I recently came across a wonderful blog entitled Two Guys Around The World. (It was voted outstanding travel blog of 2009.) In the words of Sam Powers, one of the two guys: “I’m young, single and just graduated from college. If I don’t travel the world now, I never will.” So, with his friend William Reinhard, he set off to experience life in totally new ways. They traveled the world for a little over a year, living and working in more than a dozen countries, blogging as they went. Their goal was to inspire other young people to do the same–to leave the safety of a comfort zone full of excuses in order to gain a better understanding of the world in which they live.
These two guys are truly my soul mates, and through their writings they are trying to gain for their readers the same things I am advocating for mine–encouraging them to live and work overseas, experience a new culture, have some amazing adventures, and learn about the world beyond their home. However, I respectfully disagree with them regarding the premise that you need to be young, single, and a freshly minted twenty-something college graduate to have this type of experience. While we are certainly preaching a similar message, we are talking to very different audiences.
I hope my postings will have convinced you that the chance to live and work overseas is not something privy only to youthful nomads who have not yet entered the workplace. Sadly, this is an all too common misconception that has stifled the dreams of many. I have repeatedly argued that a short- to medium-term career break, what I call a working vacation, is an opportunity widely available to us “more mature” adults as well. And best of all, it can be achieved without having to sell your home or quit your job–as I have demonstrated in the past 70 or so postings.
So, even if you did not take advantage of overseas work opportunities in your early 20s, please don’t believe it is too late to do so now. Don’t let your dreams remain locked in your head, never to be realized. In the words of those two guys Sam and William: leave the safety of your comfort zone, discard those excuses about children, pets, home, and job, and actively seek out a short-term sabbatical experience that exposes you to the fullness and richness of life–even a life that is now well into its fourth, fifth, sixth, or even seventh decade.