Who We Are

Sherry Ott

Sherry OttSherry 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 has career break expertise in solo travel, volunteering, extended travel of a year or longer, teaching ESL, photography, working while on the road, living as an expat, as well as living out of a suitcase for extended periods.

Michaela Potter

Michaela PotterMichaela is a freelance designer through Wanderlust Productions who 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.

As editorial and creative director for Meet, Plan, Go! and the Briefcase to Backpack blog, she now uses her experience in non-profit management, video production, and design, along with her passion for travel, to bring the concept of traveling career breaks & sabbaticals to the American culture.

Michaela has career break expertise in volunteering, traveling with friends, traveling as a couple, photography/video, slow travel, shorter breaks, and multiple breaks.

Michael Bontempi

Michaela PottertMichael is by no means an “inexperienced” traveler. His corporate job, required him to spend a significant amount of time away from home. For over 14 years he lived in dozens of cities and worked in all but a few US States. Some assignments lasted a few months, others for an entire year.

He took two vacations a year, visiting exotic locations and trying new experiences (e.g. surfing). But he was never away from the office for more than a week at a time and always reachable by either cell phone or email. When he took off with his then girlfriend, Michaela, on his career break it was the first time he traveled for an extended period with only a personal agenda. Some may see this as the act of a burned out employee; he saw the trip as a chance to experience a portion of his retirement 25 years earlier in his life.

Michael used his career break to further his career and is now back in the corporate world. However he still serves as a career break spokesperson sharing his story and the benefits of career breaks to the Meet, Plan, Go! audience. He also acts as the financial brains behind Meet, Plan, Go! on the weekends when he puts on his CFO hat and gets out his calculator.

Photos courtesy of Chuck Lau Photography

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