Consider a Career Break…

The title of this post on caught my eye – How Taking a Break to Travel Can Benefit Your Career

I completely agree! With a little creativity and clarity, it is relatively easy to spin a Career Break or Sabbatical in your favor.  In 2007, I left my job of 7 years to travel around Europe.  When I returned to the workforce, I decided to include the experience on my resume.  The entry specifically looked like this:

Personal Sabbatical     September 2007 – December 2007
Citizen of the Planet
Traveled independently, experienced new cultures and honed 
foreign language skills while enhancing resourcefulness,
decision-making abilities and people skills.

When I decided to take the trip, I was burnt out on work and healing from a divorce – I couldn’t think productively about what I wanted to do next. It turned out to be a great experience on a personal level. I got my sparkle back and ultimately that trip was the inspiration for this site (although I didn’t know it at the time…)

Career-wise, I returned to an economy in the proverbial toilet.  The rationale for including the Career Break on my resume was two-fold: I wanted employers to know that I made a conscious choice to leave (this was before the mass layoffs) and I wanted to communicate that travel is an important part of my life. After several interviews where I answered extensive questions about my trip from starry-eyed desk-bound HR directors and IT team leaders, I began to understand my break also communicated exactly what I’d said in the position description – that I’m independent, adaptable, resourceful, and a people person. It also said to would-be employers that I am brave and perhaps not desperately tied to a job.  In the job-hopping field of IT, where tenure is not a huge issue, I feel it gave me an edge.  If nothing else, it made me memorable.  And talking about my adventures helped me feel at ease in stressful interview situations AND allowed me to speak with passion about something, which also made me memorable.

Are you dreaming about taking an extended trip?  If you answered yes and are lucky enough to be in one of the cities hosting a Meet, Plan, Go! event on October 18, 2011 (Austin, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New Orleans, New York City, Orlando, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, St. Louis, and Toronto) then sign up right now (seriously – go here right now and kick down the $15 for what could be the inspiration of a lifetime!)

If you are not in one of those cities, or would enjoy a one-on-one conversation about your dreams, your fears and your questions, contact me for a complimentary assessment and to learn more about the travel coaching and facilitation services I offer.

Onward and upward!
♥ Audrey

Surfing! (test post)

I took a surf lesson yesterday, over on Mustang Island, which is a barrier island on the south Texas coast. I’m totally hooked – I loved it, even though I couldn’t stand up for more than a few seconds! So now I’m plotting to do a one month Spanish-n-Surf program somewhere in Central America. So many fun things on my list!

It would be so nice if Americans had all of August off from work (or December), wouldn’t it?  How would you spend YOUR break?

Sent from my mobile…testing mobile posting…watch out 😉

World Domination Summit…!

So I took a big leap and registered for the 2012 World Domination Summit hosted by The Art of Non-Conformity’s Chris Guillebeau.  By the way – do you know his work? If not, I highly recommend you poke around his site (linked above) and see if anything speaks to you.

Why is it a big leap? Well, my dear old Dad would point out that technically I’m still unemployed yet just plopped down a chunk of change for an event that is 10 months – and the length of a continent – away.  But, more significantly, it’s a leap towards intentionally creating the life I want to be living.

Why did I do it? Because there will be a room full of thinkers, doers and livers there and I want in! It’s as simple as that. When I was laid off freed from the bonds of a soul-sucking j-o-b 9 months ago, I decided to start designing my ideal life for real.  I’d been thinking about what it looks like – my ideal life – since I did Mondo Beyondo in January 2009 (Andrea & Jen ~ I hope you are at WDS again!). And being reorged out of that job felt like the Universe giving me a Golden Ticket.  Since then, I’ve been taking a series of baby steps and now I’m starting to run with it.  OK, speed walk.  Hey, you gotta start somewhere (seriously – just do it!)

I read the post 72 Hacks & Beliefs to Live & Work on Your Terms – from People Actually Doing it (World Domination Summit Recap) by 2011 WDS attendee Scott Dinsmore and decided this is exactly the kind of juicy stuff I want to roll around in. You should check it out ~ you may find some excellent nuggets (warning: you’ll also probably find a few new blogs to follow)!

If you’re going to WDS, I look forward to playing with you!  Interest piqued? For now registration is closed but limited seats will go on sale in January. See for details.

