New York 2012

MPG 2012 New York City is complete. Check out a full listing of all of our local meet ups here.

2012 NYC MPG“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 16th | Doors: 6:30pm  | Presentation: 7-10PM
Hostelling International NYC | 891 Amsterdam Ave. – Ballroom

Not sure? Read Why You Should Attend Meet, Plan, Go!

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.

Meet Your Host: Sherry Ott

Sherry OttSherry Ott 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 BootsnAll 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, drove 10,000 miles from London to Mongolia for the Mongol Rally, walked the across Spain on the Camino de Santiago, co-created Career Break Basic Training online class & community, and organizes Meet, Plan, Go! events across North America. Sherry’s latest adventures will be to travel with her father to Antarctica this December.

Website: OttsWorld  |  Twitter: @ottsworldFacebook: OttsWorld Travel

New York City Panelists

Russ BrooksRuss Brooks
While Russ has been traveling internationally for a number of years, he only recently started taking career breaks. His first break came in the form of a six week trip through Central America in 2007. The second was an eight week trip through Southeast Asia in 2008 that further stoked his travel fires. Finally, in the winter of 2010, desiring a longer trip and more time away, he sold everything (almost), quit his job, and set off for a year around the world. Traveling through 15 countries in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, he had an amazing time exploring new places, meeting wonderful people, and overcoming numerous challenges. Having returned to the states 9 months ago, he has moved to a new city, found a new job, and of course, have started planning the next trip…

Website: Brooks on Break | Twitter: @brooksonbreak

Jannell HowellJannell Howell
Jannell Howell is a lover of travel, habitual blogger, social media devotee and wannabe nomad. She classifies herself as a ‘flashpacker’ who enjoys staying in one destination long enough to experience a taste of local life. Jannell’s prior travels have taken her to places in Japan, New Zealand, Tahiti and Greece, but she is currently on an around-the-world journey with routes through parts of Thailand, Cambodia, Nepal, India, England, Italy and Spain.

While preparing for her own extended travels, she became a self-confessed ‘gear-ologist’ through (almost obsessive) study of travel-related gear & services. Jannell shares her journey and gearology finds on her blog, Traveljunkie’s World Tour.

Website: Traveljunkie’s World Tour | Twitter: @traveljunkiejanFacebook: TraveljunkiesWorldTour

Christine MaxfieldChristine Maxfield
When journalist Christine Maxfield landed a position at a national travel magazine in New York, she thought that she’d arrived. Now she’d finally be able to sip cocktails with foreign correspondents and interview mysterious sources in exotic locales – not! When she realized that she was going to be stuck reporting from her desk more than ever, Christine quit her magazine job, gave up her adorable apartment, and took off on a yearlong solo trip in 2011 providing volunteer work around the world. This adventure led her to teach HIV/AIDS orphans in Kenya, live with Tibetan Buddhist nuns in Nepal, mend fences on an aboriginal cattle ranch in Australia, shuck oysters on a black pearl farm in French Polynesia, and more.

Now she’s back (for the moment!) and working on a book about her experiences, while also encouraging others to follow their own wanderlust dreams. Christine is a seasoned journalist who’s been on staff at Philadelphia magazine, Men’s Health, and Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel, and blogged about her crazy adventures at She looks forward to sharing her volunteer secrets with you!

Website: CompassMag | Twitter: @CompassMag | Facebook: CompassMag FB page

Micah Rubin
After working for 5 years as a magazine photo editor, Micah cheated on NYC for 7.5 months with an Asian adventure. Part career change, part wanderlust, the trip sent him everywhere between China and Nepal. He returned to NYC a few months ago (now 45 countries under his belt) and started working toward new goals with refreshed eyes and renewed ambition.

Website: | Twitter: @MicahRubinFacebook: Micah Rubin Photography

Lisa BrignoniLisa Brignoni
After scheming and saving for 3 years, Lisa finally quit her job in the financial services industry at first to pursue a career break where she would regain her motivation to work again. After a short while though, she realized that traveling and blogging are where her real passions lie and she’s pursuing this with the intention of making it her career. So far she’s been on the road for a little over the year traveling from her previous home in Amsterdam to Spain, across the Atlantic Ocean on a Disney cruiseship and continuing on through South America for 7 months of volunteering and just plain traveling.

