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 DitchTheCubicle.ca, a site about using a small group adventure tours as part of your travel career break.
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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