Just a few weeks ago, our round-the-world adventure came to an end. Today – I hope – marks the start of an even bigger, longer, and more exciting journey.
That’s because today I am announcing the launch of Career Gappers, a blog that will be a vehicle for helping other people to have the same sort of life-changing experience that we had.
We want to use our story to show that taking an extended break from work to travel not only enriches your life incredibly, but might also be the best thing you’ll ever do for your career.
Goodbye to Story Every Day
Those of you who followed this blog before today will have known it previously as Story Every Day. It’s an identity that I am very sad to leave behind, and has been a big part of my life over the last year.
In June 2017, I boarded a flight to Miami with Lisa, my life partner and travel companion. (That’s us in the picture above.) Over 11 months we visited 20 countries and had the time of our lives.
Story Every Day was about documenting our journey; telling stories about the places we visited, and anecdotes about the realities of our travel life. It’s been so much fun capturing our adventures along the way, and doing so has given us an amazing bank of memories that we’ll always be able to look back upon happily.
I’m not going to stop writing about our own travel experiences, and I still have a huge backlog from our round-the-world trip to cover. The old stories are still here in the site archives. But the blog has now evolved to serve a different purpose, and that’s why its face is changing.
Why Career Gappers?
A few months ago – about halfway through our trip – I wrote some observations about how the demographics of people travelling have changed in recent years. In particular, I noticed that more and more people in their 30s, 40s and older were taking time out to travel. It seemed to me that travel wasn’t just a young people’s game any more.
After arriving back into the UK, I decided to do some research into this. What I found has not only confirmed my suspicions, but also made me realise there is a whole new generation of potential career-break travellers out there who we could help.
The career ladders of old are being replaced by career waves. In the millennial generation – people born between 1981 and 1996 – as many as 84% now foresee taking extended breaks at some point.
Earlier this month I attended a talk by a leading millennial blogger, Tanya Korobka of luckyattitude.co.uk. She told an impressed audience that on average, millennials change jobs every two years, and will take a new career direction six to eight times during their lifetime.
At the same time, employers are recognising the value of allowing employees to take career breaks. The benefits of doing so are becoming clearer, and companies are taking notice.
In the UK, my home country, a growing number of companies are open to employee sabbaticals. For example, the BBC has a career break policy that “will aim to support employees who wish to take a break from their current job […] to undertake an extended period of travelling”.
As someone who has greatly benefited from a travel career break myself, I think this is a wonderful thing. And I want to help.
How Career Gappers can help you
Having been-there-done-that, Lisa and I are all too aware of the barriers to taking a career break. Won’t it be impossible to get a job when we get back? How will it affect our careers long-term? Where do we even start with saving and planning? How will we cope being away from friends and family for so long?
These are all questions we can now help to answer, and there are many more. Earlier this month I mapped out all of the possible considerations around taking a career break. I will dedicate the next few months to writing about them, and producing resources to help people like us overcome them.
At the same time, on the pages of Career Gappers I will continue to write about destinations: tips, itineraries, things to see and do, and more. I will also use our data on spending to publish insights into travel money and budgeting.
And as always, I am open to suggestions. If there is any aspect of taking a career break or planning a long-term travel you’d like help with, feel free to drop me an email.
Over time, I want to build Career Gappers into a community. A place where like-minded people embracing the career-break trend can come together to share and learn. Later in 2018 I will be launching a Facebook group to facilitate this.
You can join the tribe now by subscribing to the blog at the bottom of this page. Be a career gapper!
Exciting plans for the coming months
It’s very early days in the life of Career Gappers. There is a lot to look forward to in the second half of 2018. I am planning to publish a book on how to take a career break; undertake a challenge roadtrip around Europe; and launch a podcast to showcase inspirational people’s stories.
As I write this, I am 24 hours away from a flight to the Czech Republic, where I will be spending nine days. On 26–28 July I am attending the Travel Blogger Exchange conference in Ostrava. I’ll be documenting the trip via Instagram Stories. Give me a follow here to stay in touch.
Feel like you’re missing some adventure in life? Is the job getting too monotonous? Can’t decide whether it’s the right move to buy a house? Planning on spending years of savings on a wedding?
Be a career gapper. Travel the world instead.
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