I remember buying my first “Life Is Good” t-shirt – you know, the ones with that stick-figure mascot “Jake” and those simple slogans. I was particularly drawn to their tagline: “Do What You Like, Like What You Do.” Words to live by for sure.

Years later, my wife and I took a trip around the world — 28 different countries in a year’s time — with our two young boys. When I think back, there were many factors that influenced our decision to take a break from our careers to travel, but I wonder if wearing that “Life Is Good” philosophy on my back could have rubbed off on me – literally?

I would soon come to learn that we weren’t the only ones to choose this path when I stumbled upon Meet, Plan, Go!, an organization dedicated to launching a career-break movement in North America. After experiencing firsthand how life-changing and liberating taking a career break can be, I immediately wanted to get involved.

On October 16, Meet, Plan, Go! will host events in cities across the U.S. (and in Toronto) to help people fulfill their long-term travel dreams without jeopardizing their careers. Participants get the chance to chat with both experts and fellow aspiring travelers to get the motivation, contacts, and resources they need to start taking concrete steps toward global adventure.

As the host of last year’s event in New York City, I had the privilege of meeting some pretty amazing people. Some, like me, had already fulfilled their own dreams of long-term travel. Others were just getting started in the planning process, and needed a little encouragement to take the final plunge.

It didn’t take much to persuade most people. Just answering the basic questions and addressing some ABCs of logistics was enough to push them over the edge.

Then there were those who really wanted to do it, but were struggling with anxiety about making such a bold move.

Having now seen several Meet, Plan, Go! “graduates” successfully make the break, I’m humbled to think that I might have played a small role in influencing their decision.

So join me on October 16 in New York or find an event closer to your hometown (in addition to NYC and Toronto, there are events taking place in AustinBostonChicagoMinneapolisSan DiegoSan FranciscoSeattle, and Miami).

I can guarantee one thing: after hearing stories from people (just like you) who managed to overcome the unique challenges that long-term travel entails, it’ll be hard to say no to the ride.

After all, life is indeed good!

Learn more about Meet, Plan, Go! by watching this short introductory video:

Follow Rainer’s story on Twitter @JenssTravel.

Comments

  1. Lillie - @WorldLillie
    Boston, USA
    October 2, 2012, 4:38 pm

    I’m so happy to see this article! I’ve led the Boston chapter of the Meet, Plan, Go! movement since 2010 and it’s deeply moving to see how the conference changes people’s lives. Thanks for spreading the word! Let’s sell out all 10 locations!

  2. Stella
    London
    October 3, 2012, 11:12 am

    Great idea. It’s easy to forget that the rest of the world is out there working a nine to five. It’s good to see organisations like this springing up.
    I’ve been toying with idea of taking a year out to travel, the most I’ve gotten around to so far is a week in Switzerland with a company called dynamic lives which was a beautiful and much needed break for me and my family.
    It does make you wonder how beneficial a long term travel break could potentially be.

  3. dylan
    South Africa
    October 6, 2012, 2:53 pm

    Great idea but the video throws you a little. These people are speaking as though they are about to plunge headfirst into a battle with cancer. Maybe South Africa is just more relaxed with the idea of going elsewhere. Hopefully it spreads globally.

  4. Nige Collis
    United Kingdom
    October 6, 2012, 4:02 pm

    I would very much like to be involved with getting this off the ground in the UK.

  5. Eric
    Bonaire, Dutch Caribbean
    October 6, 2012, 5:37 pm

    When I was 21 I took a one way ticket to the other side of the world and traveled for 1.5 years. Took a couple of months break, and went again to different parts of the world. All together I kept it up for approximately 8 years. Now 30 years later I have one item on my bucket list… go and never stop if possible. And it’s not an ‘if’ – but ‘when’.

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    http://www.7-continentstravel.co.uk/Flights-to-Abuja.html
    October 22, 2012, 9:57 am

    This is good to enjoy the attractions all over the world if you can afford it and have time to do that. So it is very good to say take time out to travel and enjoy it.

  7. James
    Stanley, Idaho
    October 30, 2012, 1:10 pm

    This is great if you want to spend money overseas, but why not do it in the US. This is a great article with lots of information that is relevant to modern day life. You can see that there was a lot of great information that can be introduced to people that are not as easily taught these day. To be unplugged in the modern world and reconnected in the wilderness on a rafting trip is the best way to experience oneself and the natural world. For more information go to http://www.idahorivers.com

  8. Kristen
    Indianapolis
    November 29, 2012, 4:25 pm

    We just recently posted an article on how to travel with kids, and planning is the number one step in order to have a fun and safe trip. For anyone who is interested, here it is: http://www.hccmis.com/blog/family-travel-with-kids/