A room of like-minded seekers

I attended my first “Meet Up” tonight, one conveniently held at a pizza join on my very block of Belmont Avenue. It was sponsored by “Meet, Plan, Go” — an organization that would have been handy to know about before I launched my own career sabbatical.

That’s because its mission is the promoting and planning of — wait for it, wait for it — career breaks!

“Meet, Plan, Go” helps people initiate their career break (or travel sabbatical or whatever you want to call it) by providing guidance, tools and personal connections. Even though I managed to forge my own way, somewhat intelligently, a resource like this can really go a long way when jumping into a venture this scary. I certainly will be referring people to it from now on.

The room at this “Meet Up” was PACKED. Packed with people who had made it happen, such as yours truly. Packed with those who want to make it happen. Packed with those on the verge of it happening. In fact, I sat at a table with a couple who were getting ready to leave the USA in two weeks for a 14-month career break overseas, bringing with them their four children. (They are my new heroes.)

I was thrilled to be in this room, part of a crowd of such progressive thinkers and seekers. And … it was unexpectedly comforting to know that I’m not alone. That there are others out there like me, living right here in Chicago.

As one woman who took the microphone said, “There’s no perfect time to do it. Your friend might be having a baby. You might be up for a promotion. You have to ask yourself, ‘Do I stay and wait for these things to happen? Or do I go and have this amazing experience?'”

My answer to that is obvious.

JUST DO IT … but do a moderate amount of planning first.

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