Quite some time ago, I wrote this post about how and why I radically changed my life so that I might be living in a way which better reflected who I am and what I want to be. Since that time, I’ve changed. Not fundamentally, but in small ways. My focus has narrowed, the lines on my face have finally started to appear. I found my first gray hair. Of course, none of that really matters. The point is, change has happened and it has all been for the better. Even that gray hair which I look at as a well-earned mark of accumulated life experience – it might be as good as the stamps in my passport! But let’s not get too crazy.
So what inspired me? A lot of things. Particularly? One event in New York City. It was the inaugural Meet, Plan, Go! at Professor Thom’s in the East Village in 2010. There, a group of seasoned travelers and more than a few people eager to become seasoned travelers, gathered together to talk about taking a career break. The night was so successful it prompted a second annual Meet, Plan, Go! which will take place this coming October 18th in 17 North American Cities. In America, even the jobs we once counted on as certain are no longer. The homes we thought were investments are almost worthless in the worst of suburbs. This is the time, if you can make it happen, to take a break from your career and your routine life to refocus both so that you can return and reinvest yourself in a way that forever changes the course of your life for the better. How do I know that with certainty? It’s what I’ve spent two years doing.
My divorce was the largest catalyst for my career break and life change. Yet it was my attendance at the inaugural MPG that helped me to find a support network and a vocabulary for what it was I was already doing. The event and the people at the event helped me feel less like a crazy wanderer and more like a person ripe with new plans and new motives for living life to the fullest! Now, as my two years are drawing to a close, I’m settling down a bit and looking for work in New York City while going back to some vestiges of a sedentary life. I still intend to travel as much as I can. However, I do so now with more focus and purpose than I ever did before and a network of friends and colleagues that understand where I am coming from and empathize with the challenges I will still face.
This year, I’m speaking on the panel at the New Orleans Meet, Plan, Go!. I really believe strongly in the mission of Michaela Potter and Sherry Ott who founded Meet, Plan, Go! – they’d like to see a career break on every resume. I hope you’ll come hear my full story in New Orleans, or attend an event near you on the 18th – there are, after all, 17 cities to choose from and a plethora of amazing panelists and hosts in every town eager to share with you and inspire you. I hope to see you there or hear of how one of our events inspired you!
Photos & graphics courtesy MPG.