A desk is a terrible place from which to view the world
This is a quote on a colorful postcard that I picked up at a travel gathering hosted by Meet Plan Go last year. I see this card every day and it reminds me that I need to get up from my desk and get started on our global sojourn.
A couple of years ago when we first started getting more serious about taking our big trip, I searched online for others who had taken a travel sabbatical. During that time, I stumbled upon a new organization called Meet, Plan, Go! whose goal is to provide inspiration and how-to advice on taking a career break to see the world. The idea of an intentional career break is a novel concept in the United States and those of us who talk about embarking on one are sometimes seen as a little odd. Perhaps one day, if MPG! has their way, this will be a normal part of life for many of us!
In mid-October every year, MPG! hosts gatherings across the USA for people who are interested in long-term travel. There are speakers who share their experiences or a panel to answer questions. Part of getting comfortable with leaving your life as you know it is talking to others who have been down that path first. Through the occasional MPG! event, like-mind people come together to meet and talk about trip planning! In the past these evenings have been attended by everyone from armchair travelers who are still dreaming to newbies who are just conceptualizing their own trip to people who have already been away for a couple of extended periods of time. The experts share their experiences on budgeting for your extended journey, buying insurance, staying healthy, creating volunteer opportunities abroad, fast vs slow travel and they have even spoken about working overseas, adding a career break to a resume and reentry into life at home once you return. It’s also about inspiration to take the big leap and don’t look back!
I attended my first event about 12 months ago and after the panel has wrapped up, I meet two of the speakers. They were a couple that had recently returned from ten months abroad with their two children. I had followed their blog journey but still had dozens of questions on what it was like to be a family on the road. Through this event, I was also able to converse with a few other families who were in process of making plans. We came together as our own informal support group. I’m pleased to say that two of the families are currently on the road, we are leaving in three months and a fourth family is making plans to leave next summer. I would never have found this support without MPG!
MPG! also provides very specific workshops on how to plan and make this happen. I didn’t need to partake in those sessions, which are available for a separate, reasonable fee, because I’ve already traveled extensively and felt like I had many of the tools to pull our trip together on our own. I also have the time to do so. But for those who are less comfortable making plans or who are more pressed for time, MPG! can offer you great support. Take them up on it!
Check out their home page and mark your calendars for October 16, the date of MPG’s nationwide gatherings!