October 25, 2012 @ 9:00 am - posted by Liz

Why do we put off those things we want most in life? Why do we let excuses stand in the way of pursuing our dreams?

We meet so many people who say they would love to take a Career Break or Sabbatical and when it comes to excuses, We’ve heard them all. Occasionally, they sound ALMOST convincing. Let’s face it, No one likes to step out of his or her comfort zone and risk is scary but; we should never let that stop us with our Sabbatical plans. The reality is that for every objection to taking a Career Break, there is a solution. Here’s a few excuses you might recognise…..

I don’t have the time.

Between our hectic lives and busy schedules it doesn’t seem possible to take a CareerBreak to achieve what we want outside of our normal lives, which is precisely why we need to do it. In addition to recharging the batteries and achieving life long goals, many of us have used this time to re-evaluate our lives and plan for a more fulfilling future.

I don’t earn enough.

You don’t have to be a lottery winner to take a CareerBreak. If you want to travel, travelling long term is not the same as being on holiday. Hotels offer amazing rates if you are planning on staying longer, and eating with the locals massively reduces your daily budget. Also, think of the bills you no longer have to worry about; commuting; rent/mortgage; utilities; cable/internet; car costs; the bills are endless, and lets not forget that your pound buys you a lot more in many parts of the world (South East Asia, South America and Africa) than it would in the UK. We regularly lived well each day for about the same price of a lunchtime sandwich and drink in London. You can even work locally to fund your travels like we did.

I don’t speak a foreign language.

In the UK very few of us speak a foreign language or seem to have much interest in learning. The good news is that in most places in the world you will find people who can speak at least basic English and who are always keen to practice with a native speaker.

I can’t, I’ve got children.

Reality Check, kids love travelling  Can you imagine a better education for them than to explore the world and satisfy their natural curiosity?  You’ll find children are both welcomed and accepted all over the world, far more so than here in the UK. Home schooling might sound too much long term but where there is a will there is always a way. We recently met a Welshman living in Cambodia whose children were being tutored by an Aussie teacher on the beach every morning and as they say, for everything there is always an App…


We will regularly feature the stories of parents who have successfully travelled with their children but in the meantime, here’s a couple of links:


I couldn’t travel alone.

We can’t imagine a better way to meet others than by travelling  You will quickly build up a rapport with others from all over the world, swapping travel stories and recommendations of great places to visit and stay. Travelling alone can even have benefits, never having to compromise your itinerary and be able to do exactly as you want seems like a great thing to me, but don’t ever tell Liz I said that.

People will think I’m mad.

You may find others can also be quite dismissive to start, or like Liz’s mum, damn right negative about such a radical idea. Often this is more about them and their fears than about your plans but as soon as it becomes clear that you are committed and will actually be doing this, you’ll be surprised how supportive people are.  If we can turn Liz’s mum, A.K.A. Mrs. Glass Half Full into seeing this as a great idea; then you can do the same with your doubters.

I’ve never been good at saving money.

We have always been lousy at saving money.  With a mortgage, bills, travel, food, clothes and social expenses, we were rarely left with much at the end of the month.   We therefore had to change a few things in our life. We set up a basic savings account that was topped via direct debit each month and cut out extravagances.  We are not suggesting you become a hermit, as we all need to live and have fun.  When we wanted to buy something we had to think ‘We’re planning to leave the country; therefore, do we really need this?’  We used to do our weekly supermarket shopping on the way home. We was always in such a rush to get home we would throw loads of things into the shopping trolley only to throw it away a few days later because it had gone off. Cutting waste is easy and you’ll be surprised how much you save.

With all the economic uncertainty, what if I can’t find another job when I return.

Due to the current economic climate, this was a big concern of ours.

When planning your CareerBreak; know what you want to achieve and why.  Don’t hide your CareerBreak in your CV, but instead, ensure it shows what you have achieved.  A CareerBreak can show a potential employer that you are motivated and are willing to take calculated risks.  Also, think of the skills you have demonstrated in your CareerBreak. If you went travelling you can show how you can adapt your plans quickly, if you volunteered explain what you learned and what you did.

Stay in touch with your professional network, this is easily done today via Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn or your own personal blog.  By keeping in contact throughout your CareerBreak you can let them know when you are returning to work so they can keep an ear to the ground for you.  Liz stayed in touch with one of her company Directors throughout her CareerBreak and was working within weeks of her return.

It’s too risky, it’s just not safe.

Liz was nervous about some of the stories we’d heard in the media.  Make sure you read up on the countries you plan to visit beforehand so you’re aware of any risks. The reality is that travelling is a lot safer than we are led to believe.

As a woman, handbag / purse snatching is a risk, an easy solution is to carry a rucksack.  It won’t look glamorous but it does the job. Also evaluate the area where you live now.  Liz originally comes from Nottingham, where gun crime is out of control.  A lot of countries are safer than Nottingham.

I don’t know where to start.

If this is you then you’re in the right place. We will regularly post articles covering just about every subject of interest and if you have any thing you want to ask, just head over to the forum. You’ll be amazed by just how easy and enjoyable it can all be.


About Liz

At the age of 39, Liz quit the 'Corporate World', downsized her life and followed her heart. Upon her return she set up CareerBreak360 with Robert to help others achieve their Career Break dreams.

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