Tags Posts tagged with "“Meet Plan Go”"

“Meet Plan Go”

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Lisa & George on Meet Plan Go

Lisa & George on Meet Plan GoIn 2008, my then-boyfriend George and I took a year-long sabbatical. In the first month of that trip, we went to the Nomads Hostel in Auckland, New Zealand. The tagline of the hostel was “Nomads: Not all who wander are Lost!” I took a deep breath and thought, “maybe, I will survive this adventure.” Although I had traveled extensively prior to meeting George online, I had never done so with so little pre-planning. Years of traveling while working on a cruise ship meant I only ever unpacked once. I did not carry my things around and wonder where I would lay my head and, as George told me during our travels together, there would be no chocolate on my pillow!

 

Read the Full Article on Meet Plan Go HERE!

Friends and family ask us, “How do you do it? How do you manage to leave for a year?” Others say, “You are crazy; I would never do that!” These people usually think of the dictionary definition of a vagabond as “…a person who wanders from place to place without a home or job.” I prefer Ralph Potts’ definition in his book Vagabonding:

‘Vagabonding’ is about taking time off from your normal life — from six weeks, to four months, to two years — to discover and experience the world on your own terms.

In this season of Thanksgiving, I reflect on what Seth Godin said last year:

A modern Thanksgiving would celebrate two things: The people in our lives who give us the support and love we need to make a difference, and… the opportunity to build something bigger than ourselves, something worth contributing. The ability to make connections, to lend a hand, to invent and create.

When we departed to realize George’s dream of travel in SE Asia, I wrote every month to my friends and former students, wondering at the time if anyone would read our words. Would I make a difference if I wrote at all? I remembered Ralph Waldo Emerson’s thoughts:

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

Leaving both our homes and our careers can free us to think about our path and what we want to do with our lives. If you are considering a long vacation or a career break you might ask, “From where am I leaving and how might I find a purpose? What will the trip be like? What will happen in this new unknown world?”

A Sabbatical may allow us to step back so we might give more to our lives in the future. An academic study, Sabbatical Leave: Who Gains and How Much? conducted by researchers from the US, Israel and New Zealand, researches this question. The study concludes: “Sabbatical leave promotes well-being…the present study confirmed the beneficial effect of a respite on positive well-being.”

Maybe we cannot all take a year-long sabbatical but at least we may find a sabbatical second or moment to acknowledge our dreams and pull our lives more into focus, and become closer to making our dreams come true. Support someone else’s idea for a Gap Year, Mini-retirement, Big Trip or Sabbatical—between stages of life, after college, or after the home nest empties.

Last year passed without a National Meet Plan Go event in Los Angeles. I discovered that no one had volunteered to host the occasion. So this year, we facilitated the day, and drew an incredible panel with a sold-out crowd of over a hundred attendees. I wasn’t sure how to bring the event to fruition, but as with all such tasks, the journey began with a first step.

This Thanksgiving season I am grateful for a support team that allows me to ship early and helps to make my dreams come true. For many of us who have left “the rat race” with a sabbatical or career break, we realize that the journey is for the sake of the adventure and that we can be transformed by our travels. I hope that you will put one foot in front of the other and proceed firmly in your life to make your dreams come true. Find a tribe that understands our world, takes care of our planet and also supports its members.

I hope that this during this Thanksgiving and holiday season, you can carve time out of your schedule and not be permanently tied to your Blackberry, carpool, office or deadlines, to focus on realizing your dreams, whether they involve travel or something that only you can imagine.

For a moment, a year, or a lifetime.

Author’s Note: This post was first published on Squidoo Thanksgiving Magazine on Nov 18, 2011. I thought you would enjoy it for Thanksgiving! I hope your Thanksgiving is filled with warmth and family. George and I have been in Thailand for the past month and fly to Kolkata, India on November 23rd. Namaste! Lisa

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by Elaine J. Masters

Living in Southeast Alaska had its perks. In the 6 years I was in Ketchikan and Juneau, the scenery and wildlife never once became anything less than awe inspiring. After working as a volunteer producer at a public radio station, I’d finally landed a paid gig as Operations Director and loved every minute. So, it was shocking when my boyfriend suggested that we take our back packs and travel the world for 6 months. Crazy idea! No way. I couldn’t do that! But then the dreams of standing in the Parthenon, finally visiting the Louvre in Paris, seeing dear friends in London, wouldn’t let me be.

