golden Gelman as much as "real" travel bloggers out there living the dream like Christine Gilbert of Almost Fearless and Sherry Ott of Ottsworld, I was able to find lots of support and inspiration among the online travel community. And I was fortunate to have been raised in a family where international travel was always highly valued. So while it wasn't all that tough for me to make the leap, it was still a pretty big leap to make. Knowing in your heart that you can do something, and convincing your rational brain that it's a good idea, are two totally different things!
Which is why I was so jazzed to hear that the folks at Briefcase to Backpack are planning an event this fall to connect future cubicle escapees with the resources and encouragement to make it happen. Meet, Plan, Go! is a nationwide event happening simultaneously in a dozen locations on the evening of September 14. Despite being common in Europe and Australia, taking a break for extended travel is still anathema to our workaholic US culture. This is a chance to make the leap from "I wish I could do that!" by MEETing with like-minded travelers so you can PLAN to make that dream trip a reality and get out there and GO! Speakers will discuss practical topics like how to financially plan for a big trip, share inspirational stories about how they made the leap, and provide helpful advice on how to capitalize on your experience when you return to the job market.
Interested in learning more? Sign up for the Meet, Plan, Go! newsletter by June 18 for a chance to win Lonely Planet's "The Big Trip," a guide to career breaks. Event registration will be up and running soon. This event is free and will be held in cities around the US and Canada, so check the site to see if it's coming to a location near you. One lucky attendee will win a trip from Gap Adventures. I'm honored to be hosting the DC event and am working on lining up speakers and sponsors. If you're interested in helping out, drop me a line.
So, let's review:
* You get to come to a free event and learn about traveling the world
* You get to network with other people who have traveled the world
* You get the chance to win a free trip somewhere in the world
What are YOU waiting for???
* Meet, Plan, Go!
* MPG Facebook fan page
* MPG Twitter feed
* Gap Adventures
* Eat, Pray, Love [the book]
* Eat, Pray, Love [the movie]
* Rita Golden Gelman's site
* Rolf Potts's site
[for other great travel blogs, check out our blogroll at right]
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