2011 Orlando Event

MPG Orlando“This was a fantastic event! It made me realize that taking a career break for long-term travel is a completely realistic goal and that I have amazing company also doing the same.”
– 2010 Attendee

If you are tired of two weeks of vacation time and want to break away from the cube to explore the world, then don’t miss out on this event!

Date: Tuesday, October 18th | Doors: 6pm
Venue: International Palms Resort | 6515 International Drive | Tower Building

NOTE: There are no refunds once tickets are purchased. If you wish to transfer your ticket to someone else, you will need to update your attendee information (including all survey questions). Upon registering, create an EventBrite login in order to access your account information later.

Orlando Panelists

Lisa Chavis
All too ready to pack up and go on an adventure, Lisa’s rude awakening came when the last of her possessions were sold and she faced bare rooms for the first time. “I knew my life had changed forever when I didn’t have a home or things to come back to anymore. But the whole world was out there in front of me and I couldn’t wait to go out and see it!”

Lisa’s previous publishing credits include Ask Your Pharmacist – A Leading Pharmacist Answers Your Most Frequently Asked Questions (St. Martin’s Press) and The Family Pharmacist (Perigee). Lisa Chavis has media experience as a featured guest on CNN’s Weekend House Call, as well as a National Radio Tour. She has been quoted as an expert in Parade magazine, Fitness, and Ladies Home Journal.

Since the completion of her first round the world adventure with Cheryl MacDonald, they have published a humorous travelogue following their travels called “What Boundaries? Live Your Dream!”. They are currently working on their second title “Will Work 4 Travel”, which will be a resource for long-term travelers who would like to stretch their travel Dollar, Euro, or Pound as well as get a real experience in the places they visit.

Website: What Boundaries Travel | Twitter: @What_Boundaries

Cheryl MacDonald
Leaving a Corporate Director position at a Fortune 500 company and traveling the world wasn’t originally on Cheryl’s carefully typed list of “to-do’s”. But when it became a choice of her health over her career, she wisely chose to take the road less traveled. “I’d never left the country before. I always said ‘maybe someday’ I’ll go. But there is an amazing world to discover. I’m glad I didn’t wait!”

Cheryl left a sixteen-year career to travel the world and make a difference doing it. She has spoken in motivational clinics and executive development programs for Women Unlimited and Medco Health Services. At the age of forty, she decided to complete her SCUBA Rescue Diver and Dive Master certifications while traveling the world.

Website: What Boundaries Travel | Twitter: @What_Boundaries

Shannon O’Donnell
In 2008, Shannon was living in Los Angeles where she was working as an actress and paying the bills online freelance work; realizing that her income was location independent, she came to the abrupt decision to leave on a one-year around the world trip. From that first decision, she started a blog to chronicle her solo travels. But what was only supposed to be a single year trip expanded into several years of slow travel, with a focus on closely exploring local communities and cultures.

She frequently volunteers throughout her travels, contributing to local communities and specifically seeking out local grassroots volunteer experiences…you could call it a mission to pair travel with social good. She is an active travel writer and blogger and has consistently worked as a freelance SEO consultant for the past three years. With no plans to stop traveling any time soon, she will return to Thailand this fall.

Website: A Little Adrift | Twitter: @ShannonRTW

Ben Reed
Ben is an Orlando-based Travel Blogger that will try (almost) anything once. His travel blog, Adventures with Ben, encourages readers to do the same as they learn how to plan, explore and enjoy some of the world’s top destinations. Ben also hosts a weekly podcast about Florida Travel & Tourism called Florida Travel Cocktail – available for download on iTunes.

Ben’s travel expertise has been highlighted in FoxNews.com, FareCompare.com, and VISIT Florida – Florida’s official tourism portal. He also writes a monthly travel column for an Orlando-area newspaper and in 2009, was selected as one of five winners in a social media travel competition sponsored by the Tourism Authority of Thailand.

In addition to his writing, Ben launched the Central Florida Chapter of Travel Blog Exchange (TBEX) and operates an online travel store. Ben will never eat Jellyfish again and counts bungee jumping in front of Victoria Falls one adventure everyone should try… but he won’t do it again. And for the record, he planned his “Epic Trip to Australia” way before Oprah did.

Website: Adventures with Ben | Twitter: @adventureswben

Jillian Tobias
Jillian and her husband traveled around the world for 21 months, traversing famous overland routes like Capetown to Cairo and the old silk road. They conquered mini-buses on four continents and enjoyed street food in fifty countries, all without a single broken bone or parasite!

Experts in budgeting and financing your dream, Jillian and Danny have been featured by finance and business writers from The New York Times, Sun-Sentinel, and US News & World Report. In 2011, the couple started a budgeting website to help others achieve their financial goals, Doughhound.

Websites: I Should Log Off | Doughhound | Twitter: @ishouldlogoff

Meet Your Hosts: Mike & Catrell Cooney

Mike & Catrell CooneyMike and Catrell Cooney believe travel is the ultimate education. To prove it, in 2008 they sold virtually everything they owned to take their three teenage sons on an around the world trek. Twins Morgan and Zach were 17 when they hit the road and Harrison was 15. It was the perfect age to absorb and appreciate the cultures and places they visited. The trek lasted a year and included six continents, 22 countries and covered 61,000 miles. Their web site, Cooney World Adventure, chronicles the entire odyssey.

In addition, Mike and Catrell traveled extensively before beginning the trek with their sons. Together they have visited more than 50 countries. Their passion is travel and they are eager to inspire and help individuals, couples and families see the world. As a result, they began their own full-service travel agency in late 2010. They will use their experience and expertise to add value by doing research for busy people who do not have the time to explore all of the travel options.

Website: Cooney World Adventure | Twitter: @CWA2008 | Facebook: Cooney World Adventure

Career Break Guide Table of Contents

Meet Plan Go