In Alaska at that time Juneau was bustling. It was a little San Francisco with a side of survivalist spice. I loved the adventure of it and yet, the weather was daunting. Cabin fever was no joke for anyone living ‘out the road’. It wasn’t that surprising for people to take 2 or 3 month sabbaticals just to stay sane. So, finally gathering the courage to ask my boss for a 6 month leave wasn’t that much of a stretch. As long as I found someone to fill the position in my absence, he gave me his blessing. I found two. They job-shared and soon I was on my way.

I can’t speak highly enough of going long and far. We started gently with nearly a month visiting family and friends on both coasts. Leaving LA on a midnight flight for New Jersey was tiring but my only regret was not being alert enough to give up my seat in exchange for a ticket anywhere the airlines flew. We realized later that ticket could’ve taken us to London for free.

Finally landing in London and taking the rail line downtown is burned in my memory. People looked the same but not. Fashion was extreme for a girl used to down parkas and “Ketchikan tennies” (rubber boots). It was early spring and having had enough cold we decided to try our luck at a ‘bucket shop’ (listed in Time Out magazine) settling on discounted tickets to Sri Lanka.

There was a point, about 6 weeks into the trip, when I experienced a shift. It can happen for anyone at different points in a long journey. I was no longer just taking a trip, I was a traveler. Our itinerary was loose but there was enough ahead of me that I didn’t have to plan or worry about returning. I was able to be completely and totally present.

Over the coming months that absolute being in the now served me well and led to so many stories, people and experiences. When I finally did return to the states I’ll never forget calling my boss from Anchorage where I was considering a few days exploring Denali Park when he said, ‘If you want your job, you’d better come back now.’ I couldn’t have known that the station was on the edge of bankruptcy and there was so much bad blood, so much rancor and bitterness that my presence was a breath of fresh air.

The outcome? Because I hadn’t been there, taking sides, battling over budgets and positions and was an ‘in-house’ hire, the station manager asked me to step into the Program Directors place. It was another shock but a wonderful one that kept me there for another two years before the travel bug hit again and I left Alaska permanently.

A fluke? – Surprisingly no. There are many intrepid travelers who return with new perspectives, skills and wisdom making them beacons in their company or crowded job market. There’s also another secret – when I was overseas I met people from many countries, back-packing and not, but few Americans. We have an understandable land-locked sensibility in North America, with all its regional and natural diversity. Media also has us petrified of disaster whether it’s food borne illnesses, pirates at sea, terrorists, what have you. America needs its everyday ambassadors as much as the governmental appointees. If you ever had a dream of standing in the Parthenon, singing with school children in a Fijian bure, or driving through the English countryside, summon the courage and set a date to go. A community of like-hearted nomads is there for you at Meet, Plan, Go.

I only wish that MPG had been around when we set our sights on a big trip. It also would’ve been helpful to have a local community of world travelers to commiserate with. That’s a big reason I’ve taken on being the San Diego host and set up our big event on October 16th. It’s been a joy to draw in the expert travelers to speak and set up the space. Now, we just need you! There are 10 cities across the North American continent holding their events at the same time. Join us.

 

 

 

 

 

In October 2011, George and I were the hosts for Meet Plan Go Los Angeles, part of 17 cities hosting events about Career Breaks, Mini-Retirements and Long Term Travel. We had traveled for nearly a year in 2008-9 and this month we left again for at least a year. Meet Plan Go National recently posted this article about our second career break: NOT WASTING TIME!

Time is now the currency. We earn it and spend it. The rich can live forever and the rest of us? I just wanna wake up with more time on my hands than hours in the day. – In Time (2011)

In Time is a movie that really spoke to me. In the movie, the main character, Will, is falsely accused of murder and must find a way to bring down a system in which time is money. While the wealthy can live forever, the poor have to beg, borrow, and steal enough minutes to make it through each day. At one point, a character gives his time to Will and tells him, “don’t waste my time.

