This was the second annual event for Meet Plan Go to build awareness about career breaks and extended travel. This event was held in 17 cities nationwide on the same night, 1250 people attended, but over a million people received Meet Plan Go’s message about long-term travel through social media. To continue building this travel community, smaller ‘meet-ups’ will occur over the next year through local hosts.
I attended this event last year and it gave me a jump start on planning my around-the-world trip. Over the past year, I have become a member of ‘Basic Training’, immersed myself in useful information, connected with several travel related suppliers, and have developed a new peer group of travelers. This year (armed with my smile, camera and notepad) I wanted to meet more travelers, get useful tips, and offer my support – my mission was accomplished!
In the audience (with an age range from early 20’s to mid-60’s) were those just starting to explore the long-term travel option (like me a year ago), those that are getting ready to leave on a journey, those that had just returned from a career break, and those that are extended travel veterans. All in attendance heard discussion on topics ranging from budgeting for a trip, how career breaks can enhance your resume, to practical tips and information was provided by a panel of experts (some of whom I know personally). Aside from the event hosts, Sarah & Morgan Smith of Away Together, were Sherry Ott of OttsWorld, Kristin Zibell of Take Your Big Trip, and Spencer Spellman of The Traveling Philospher.
The energy in the room was amazing and it fostered a feeling of acceptance and hope for those of us who simply want to travel. Even though I was not among those that had experienced a long-term journey, I felt like I belonged and had knowledge to share with others. My goal for the next Meet Plan Go event I attend (probably in 2013) is to inspire others and be another example that this kind of travel is entirely possible.