Swapping Your Blackberry for a Backpack: World Travel Mid-Career

Posted April 30, 2012 by Marcy Twete in Career Moves

A few weeks ago, we brought you “Get Ahead By Going Abroad” after realizing many adults list their biggest regret as doing too little traveling abroad. At that time, we reminded you that it is possible to travel abroad as a professional. You can look at ideas through your company or explore companies in your industry that place employees overseas. But what if working abroad doesn’t appeal to you? Have you always dreamed of having your own “Eat. Pray. Love” experience abroad? What’s holding you back?

When we think about long-term backpackers of Europe or Asia, we often think of early 20-somethings taking a gap year or exploring the world before they hit the working world. But what about those in the mid-term of their career? Recently, the travel website BootsnAll published an article that take on these youngster explorer stereotype.

“Times have changed, and while the classic post-study gap year is still going strong, the indie travel population is increasingly made up of a mix of people taking time out at a various stages of life, including mid-career. Apart from economic gloom and high unemployment, there are many reasons why people interrupt their career mid-flow to undertake extended travel: an insatiable desire to see the places that have otherwise served only as screensavers; an altruistic want to do more than line the deep pockets of corporations; an opportunity to re-evaluate if the career chosen by a younger self is still the right one. The prompts are plentiful, and the defining moment when you commit to taking a career-gap is exhilarating…if not equally terrifying.”

The career-gap, specifically allocated to travel is more and more common these days. But could you really swap your Blackberry for a Backpack? There’s more to think about than just yes vs. no. BootsnAll tells us that many professionals making the decision to take a gap in their career for travel don’t appropriately consider issues of space, culture-shock, and attachment disorders regarding our precious electronic devices. Check out more “watch for” and “watch out for” issues in traveling abroad over a long period of time in BootsnAll’s full article, “Swapping Your Blackberry For a Backpack: What to Expect.”

About the Author

Marcy Twete

Marcy Twete is a career fundraiser turned corporate responsibility executive, a career and networking expert and the author of the book "You Know Everybody! A Career Girl’s Guide to Building a Network That Works."