How many times have you been in a pointless meeting thinking what a waste of time it is? So many of us waste time every day. We casually think that there will be time later. One of my strongest memories of seven years working on cruise ships was speaking to a widow who said, “we always planned to come here to Alaska together but there was always something that got in the way.” I heard over and over again, “don’t wait to make your dreams come true” or “you are so smart to travel like this while you are young.” I often felt like a character who had borrowed against time and was running to spend my time wisely traveling.

When my company went bankrupt after September 11, 2001, I thought I would never travel again.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE: CLICK HERE


Thank you to everyone (all 106 of you) who joined us for our Meet Plan Go event Tuesday Oct 18!

Some thoughts from those who attended:

It was inspiring and encouraging to hear the stories and meet other people who have a desire for world travel like I do.
 
I hadnever been to an event with so many interesting people that interacted witheach other.   There were no wallflowers.   They were allthere for a reason.  Thespeakers and the questions just flowed effortlessly.
 

Imet some really interesting people and thoroughly enjoyed the evening. Congratulations also on receiving official recognition of the impact of yourefforts on the community.

Join us this THURSDAY at 5pm ….
November3 at 5pm PST:Join us for an online real time conversation on Spreecast with Richard Bangsfrom PBS: Adventure with a Purpose, our keynote speaker for the Oct 18event. You can ask questions and participate from your computer!  http://www.spreecast.com/events/wesaidgotravel-richardbangs

November29 : Travelwith Technology “My favorite Travel App”
7-9 pm, Happy Hour Pricing on Drinks and Appetizers at Century City’s X-Bar.Meet fellow travelers and the creators of both ShipMates and StudioMini! Cometo share you favorite app and learn what others are using on the road! PARKING:$8 with validation or 2 hours free at Century City Mall http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=261533087221643

It does take a village to create an event! Thank you to:


Organizations:

Dave’s Travel Corner, Hostelling International, India’s Oven, IntrepidTravel, Jewish Journal, Meet Plan Go, The Napa Valley Wine Project, Penn ClubLA, Visit LA4Locals, We Said Go Travel, Westside Today

People:

Richard Bangs, Nicole Ben-Artzi, Susan Bernstein, Shane Cullen, JacobFrank, Doris Gallan, Jessica Gelson, Amy Gendel, Sarah Gottlieb, Jennifer Leo, DyanMcKie, Adam Morgenstern, Michael Morgenstern, Lisa Napoli, Lisa Nelson, FrankNiver, Judi Niver, Sherry Ott, Michelle Page, Michaela Potter,Spencer Quong, Kiera Reilly, Sham Sidheek, Amy Sommer Childress, Dave Thompson, Melissa Wu,Barbara Yorke

Thank you to Bill Rosendahl, City Councilmember and the City of Los Angeles for our Certificate of Appreciation for our leadership and community building in Los Angeles!

See our event photos by Spencer Quong:
He is an outdoors guide for Adventures in Florida adventuresinflorida.com  Find his blog:
Squong.blogspot.com

More Event photos by Michelle Yam  on Facebook: Please tag yourselves!

Video coming soon!

Recent Articles:
Frankly Penn http://franklypenn.com/2011/10/26/penn-club-of-la-is-the-place-to-be/

More.com Lisa is featured as #11 of 15 Ways to Reinvent Yourself Abroad:
http://www.more.com/15-ways-reinvent-yourself-abroad

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

 Some people ask us, “How do you do it? How do you leave for a year?” Some tell us, “You are crazy; I would never do that!” These people usually think of  a vagabond as “a person who wanders from place to place without a home or job” as does the dictionary but I prefer Ralph Potts’ definition from his book Vagabonding it is

‘Vagabonding’ is about taking time off from your normal life — from six weeks, to four months, to two years — to discover and experience the world on your own terms.

george in gobiIn this season of harvest with Sukkot and Halloween upon us, so soon after Yom Kippur, I reflect on the stories in the Torah about our people’s journey from slavery to freedom. These tales belong to other people in another time, but they are also my own travel stories. They are like signposts for all of our travels in both a literal and figurative sense, and they can inspire us.

