All of our local kick-ass Meet, Plan, Go! hosts have inspiring stories of their own career break travels. In the time leading up to our National Event in October we will introduce them to you so you can see why they are part of our team.
Meet our Kick-Ass Chicago Host: Lisa Lubin
It was nearly five years ago that I made the decision to quit my good job as a television producer at ABC, sell off much of my belongings, finally end a relationship that had been breaking down for some time (but was ‘comfortable’ even if it was a mostly ‘unhappy comfort’), and to simply just go. I was thirty-three years old. I had worked professionally for 13 years. Why did I have to stay in the same job – even if I liked it and had a nice salary and a nice 401K? Was that what life would be all about? Why did I have to just wait for retirement to take more time off?
A small window of opportunity had opened for me. I was free.
I had always loved to travel, but never imagined I would do what I was about to do. No, I take that back. I dreamed that I could do it – but never dreamed that I actually would do it.
I read some books about some ‘other’ amazing and courageous people that ‘took off’ for a year. I thought oh, how I wished I could do that. But, wait. I could do that. And so I did.
After traveling solo for about 3 years, my life has changed forever. It was not an overnight change. At first things started to change in me. I had fewer responsibilities and relaxed more. With travel came the TIME to enjoy life. To actually and truly ‘stop and smell the roses.’ I savored sights, sounds, smells and definitely tastes everywhere I went. I met wonderful people in all corners of the globe who remain friends to this day. And I relaxed. I simply didn’t worry or stress out about what was next. I learned to just ‘be.’ I didn’t know if I could stay this way once I returned and I am so happy I have.
Recently I met with a man from Mexico City named Ricardo who has lived and worked in and around New York City for the past thirty years. He contacted me, inspired by my story. We sat and had coffee and I answered the many questions with which he peppered me; questions I’ve been asked so many times now. How did I do it? Was I scared? How did I find work around the world? How could I afford it?
As I answered his question even I was inspired all over again. I was excited to share all that I know. I saw the light in his eyes and it was the same as mine.
Soon Ricardo will be moving back to Mexico. But not long after that, he will be planning his trip around the world. He is not a twenty-something backpacker. He has his Ph.D. in neurobiology and is an accomplished biologist and medical researcher. And now he is ready to travel around the world. I am hoping that when he returns, he will host Meet, Plan, Go! Mexico City. What do you think?