Have Travel Dreams ?

Post from Michaela Potter at briefcasetobackpack.com

Michaela Potter

“Meet, Plan, Go!”
A Nationwide Event to Help People Realize Their Travel Dreams

On September 14, 2010, Briefcase to Backpack and Three Month Visa will be hosting Meet, Plan, Go! a free, nationwide event to inspire people to fulfill their career break and long-term travel dreams. The event will offer participants the opportunity to MEET inspirational speakers and like-minded travelers; get motivation, contacts and resources necessary to PLAN the trip of a lifetime; and start taking concrete steps forward to GO on that global adventure.

“In countries like Australia and the UK, career breaks, life sabbaticals, ‘gap years’ and other forms of extended travel are commonplace, but Americans have shied away from claiming a similar birthright. We are on a mission to change that,” says Michaela Potter, co-founder of Briefcase to Backpack, a site that offers travel inspiration and advice for Americans planning a career break or sabbatical.

For years, books like Vagabonding by Rolf Potts and Tales of a Female Nomad by Rita Golden Gelman have inspired countless readers across the country to break out of their daily routine and travel the world. Then, in 2006, Elizabeth Gilbert’s memoir Eat, Pray, Love exploded onto the literary scene, becoming a runaway hit and opening up a wider conversation about Americans and long-term travel experiences.

“Many people found themselves asking, ‘Wait a minute…why haven’t I ever taken time off? Where is MY gap year?!’” says Tara Russell, a Life Sabbatical & Long-term Travel Coach through Three Month Visa. “Now, with the Eat, Pray, Love movie starring Julia Roberts coming out in August, the dialogue is sure to reignite. We want to connect people with useful resources and contacts that will make planning the trip of a lifetime that much easier.”

Every event will feature individuals who have either fulfilled their own world travel dreams or are currently in the planning stages. Such real-life stories have a built-in understanding of the unique challenges that all long-term travelers must overcome in order to make things happen, including the re-entry process and returning to work.

Sherry Ott, a Meet, Plan, Go! collaborator, left her corporate job in 2006 and hasn’t looked back. “During my original 16-month career break, I traveled to 23 countries, primarily solo, armed with my camera.” The travel experience of her life led her to co-found Briefcase to Backpack with Potter. “When I returned to the States, I realized that the corporate world wasn’t for me. So, I spent the last year living and working in Vietnam, experiencing the ups and downs of being a solo expat in a very foreign culture.” Ott has been blogging about her travels on OttsWorld: Travel and Life Experiences of a Corporate America Runaway.

Sherry Ott

Ott is just one of the many life-changing stories that Meet, Plan, Go! will showcase. For a complete listing of Meet, Plan, Go! bios and participants, visit www.meetplango.com. Current event locations include Atlanta | Austin | Boston | Chicago | Dallas | Minneapolis | New York City | Orlando | Philadelphia | San Francisco | Seattle | Washington DC | Toronto, Canada. Attendees will also have the opportunity to win a trip to Peru from GAP Adventures as well as a volunteer trip to France & Cambodia from GeoVisions.

If you have ever dreamed of escaping your cubicle to strike out and discover the world on your own terms, then don’t miss out on this event. And if you have, join Meet, Plan, Go! to help inspire others.

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