I ask myself, “What are we personally enslaved to today? And how is it possible with so many time-saving devices, from the microwave to the personal computer, that we have so much less time?” Leaving both our homes and careers can free us to think about our paths and what is it that we want to do with our lives. If you are considering a long vacation or a career break you might wonder, “What can we journey from and what can we journey toward? What will the trip be like? What happens in this ‘wilderness’?”

As the Torah stories tell us, one year out of every seven the fields must lie fallow so that they can continue to be productive. And every seventh day on Shabbat we are offered the opportunity to rest. So a Sabbatical may allow us to step back so we might give more to our lives. The research agrees and was posted in an academic study, “Sabbatical Leave: Who Gains and How much? conducted by researchers from the US, Israel and New Zealand. In August 2010, American Psychological Association in its Journal of Applied Psychology worked to measure the impact of sabbatical on health and attitude. The study states: “Sabbatical leave promotes well-being…the present study confirmed the beneficial effect of a respite on positive well-being.”

Maybe we cannot all take a sabbatical year but at least we may find a sabbatical second or moment to acknowledge our dreams and pull our lives more into focus, and become closer to making our dreams come true.  Support someone else’s idea for a dream of a Gap Year, Mini-retirement, Big Trip or Sabbatical—between stages of life, after college, or after the home nest empties.

All journeys begin with one step, maybe your first one will be on October 18 for Meet Plan Go. The panelists that will speak in 17 cities across the USA have all struggled with these questions. I hope that the discussion of where they traveled to and why and how will help you with your questions from: Is it worth it to leave home? Will I learn anything? Can I come back? Is the journey for a destination? Is there a destination? What is the point of this trip and even of my life?

As Steve Jobs said at his 2005 Stanford University commencement address:

You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. Believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well-worn path, and that will make all the difference.

For many of us who have left “the rat race” we realize that the journey is for the sake of the adventure and that we can be transformed by our travels. I hope that you will put one foot in front of the other and show up on October 18 even if you are not currently planning a trip. Meet Plan Go events around America have drawn a wonderful community of  travelers who are engaged in the idea of understanding our world and taking care of our planet and the road less traveled mongoliaeach other. We hope you can carve an evening out of your schedule and not be tied to your Blackberry, carpool, family, office or deadlines, to focus on realizing your dreams, whether they involve

travel, understanding or something else.
For a moment, a year, or a lifetime.

Article first published as First Step to Travel Dreams on Technorati. 

Photo of this article  — as it appeared top of travel page Sunday Oct 16 and Monday Oct 17!

PictureAre you 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: 7pm
India’s Oven | 11645 Wilshire Blvd. – 2nd Fl.

Join us in Los Angeles on Tuesday, October 18, 2011 at 7:00pm, for a travel evening to inspire you to “Realize Your Travel Dreams!”  This event is designed to give you the opportunity to MEET inspirational speakers and like-minded travelers; get motivation, contacts and resources necessary to PLAN the trip of a lifetime; and start taking concrete steps forward to GO on that global adventure.

Join us at India’s Oven, 11645 Wilshire Blvd at Barry, in Brentwood, CA 90025.

Keynote speaker, Richard Bangs, (PBS) the father of modern adventure travel, is a pioneer in travel that makes a difference; he will speak about his journeys across the planet in search of ecological challenges and their solutions. Moderator, Jen Leo, (Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post, and Sand in My Bra), will offer words of inspiration and humor on great travels.

Our Panelists include: Lisa Napoli (KCRW & Radio Shangri-La,) Doris Gallan (Baby Boomers Travel), and Michelle Page (NepalDog). All of these inspiring speakers have traveled extensively and are ready to share their joy and transformations related to their journeys and incredible lives!

Admission is $15 and includes Indian Buffet Dinner, and all proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to the Books to Bhutan Library Project.