Website: Globally MisguidedFacebook: Globally Misguided FB page

Rainer JenssRainer Jenss
In July, 2008, after more than 4-1/2 years of intense planning, Rainer Jenss sold his house, put the family’s possessions in storage and left his job to do something that many people dream of, but very few actually dare to carry out: travel around the world for an entire year together with his wife and two young sons.

Before putting his professional expertise and personal passion to the ultimate test to travel around the world for a year with his family, Rainer was a Vice President and thirteen-year veteran of National Geographic. He helped relaunch National Geographic Kids in April 2002, and as its publisher, grew the publication to be the most widely read children’s magazine in the world.

During the yearlong journey, Rainer reported for National Geographic Traveler’s award-winning Intelligent Travel Blog, posting a weekly column about the experience and offering an inside look at life on the road traveling together as a family. Rainer continues to report on family travel as a Special Correspondent for National Geographic Traveler’s Intelligent Travel Blog, is a regular contributor to Global Traveler magazine and speaks at travel shows and conferences around the country.

Website: Jenss Family Travels | Twitter: @JenssTravel

Sheryl NeutuchSheryl Neutuch
After 12 years of working in the NYC, Sheryl was left unemployed after working at a start-up that went belly-up. A blessing in disguise, she left for South America in January 2012. Wanting to immerse herself into the culture, she ended up spending 3.5 months in Ecuador, living with a family, studying Spanish and volunteering with both children and adults. After countless amazing experiences in Ecuador and meeting so many wonderful people, she decided to explore the rest of S.A. — going to the Galapagos, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, and Bolivia. Her trip ended in Bolivia after she’d been hospitalized there for a week. Thank god for travel insurance! While it was not the ending she had imagined, she’s back to health, back to work and planning her next trip.

Website: Smiling in South America

Larissa and Michael MilneLarissa and Michael Milne
Larissa and Michael Milne hit 50 and chucked it all to travel around the world for a year with a Rocky statue. They are blogging at Changes In Longitude and writing about their adventure for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Website: Changes In Longitude | Twitter: @Changes_LongFacebook: ChangesInLongitude

Craig ZabranskyCraig Zabransky
Craig traveled across 45 countries and 40 US states as a global consultant, a career breaker with a backpack on a RTW (round the world) adventure, and now as a travel blogger photographer. Still traveling, he writes stories to inspire his readers on how to take and make adventure in their lives.

Website: Stay Adventurous | Twitter: @StayAdventurousFacebook: StayAdventurous

Nan TehNan Teh
Born and raised in Malaysia, the first time Nan got on a plane, she flew 10,000 miles to a place called Iowa to attend college. Since then, she hasn’t stop logging frequent flyer miles with various airlines, including some obscure ones. In 2010, the seed of the idea to quit her job and travel was planted. In early 2011, she began her trip with the theme “friends and families”. For 15 months, besides seeking adventure, Nan also reconnected with old friends, spent quality time with families and established new meaningful friendships. Nan returned to NYC in April 2012, her last stop being China where she visited her great grandfather’s home in the hillside village in Fujian province. Nan attended various Meet, Plan, Go meetups prior to her trip and found it extremely helpful, so she hopes to pay it forward by sharing her experience with others.

Website: The Year of Magical Living

Heather MolnarHeather Molnar
With vague notions of a career-break, and as the economy was going sour in early 2009, Heather Molnar decided to take the leap and quit her job as a Vice President of Internet Strategy. Earlier in the year her fiance received an “offer” to take a voluntary separation from his employer (where he had worked since graduating college). From there, the idea to take a “year off” to travel was born.

After a bit of research and budgeting, they decided that they would spend the year volunteering on farms and eco-projects in exchange for room and board. They traveled in Central America and the United States working on eco-hostels, farms, ranches, and an animal sanctuary and gained valuable skills, made wonderful memories and met many new friends. Now that they’ve “re-entered” careers, they can’t wait for their next career breaks to begin!

