I lived and worked in the golden sands of Queensland but left in my 30’s to explore The World. The past 12 months have been an experience unmatched of any other year to date.
I’m not one for clichés but the idea that time spent country hopping would change me as a person wasn’t the inspiration for my travel decision. The world is so large and diverse; if this was to be my best chance to see a little of it, I was going to take it!
I notched up 30 countries across Europe, the Middle East and South America. I loved the sights (e.g. The Eiffel Tower, Pyramids of Giza, etc.) great though they were, they do not stand out as much as the times I met some locals who shared their lives and stories. Frankly, the skills of networking and developing rapport were not on a career break.
Travelling wasn’t always ‘blue’ skies and good times. Boarding an overnight bus being whisked round narrow roads at altitude made me think, “have I made the right decision?” Alain de Botton’s “The Art of Travel” summed it up for me in life, travel and work. “The pleasure we derive from journeys is perhaps dependant more on the mindset with which we travel than on the destination we travel to”. A career break can be anything you put your mind to.
Though travelling is officially on hiatus, the general urge to explore is still firing within me. A new city brings its own challenges. Whether it’s riding a new tram line or discovering gems in the laneways, Melbourne fuels the exploration desire I’ve developed in the past 12 months. It turns out taking a career break to travel has changed me after all.
I don’t feel like the 12 months I didn’t work put my career on hold. I hadn’t lost skills; if anything I had only strengthen them. If I could go back in time to remake that decision, it would be the same. If I hadn’t taken the plunge into the unknown, I would never have entertained the idea of eventually moving to Melbourne or taking up the chance of joining Selection Partners Construction Recruitment Team.
My career break advice is therefore travel expands your mind, builds resilience and opens new and different doors.
Written by Ben George