Register for this event at: http://meetplango.com/national-event/2011-los-angeles-event/
There is parking available in the building and the restaurant is on the second floor.

For more information email 
More information and a complete listing of the panel at www.wesaidgotravel.com

“Because we live in a society that doesn’t find value in taking time off, we wanted to create a community for people who do want to break out of the norm and travel for an extended period of time,” says co-founder of Meet Plan Go! Sherry Ott. Join us in Los Angeles for our October 18th event. “It’s about creating a peer group of people with the same dream. Whether it’s a career break, running a marathon, or earning an advanced degree; we all need people to keep us accountable, energized, and focused on our goals,” added Ott.

In addition to offering tools and resources for planning a career break, the panel will also address the main concerns that prevent people from taking a career break, usually centered around financial, career-related, societal, and safety concerns.

For more information about all our events please see: http://lahostels.org/ or http://www.wesaidgotravel.com/ the website of our Los Angeles hosts: Lisa and George Rajna. We look forward to meeting you and helping you realize your dreams!


technorati code:

P24UDR5TH5MA
 

Hello Fellow Travelers!

Thank you to everyone for supporting us and for coming to our travel events inLos Angeles! We appreciate all who tweeted about our events, shared an email,found us and even SHOWED up to one of our events! Thank you for creating acommunity! We loved having over 65 people show up at Traveler’s Bookcase onTuesday to hear Rachel Friedman read from TheGood Girl’s Guide to Getting Lost.
Our nextevent, Oct 18 isthe National Meet Plan Go event! There will be programs in 17 cities on thesame night. We have five superb speakers and included in your ticket price is anincredible Indian Buffet dinner, all for only $15. Get your tickets now before we sell out! More info about thespeakers at this link:  http://meetplango.com/national-event/2011-los-angeles-event/

If you would like to get involved and help on Oct 18 or with a futureevent, (picking a location, finding a speaker, if you would like to be or finda sponsor for our group), please email me! Feel free to share this email withfriends and travelers to help grow our group. We would love for you to”like” our facebookfan page, We Said Go Travel, or join our meet-up group: We Said Go Travel Los Angelesso you won’t miss any news from us as we rarely send an email!

We do posthere on our blog, www.wesaidgotravel.net,every Sunday. If you want the latest from us, add your email address to the topright corner of our blog and don’t forget to open and validate the email fromFeedburner so that you get to see our latest posts, videos and songs everySunday. You can also find us ontwitter and Linkedin
Question for the LACrowd: Would you bemore likely to come to an event on a Tuesday night? Saturday night? Sundayafternoon? Do you prefer to come to an event with a speaker? Let us know! Wouldyou want to go on a trip with us?

Videos from past events:Our June Travel Happy Hour and Morocco Talk are on our YouTube channel! Feelfree to subscribe so you can see our newest videos of Samoa and Tonga. We willbe loading the video of Rachel speaking soon!


Photos from our event Tuesday withRachel Friedman:
Please tag yourself!
We hope to see you Oct18!
Lisa and George
Get involved: Buythe book EndMalaria. The essays are all top notch and your money is going to a greatcause….ending Malaria by 2015.
On the Radio:Lisa is featured in the second hour of TogetherAgain about speed dating! Show aired September 8, 2011.
New Series:George will be writing a series of articles about Tonga to be featured at theclymb.com. Make sure you follow our blog aswe should have a link for you worth $10 which will post on our blog this month!
In the news:Lisa in Bootsnallarticle! Written by Adam Seper, all about the benefits of a career break.

Author Rachel Friedman
Author Rachel Friedman’s
travel memoir

The seasons go round and round sometimes without notice, but I like to pay attention. The Labor Day holiday reminds us that summer has almost ended and the school year will soon begin. This year my contemplation of beginnings and endings includes my Aunt Iris’s passing and Christopher Rowe’s (my friend Michelle’s son) untimely death at 4 years old.

Thinking of these transitions, I wonder what will I do for myself this year as both a family and community member, tasks that may give meaning to these seemingly unreasonable events.

