Less than one month to go....

Trip Start Aug 23, 2006
Trip End Dec 23, 2006

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Flag of United States  , Texas
Monday, August 28, 2006

So...here I sit...in my office...less than 7 days after returning from a 3 week trip to Latvia, Estonia, Finland and Russia. These are my last two weeks at Deloitte before taking the plunge and starting a 3 months leave of absence. My parents think I'm crazy, my local friends are happy for me (read: jealous) and my international friends are wondering why I'm making such a big deal of this trip. During my travels abroad (35 countries over the past 7 years), I've encountered so many great people who have decided to take 6, 8, up to 12 months off just to explore the world. Sadly, the U.S. corporate world frowns on such activities and sees such gaps in your resume/CV as signs of someone who is without direction or isn't serious about their career. As a result, you rarely see U.S. travelers taking "gap years" or extended leaves from their jobs to travel. Don't get me wrong...I've seen many people from the US traveling the world...but most are either trying to squeeze the most out of the pitiful two weeks of vacation they get each year...or they're 85 years old, retired and have more money than they'll ever spend so they are finally starting to see the world...with a walker in one hand and oxygen mask in the other.

Not me. So for the first time since I turned 16 (just ten short years ago...snicker) I will be without employment. That's right...since I was 16 (including university), I have had some sort of employment up through today. The benefit of this continued employment is that I have some savings to pull an extended trip off...the downside is I might not know what to do with myself over 3 months without a FT job and paycheck. I may come crying back to Deloitte after living in hostels for 13 weeks begging for my job back (and my comfy bed). Regardless, this trip will be an experience and I know I'll be a better person for having taken it. What happens after I return is still largely undecided...but it boils down to two options...go back to work...or keep on going...

I'll close this first post with a dialogue from one of my favorite movies...as it's fairly relevant in my case.

Vincent: "So what you gonna do?"
Jules: "Well, basically, I'm just gonna walk the earth."
Vincent: "What you mean 'walk the earth'?"
Jules: "You know, like Kane in 'Kung Fu'...go places...meet people...get in adventures..."
Vincent: "For how long?"
Jules: "As long as it takes."
Vincent: "As long as it takes for what?"
Jules: "Until God puts me where he wants me to be."
Vincent: "So you decided to be a bum?"
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