Should this year's travel fantasy Eat Pray Love drive you to wanderlust, you're in luck. On September 14, free seminars on how to plan extended travel will be held around the country.
Gathered together under the umbrella Meet Plan Go, the seminars will feature speakers who have taken career breaks and lived to tell the tale. The event is the brainchild of Sherry Ott and Michaela Potter, co-founders of From Briefcase to Backpack, a website that specializes in planning for career breaks and sabbaticals, as well as Tara Russell of Three Month Visa. It's sponsored nationally by Gap Adventures, STA Travel and other companies offering ways to help plan or book extended travel and each city event has local sponsors too.
In Seattle, the hosts are Betsy and Warren Talbot, a couple who have been preparing two years for their round-the-world adventure.What's great about their pre-planning blog posts is that Betsy and Warren aren't pretending that chucking it all to hit the road is easy. They've detailed the highs (the feeling of freedom that comes with getting rid of stuff, the joy of meeting a savings goals) as well as the lows (selling a house in a down market, worrying about career interruption).
But what's struck me most about the Talbots is how the trip has affected them even before leaving the Seattle area. In the past two years since Warren and his wife made a drunken promise to give it all up and travel the world, he's jumped out of a plane, gotten a tattoo and mastered a healthy balance with his work and the rest of his life. Betsy has gone through her own changes, as she's run a half marathon, dyed her hair blond and also been inked.
Which means that Meet Plan Go all about taking chances, following your heart and challenging yourself to do the things you want to do, even if you're scared. So even though I have no plans to pack it all in, I've signed up to attend. I love listening to people who go out there and make things happen, as they can only inspire me to do the same.
Find out more - and it there's still room in the seminars in your city - visit the Meet Plan Go website.
Portions of this post previously appeared on Chris Around The World.