In addition to Labor Day and school starts, September also brings with it Rosh Hashanah, literally the “Head of the Year.” Between the Jewish New Year and Yom Kippur are the ten days of awe which feel like a frozen moment in time, an opportunity, or maybe even a commandment to observe my direction in life. I often use these days to reflect on what I did and did not accomplish in the past year. Did I take advantage of all the opportunities that presented themselves in the past 365 days? Did I use my talents to create tikkun olam and help to repair the world or did I stand idly by as the world moved on around me.

Is there room for me in the Book of Life? September is a month of new beginnings and old questions for me.

And so Rachel Friedman’s The Good Girl’s Guide to Getting Lost is a Jewish journey, a personal narrative of facing fears, transforming internal ideas and metamorphosing into an adulthood grounded in the art of wanderlust. Getting Lost is part travelogue and part personal transformation. This memoir combines the author’s personal journey and travel discoveries woven into her stories, along with her reflections about success, failure, life and the meaning of the aforementioned.

Most people do not ever realize, before traveling that is, that looking at a map of a foreign country in a language you don’t understand will lead you eventually back to yourself. As Ms. Friedman says in her book, “After all these travels, I find I no longer have that fear. Life feels full of opportunity and possibility—and maybe even adventure.”

When I travel, I too find that the journeys to the far reaches of the world lead me back to myself – but a new, more insightful self.

Find out if you too can take this road on September 6, 2011…Gather with travel veterans and Travel dreamers to Rachel Friedman read from her book. Plan to share your travel stories and travel dreams.

Meet Lisa Niver Rajna and author Rachel Friedman on Tuesday, September 6, 2011, 7:00pm at Traveler’s Bookcase 8375 West Third Street in Los Angeles.

For more information: www.wesaidgotravel.com
This article first appeared in Westside Today.


Have you seen our youtube channel? See our latest videos:

Bhutan: The Namgay family of Shingkhey Village from Hungry Planet
Thank you for your support of us, our travels and our blog! We appreciate everyone who reads, comments or shares our stories.
When we started our blog on June 9, 2010 before we left for a summer in Sri Lanka and the Maldives, George and I were unsure if anyone would read, or care about our blog. 
Last week, June 9, 2011, our page views were well over 22,000 and we have been published in Technorati Travel, the Jewish Journal, LA Mom Magazine, Westside Today as well as added a science blog and our new website, www.wesaidgotravel.com.
In April, we were selected as the Los Angeles hosts for the National Event for Meet Plan Go on October 18, 2011. Our Meetup.com group, We Said Go Travel Los Angeles, already has over 50 members and was started June 2, 2011. Recently, we joined with the Global Group Travel Massive and will be hosting events under the Travel Massive umbrella starting this fall.
In the last year, we have visited and written about Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Colombia, Morocco, Taiwan and very soon we will be off to Tonga and Samoa. We hope you will join us at one of our upcoming events. See you June 21, 2011 at Hotel Angeleno for Travel Happy Hour!
To show our gratitude, we would like to share some images of families from around the world from the book, Hungry Planet. This book and its stories invite us inside of families and their homes. It is a fantastic insider view and nearly a trip around the world.
As another travel thank you, we would like to share a site we just found called http://www.whereivebeen.com which has 9.7 million members. On this site, we answered travel trivia questions and collected travel bucks which we were able to spend to help our planet. First we spent $1000 to help feed a child in Mali through the Friends of the World Food Program ($1000) and then $100 for one square foot of rainforest by the The World Land Trust (WLT), “an international conservation organisation that takes direct action to save rainforest and other wildlife habitats”

“ What Are Travel Bucks?Feed a child in Mali. Adopt a manatee. Provide clean water in Mozambique. These are just a few of many philanthropic things you can do by using Travel Bucks. It’s simple. All you have to do is interact with Where I’ve Been. The more you do, the more virtual travel bucks you earn. Think about it. You could be saving 45,867 trees in no time.”

We look forward to more travels, more stories and sharing all of it with you! Thank you so much for your comments, suggestions, questions and enjoying our travels. We love hearing that you are inspired to go on a trip or content to follow along on our travel madness. Thank you!