2011 San Francisco Event

MPG San Francisco“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: 5:30pm
Sports Basement Bryant Street | 1590 Bryant St.

Proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to the San Franciso-based nonprofit AFAR Foundation, promoting cross-cultural exchange through its program Learning AFAR, which sends underserved high school students to study and volunteer in countries such as Costa Rica, Peru and Cambodia.

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.

San Francisco Panelists

Sherry Ott
Sherry is a refugee from corporate IT who is now a long term traveler, blogger and photographer. Sherry has been blogging about her travels on Ottsworld: Travel and Life Experiences of a Corporate America Runaway since 2006. It was named one of the Best Around the World Travel Blogs on Bootsn’All travel website.

While on a career break she traveled around the world to over 23 countries primarily solo armed with her camera. Since her career break she has spent a year living and working in Vietnam, wrote an ebook about her hiking the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal with her father, traveled the globe house-sitting, participated in cultural exchange programs in the Middle East, co-created Career Break Basic Training online class & community, and organizes Meet, Plan, Go! events across North America. Sherry’s latest adventure is driving 10,000 miles from London to Mongolia in an inappropriately-sized car as part of the Mongol Rally.

Website: OttsWorld | Twitter: @OttsWorld

Morgan Smith
Until a couple of years ago, Morgan devoted himself to being a litigator who tried high-stakes cases and managed the San Francisco law firm he co-founded in the late ’90s. Then shortly after New Year’s Day 2009, for myriad personal and professional reasons, he said “enough.” In just a few months, he resigned his law partnership and, with his wife Sarah (our SF host), packed up and rented out their home, pulled their kids out of school, came up with a plan to teach them 6th and 3rd grade on the road, and headed out for an adventure with only a rough outline of an itinerary and only as much as each family member could easily carry.

Morgan calls it “the best year of my life”—a year in which he not only saw the world but also looked inside himself to re-evaluate his values and direction. Upon return, he started a new business that combines his creative interests with his legal expertise: a litigation graphics and consulting firm called Cogent Legal that develops visual presentations and strategy for attorneys.

Websites: Cogent Legal | Away-Together | Twitter: @Cogent Legal

Spencer Spellman
Spencer is a traveling writer and blogger, originally from North Carolina and outfitted with a fierce Southern drawl, who currently calls San Francisco home. While he has traveled around the world, Europe is his first love, a love that is sustained back home by micro brews, fish and chips, soccer and golf.

Spencer took a more non-traditional approach to his career break, choosing to use writing to support himself while traveling, instead of saving money to travel. This allowed him to travel indefinitely, spending most of his time road-tripping across the U.S. and living and traveling in Central America. When he arrived somewhere he didn’t want to leave, San Francisco, he decided to settle down until the road calls again.

Website: The Traveling Philosopher | Twitter: @spencerspellman

Kristin Zibell
In 2008, Kristin left marriage and corporate life to begin living her travel dreams. She traveled around the world over the next two years to India, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Europe—volunteering, touring, trekking, photographing and blogging along the way. To pay for her adventures, she used her past life’s professional experience to consult between trips. Traveling long term has changed her forever and now she writes the blog Take Your Big Trip to inspire others to live their travel dreams. After her last big trip in 2010, Kristin chose San Francisco as her new home and travels around the city discovering its treasures with her Treasure Map Project.

Website: Take Your Big Trip | Twitter: @takeyourbigtrip

Meet Your Host: Sarah Lavender Smith

Sarah Lavender SmithSarah Lavender Smith stepped up to host San Francisco’s Meet, Plan, Go! event because she views her family’s year of round-the-world travel and “roadschooling” as the most meaningful, transformative chapter in her life, and she’s eager to help others take their own extended journey.

Sarah balances her job of parenting two kids (ages 13 and 10) with marketing Cogent Legal, the business that her husband Morgan (see below) launched after their long-term trip. Sarah formerly worked as a reporter and editor, and she blogged about her family’s experience of living in more than 80 places on five continents at Away Together. When not parenting or working, Sarah hits the trails to run and train for ultra-distance events. She blogs about her twin passions of travel and running at The Runner’s Trip.

Websites: The Runners Trip | Away-Together | Twitter: @sarahrunning

Career Break Guide Table of Contents

Meet Plan Go