Happy New Year!!!
Are you ready for 2020? We are! We can finally share what we've been working on for the past few months - yay! We've got big news about our expansion, plus we're launching a new project that is aimed squarely at YOU - making your life, travels and whole career break experience better than ever!
We're back to our standard newsletter format which means pointing you in the direction of exciting career breaks, sharing tips and advice, and the mysteriously persistent joke. And as it's January, we've got our events section so you can see what's coming up.
So chuck your New Year's Resolutions list in the drawer, grab yourself a full-fat latte, and get stuck in!
THE BIG ANNOUNCEMENT - WELL ACTUALLY IT'S TWO!
We've expanded The Career Break Site to the USA! We've now got an American HQ to manage the growing number of career breakers in the US, and to develop partnerships with American career break companies. But who's running it? That brings us to our second announcement...
We are thrilled to announce that George Gensler is our brand spanking new Managing Director of the shiny new American office. George is the most seasoned traveller of us all, having been to over 30 countries. She's even lived in places like Japan, Spain, Greece, and Germany. Some of her highlights include running marathons in both the Arctic and Antarctic, visiting every Disney park (except the new Shanghai one, but it's on her list), and being on the permanent grand jury of the International Chocolate Awards in England, Italy, the Netherlands, Denmark, the USA, and Taiwan.
George is working with the UK office on our various social media projects, the blog, and this newsletter (which is why you will have noticed all those Americanisms creeping in!). She's also bringing a ton of ideas to help take The Career Break Site to the next level: lots more social media stuff, partnerships and creating cool new things for you, our lovely readers. We're super excited to have her on board and we hope you like all the new stuff she'll be introducing over the next year.
OUR NEW PROJECT - THE 20/20 TRAVEL PROJECT
We're also chuffed to bits to that we can announce the launch of The 20/20 Travel Project. This is a year-long participatory project to help us all experience the world with greater clarity: making connections with people, soaking up the culture, living as the locals do, and so much more. Mindful travel where you immerse yourself in all aspects of the world we are so lucky to be able to share. And it's all about getting YOU involved too!
We're focusing on a different aspect of 20/20 travel each month. This month, it's on the visual experience. Do you look for details people often miss? The flower on the path, the lizard sneaking into your cabin, the baby's shoe left behind on the sidewalk?
Share your pictures and stories of the things you've seen on your travels. Use the hashtag #2020travel on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, or email us on email@example.com. We'll reshare as much as we can, and we'll put the highlights on the 20/20 Travel Project page, and in this newsletter.
VOLUNTEER IN BUSINESS
On our site, we have one big section all about volunteering, and we've got sections dedicated to the different kinds of volunteering you can do, to make it easier to find the kind of placements you're interested in.
This month, we're focusing on volunteering in business. Mentoring entrepreneurs, supporting human rights endeavours, consulting in micro-finance... these are just some of the ways you can share your professional experience on your career break. There are also opportunities for you to teach your business skills to others. Volunteering in business is ideal for a slightly older career breaker who feels they want to give back and has a lot to share!
Here is our round-up of travel events coming up in January, February and March, in the UK.
BUNAC Summer Camp Fairs where you can be interviewed and even GET HIRED for a paid job in the USA next summer! They take place in Dublin, London and Glasgow. in January and February this year, and there's an online hiring one via Skype in March.
Projects Abroad information evenings to find out about volunteering overseas. These are really good because you can ask loads of questions and talk to previous volunteers. They're in London and Manchester in February, and there's one in Brighton in March.
Destinations Holiday and Travel Show with tons of travel companies and talks. The Manchester one is 16th to 19th January, and the London one is 30th January to 2nd February.
Click here for more details and to book (it's £8.50)
Adventure Travel Show, London, 18th and 19th January. We're not going this year but some of our partners are always there so it's worth going to. There are always loads of useful talks which are included in your ticket.
ON THE BLOG
It's all about our new projects this month!
First of all, we've got an interview with our new American MD George Gensler. She (yes, I know) tells us about her amazing travel experiences, why she's taking on the US expansion of The Career Break Site and some of her plans for the company.
Next, we've got an interview with the UK MD Rachel about the 20/20 Travel Project. She tells us how the idea for the project developed, what she hopes you'll get out of it, and how she envisions people will get involved.
Finally, we've got our first 20/20 Travel Project blog post - there's actually now a dedicated section on the blog for this. This first post is called 9 ways to spot what everyone else misses (with pictures) and it ties in with this month's theme of how to see more in what is around you.
You'd think with all the other stuff going on that we'd put our pens down on the book for a while - but in fact the opposite is true! And just when we thought we'd finished collecting real life stories to put in it - well, a load of you got in touch and said you wanted to be featured too! So yeah, it's going to be pretty big!
Seeing as we seem to be incapable of saying no to career breakers who want to share their experience, we can probably find a spot for you as well. Drop us a line if you've got something to share - whether that's a personal story or some sage advice you want to dispense to other travellers.
MESSAGE OF THE MONTH
Bit of an amalgama.. amalg... mixture of messages this month.
We've had quite a few from people outside the UK asking about the various career break programmes and projects on our site. We're only able to advise on sabbatical stuff in the UK, and now the USA. Working abroad is the same - we know the deal if you're from the USA or UK but the visa requirements are different if you're from another country and it's impossible for us to know them all!
What we can tell you though is that all the travel options, and most of the volunteering options, are open to people of all nationalities. It might take you longer to get a visa if you're not British or American but these options only require tourist visas which are much easier to get hold of. The organisers of the programmes actively encourage and welcome volunteers and travellers from all nations and they will be able to advise you on visas.
We're pleased that the career break concept is expanding across the world after starting in the UK, and we're grateful to you for getting in touch.
If you've got a question, feedback or just want to tell us if you're doing Dry January/Veganuary, get in touch! We never reveal your name (unless you want us to!)
TIP OF THE MONTH
If you're storing your stuff when you go on your career break, make sure you write details of each box/bag's contents on the outside. You'll think you'll remember what "Misc stuff" means when you come back, but you won't. Take it from us (and several other correspondents who've told us the same thing!).
The year 2020 is going to be filled with so many puns about perfect vision ...
... I can't wait to see them all.
We don't normally like to end on a serious note but we can't ignore our friends and colleagues in Australia. If you want to help, send money, not goods. You can donate to the Red Cross or WWF. Other charities are accepting donations as well.
If you're in Australia, you can volunteer to help. The Red Cross are currently at capacity but you can register to help in the future if you plan to be there a while. You can also help by supporting businesses that are affected by the bushfires, where possible.
Finally, plan your career break in Australia for later this year! There are people who rely on foreign visitors to keep their businesses going, and by planning a trip, you will be helping them get back on their feet.
Good luck to our Aussie mates who we'll continue to support throughout this difficult time, and in the future.
Thanks for reading and we'll see you next month!