Website: Heather Molnar | Twitter: @heathermolnar

Cate StarmerCate Starmer
For someone who moved eight times in the first eight years of her life, it’s no surprise she’s always looking for a new adventure. After college, Cate landed in NYC and began working her way up the editorial ladder in publishing. She co-authored a camping guidebook and later interviewed with several guidebook companies. She’ll never forget what one publisher told her: “If you want to travel, don’t make excuses, just make it happen.” She didn’t get the job but she did follow his advice and her boyfriend Aaron and her left their stable lives for a career break in New Zealand. Several months and one jade engagement ring later, they were back at home with some freelance opportunities and a wedding to keep them busy. Cate soon started working at Fodor’s Travel, where she has been for almost five years as a book and blog editor and currently as Senior Content Producer.


Aaron StarmerAaron Starmer
Aaron worked for 8 years in a New York City office job that was related to the travel industry but had no travel perks. To spend day-after-day looking at travel brochures eventually became unbearable. He wanted to see these places. So he put in his notice and set out for New Zealand. He bought a car in Christchurch and spent three months exploring every dirt road and wilderness trail he and his girlfriend Cate could find. Whenever he had a spare moment, Aaron typed away on his laptop, trying to hone his craft as an aspiring novelist. After a quick stopoff in Tahiti, where they got engaged, they returned home rejuvenated. In a matter of months, Aaron had signed a book contract and landed a job at Micato Safaris, while Cate had joined the editorial team at Fodor’s Travel.

Website: | Twitter: @AaronStarmer

Michaela PotterMichaela Potter
Michaela Potter is a designer and video producer through her company, Wanderlust Productions. She has managed to interweave travel throughout her life. Having picked up a backpack for the first time in college, she was inspired to then take a “gap half-year” after graduation, a concept common in other cultures. That experience inspired her to incorporate traveling career-breaks throughout her career, including three months in Nepal & SE Asia in 2001, a summer volunteering in Peru in 2006, and another three months in Oceania & SE Asia in 2007.

Those experiences led Michaela to co-found Meet, Plan, Go!, where she served as editorial and creative director.

Website: Wanderlust Productions & Bites of the Big Apple | Twitter: @wanderlustprod | Facebook: Bites of the Big Apple

Kim GreinerKim Geiner
Kim Greiner is the Public Relations consultant for Intrepid Travel in the US, and has been working with them for over 5 years. In 2005, Kim decided she needed a career break and quit her job at a NYC public relations agency, convinced her friend Anna to do the same, and they traveled around the world for 3 months together. They spent time in Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia and Sri Lanka. When the 3 months were up, Kim decided she hadn’t had quite enough yet and returned to Indonesia for another month before heading back to NYC. The trip was planned, fretted over, and talked about in very excited-yet-hushed tones for over a year before the actual departure date, but the minute she stepped on the plane she knew that the trip was going to be one of the most transformative experiences in her life.

Stephanie YoderStephanie Yoder
Stephanie Yoder is a girl who can’t sit still! Since graduating from college in 2007 she has been on TWO career breaks, the last of which culminated in her becoming a full time blogger and travel writer. In the past 5 years she’s been to dozens of countries and lived everywhere from London to Buenos Aires to Xi’an, China. She writes about her adventures across the globe on her website.

Website: Twenty Something Travel | Twitter: @20sTravel | Facebook: Twenty-Something-Travel

Michael TiesoMichael Tieso
Michael Tieso has been running the site and traveling around the world since 2008! He created and runs the popular website – Art of Backpacking – which focuses on experiences and adventure for the backpacking crowd. He inspires others to travel, influences them to travel to new places, eat different foods, and do activities they may have never known existed!

Website: Art of Backpacking | Twitter: @artofbackpackin | Facebook: ArtofBackpacking

Bruce-JonesBruce Jones
Bruce’s first time overseas as after college graduation was to head off to Europe to do that crazy thing called “backpacking”. The light bulb went off, the world opened up and the need to see and do more was planted. Ten years later in 2001, Bruce decided to “sell it all” and go travel the world again, this time really going for it, 2 years and 20 countries around the world. Life was never the same again. Now Bruce helps other people see the world through Teaching ESL. He is the President of International TEFL Academy and is proud to be a national sponsor of Meet, Plan, Go!

Website: International TEFL Academy | Twitter: @IntTEFLAcademy | Facebook: International TEFL Academy

Career Break Guide Table of Contents

Meet Plan Go