Have you thought about how living the life of your dreams would feel?  Go ahead, dream a little…

♥ Audrey

AtB reboot

reboot: to start anew with fresh ideas in a way that is consistent with the principals of the original, but not unnecessarily constrained by what has taken place before. – from Urban Dictionary

There are times while traveling – especially independently – when you’re faced with modifying your plans. Sometimes it’s for fun reasons, like you were headed over here but someone told you about a really cool place over there…or you click with some fellow travelers and decide to wander with them for a while. Occasionally it’s because of something more serious, like a natural disaster or a personal crisis. There are travelers who get sick or hit a wall they can’t get over and decided to just go home, travelers who fall for a place and decide they are home, travelers who completely change up their trip to travel with a new lover or friend, and travelers who start on a journey only to realize it’s not the right path for them.

I promised myself when I started planning my America the Beautiful tour, that I would respect my body (and my bank account).  After driving 4500+ miles in just over 5 weeks, I was challenged to do just that. Continue reading

Quick FloydFest video

Love is the answer

I’ve created a short (1 minute) video with some of my FloydFest pictures to share the flavor of the event with you.  I experimented with some new tools, and the speed is a bit too fast for proper viewing.  But at least it matches the music, which is by Asheville band Big Daddy Love ( Enjoy!

Transitional Travel

Transitional Travel (noun)

– travel whilst one is passing from one place, position, state of being, etc to another

– travel which creates, supports and/or fosters transition

This site is in the works, as the author is currently on the road enjoying some transitional travel!  Please continue to check back for more great content!

Love, Audrey

Meet me in Utah?

Hi everyone! I’m in Asheville, NC right now, enjoying relatively cool days and beautiful green everywhere. Asheville is sandwiched between the verdant Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains. There is quite a contrast between the misty green forest and this fiery image from Bryce Canyon NP in Utah – all I can say is WOW! I’m posting this now to give anyone interested in joining me enough time to plan. C’mon…decide and let’s go!

I hiked with friends over the weekend who got me really excited for my time in southern Utah. I’m currently doing this leg by myself, however I would enjoy having a travel partner for it. Expectations are really important when planning a trip together, so below I’ve detailed my rough plans and notes on my travel style for this particular trip. There is room for play with both the schedule and style. So let me know if you are interested and we’ll chat. I’ll be soliciting advice on trails later but feel free to leave any thoughts in the comment section here as well (comments are moderated, so it won’t post immediately).

Continue reading

North Carolina fun

As I write this, I’m enjoying breakfast on the 17th floor of the Marriott in downtown Winston-Salem, North Carolina – the town where I am continually reminded that I come from the poor side of the Reynolds clan 🙂

Reynolds American Inc. is the parent company of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco (and Santa Fe Natural Tobacco!)

I have a longer post in the works about my experiences at FloydFest X, but here’s a quick update for those of you who aren’t on Facebook and are checking in to make sure all is well.

I am safe and happy and appreciating the relative coolness of the mountains. Continue reading

In transit(ion)

I’ve pretty much learned to stop saying “I’m in transition” and embrace the fact that change (growth, evolution) is a constant in my life.  Right now, not only am I in transition job-, career- and location-wise, I am quite literally in transit – in between where I was and wherever it is I’m going. Pretty much every major aspect of my life is open to change. Occasionally I sit back and marvel that I’m not freaking out. I attribute this to the fact that I’m gaining greater clarity of purpose and making more intentional choices. That and practice. I’ve been here before and I know – I truly, deeply understand – that everything will be fine. So I intend to have fun with the journey.

(click for a larger view)

About 10 hours into my 20 hour drive from Austin to Asheville, I was gifted with this incredible postcard from the Universe.

In my rear view mirrors was a fiery sunset waving a gorgeous goodbye. And in front of me, ushering me into my next adventure, was a beautiful rainbow. Metaphorically, it felt extremely powerful and I get thrill bumps whenever I think about just how awesomely perfect it was.

Love, Audrey

grace and flair

Get over your hill and see what you find there,
with grace in your heart and flowers in your hair.
– Mumford & Sons, “After the Storm”

I love the imagery in the above lines.  This is what I aspire to do: to show up to my life, especially when I don’t know what lies ahead, with grace and at least a little flair.