Meet Plan Go Chicago

Meet, plan, go go go!

Attending Meet, Plan, Go! Chicago

So I went to an event last night called Meet, Plan, Go. It was a national speaking event for people who are thinking of taking a career break to travel. Remember how I said I had big plans for my thirties? Yeah…

It was incredibly inspiring and gave me a little bit of a kick in the butt and a good starting point for planning this next phase of my life.

Actually, it was probably the worst event I’ve ever gone to because my original thought of “I’m just going to backpack Europe for 9-12 months” is expanding to broader places for a longer time and sleeping on strangers’ couches… 🙂

The Chicago edition of Meet Plan Go was hosted by Lisa Lubin and had panelists Alex & Elizabeth, Megan Kearney, and Marsha Joseph. And, let me tell you, it was totally inspiring! I was especially excited that Lisa, like me, didn’t start really traveling until a bit later, which gave me the confidence that yes, yes my dreaded 30 isn’t too old to take a round the world trip.

While I learned a lot, here are a few things that really stood out for me and got me thinking…

I’ve heard of couchsurfing. And while I have later slept on couches of people I’ve met while traveling, I never really knew what I thought of the idea of staying at the home of someone I’ve never met before. But from the sounds of it it’s actually pretty safe and a great way to meet locals and see a city with someone who actually lives there instead of just the travelers you meet in a hostel. So I’m now thinking of incorporating a mix of both.

To sell or not to sell
I have a weird conundrum in my life: I am a homebody who loves to cook and loves decorating but also am someone who loves to travel and see the world. In other words, I have a lot of things. And I really hate the idea of selling off all of my stuff when I know I’d just have to replace some of it when I got back. Luckily I don’t have too much furniture and my mom has a three-bedroom house all to herself and a 2-car garage that is empty. So I really don’t have to worry about storage. Most people said that they sold their car before leaving…and I just don’t know if I could do that…especially since part of what I want to do is road trip the entire US. And I need a car for that. So I’m not sure I am currently willing to sell it.

Working abroad
I haven’t really given much thought to working while traveling. In all honesty, I have enough in savings that I don’t really have to. But, working really does give you a reason to stay in one place for a bit longer, gives you a little extra money, let’s you experience a different side of a place… I have looked into farm stays a little, because, I have no idea why, the idea of working on a farm excites me. Also, since I am a web editor, it’s something I can pretty much do from anywhere, so maybe I can freelance a bit from the road…or maybe get odd jobs too. I don’t know.

Power of Attorney
This was something that came up that hadn’t even crossed my mind before. I need to make sure someone at home can cash a check for me and stuff like that. I was already thinking of opening a joint account with my mom so she could deposit money if need be, but I hadn’t thought about what to do if I needed someone to deposit a check in my name or something.

So now…I guess I start planning, and figuring out if I want to do more than Europe, and figuring out when and where and how. And it’s a bit overwhelming. But I am really very excited.


p.s. There was food, so, of course, I took a photo of my food.


p.p.s. In going along with the same theme, I am thinking of changing this blog name to something other than just my name. Something travely but not totally travely because it’s still going to basically chronicle my life which isn’t always travel. I’ve had a couple of ideas but nothing has really excited me yet. Stay tuned for that within the next 6 months or so…

Hi, I'm Val. I spent most of my 20s in a standstill, unable to pick which path in life I wanted to take. I wanted the nomadic life of a traveler but also wanted the husband, the condo, and the kitten. Unable to decide which life I wanted more, I did nothing. When I turned 30 I’d had enough of putting my life on hold and decided to start “choosing my figs.” So, I quit my job, bought a one-way ticket to Europe, and traveled for three years. Now I'm back in Chicago, decorating my apartment in all the teal, petting my cats, and planning my next adventure.

  • Sid
    September 15, 2010at2:15 pm

    you’ll need a carmen sandiego outfit whenever you do get around to traveling 🙂

  • wendyvee
    September 15, 2010at4:46 pm

    Wow. The next phase of your life is going to be exciting!

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