Interview with Jeff Jung of Career Break Secrets


Jeff Jung, Career Break Secrets &

Jeff Jung, Career Break Secrets &

Jeff Jung, left his consulting turned corporate marketing career in 2007 to take a two year career break. He went to South America to learn Spanish, see magnificent sunsets and sunrises in far flung places like the Galapagos, Easter Island, Cappadocia, and the Nile River.

After his career break, he relocated to Bogota, Colombia and started Career Break Secrets, a website to show people that a career break is possible, real people do it, and how to get the most out of their own journey.

Recently, Career Break Secrets and Gap Adventures, a small group adventure tour company, launched, a site about using a small group adventure tours as part of your travel career break.

You can follow Jeff Jung on:
His blog:
Twitter: @CareerBrkSecret
And on Ditch the Cubicle, a project sponsored by Gap Adventures

What were you doing before your career break?

Prior to my career break in 2007, I worked as a Marketing Director for a leading medical device company in the United States. Over the years I climbed the corporate ladder and was very happy with my career, but felt that I really started to lack work/life balance. The occasional overtime, working in the evening and over the weekend became the norm; and the associated stress started to impact my health.

What inspired you to travel?

I’ve had the travel bug since I went on my first international trip at the age of 16 to Australia. My family hosted exchange students when I was a kid and I wanted to see some of the places where my “brothers and sisters” came from.

What were your top fears/anxieties about travelling

Arriving at a new destination and figuring out how to get to my hostel, even with my extensive travel mileage, always makes me slightly uncomfortable. I think many Canadians share my fear as well. According to the Gap Adventures Labour Day Poll, being alone, safety and security are among the top concerns when it comes to travel on a career break, followed by the unknown, unfamiliar, logistics and fear of getting lost.

Where did you on your trip and what’s your top tip for saving money?

I started in South America covering most of the continent. I then headed off to Europe, Turkey and Egypt. During that time, I also learned how to ski, speak Spanish fluently, and improved my photography. Budget is always a concern for career breakers. In order to stretch my travel budget, I used a few places as temporary “home bases”. This also gave me a better understanding and feel for the country.

>> If you had 1-2 years off, where would you go and what would you do? What’s the biggest obstacle stopping you? Share your bold ideas below ;)

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    If i had 1 – 2 years to travel, I would go literally around the world. There isn';t a country that I do not want to explore and learn from. I would love to see Egypt, Southern Italy ( since i have been to the northern part), Antartica, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Morocco, Iran, Turkey, Israel, Brazil, Greenland, Iceland, Peru… and so on.
    My biggest obstacle is quite simply, Money. I work for a non profit in the education field. I also live in NYC which can take a toll on any savings that I may want to accumulate.
    I thank you for your blog and your interviews. It is helping me think of ways to fund my dream of traveling the world.

    Thank you Lily. :)

    • Hi Jasmin,

      “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” – The Alchemist

      I wish you the best with your travel dreams. Your curiosity about exploring the world is beautiful and if there’s anything I might be able to help with, feel free to reach out :)

      – Lily

  • Jeff, thanks for the article – Lily, thanks for hosting!  

    I think my upcoming RTW year is fairly modest by comparison to what others have done.  I’m fortunate I’ll be able to stay with many friends around the world, as I’ve primarily defined primary locations in this way – the “chicken and egg” effect.   The two “unknowns” to which I’m eagerly looking forward are a few weeks in New Zealand’s South Island, and three months within Europe’s Schengen zone.

    • Hi Henry, 

      Based on the airport codes I’ve seen, your upcoming RTW sounds amazing. I didn’t visit New Zealand on this trip, but Europe can be travelled on a budget if you stay in the central and eastern area, Hungary, Slovenia, Italy etc. The Balkans and Romania is beautiful too (not in Schengen area) and good value for your money and is home to rich history and delicious food!

      Keep us updated!
      – Lily