Why I Am Planning a Second Career Break

5 years ago: I was a Financial Controller in an international media company, working and playing hard, enjoying my career and life in general, but not convinced I was on the right path in life

4 years ago: I was in the middle of planning my first Career Break and was seven months away from leaving my career, friends, home and possessions for fifteen months of adventure and freedom

3 years ago: I was in Cape Town, ending a magical three months in Africa and looking ahead to volunteering in South East Asia, the next adventure in a journey that was changing my outlook on life

2 years ago: I was back in the office after re-joining the 9-to-5 routine to replenish an empty bank account

1 year ago: I was still in the office, aware that I was falling back into my old career stress habits and struggling to maintain the ‘work to live’ mentality the career break that now seemed like a distant memory had taught me.

Today: The countdown to Career Break #2 begins as I start planning towards 1 April 2013 and I think “Career Break #2” needs to be renamed as it already feels like a different experience!

It’s been a journey – and I’m still on it.

My first career break was driven by the realisation that life is short, there were things I wanted to see and do and I wasn’t going to achieve this sitting behind a computer in an office.  I’d always had a lust for travel and it was one of the drivers for my relocation from Australia to the UK back in 2000.  I’d already seen more of the world than I ever dreamed possible as a little girl growing up in an outback Australian town but instead of placating my travel bug it was awakening it further.  Focusing on my career meant I was restricting the opportunity to feed my travel need with weekends and short holidays.  I was getting greedy, I wanted more.

My first career break created the opportunity to have the GAP year I never had when I left school.  It was an escape from my daily life to combine adventure, travel and freedom as I embarked on a Grownup Gap Year and Round-The-World trip.

I was hitting the pause button on my career, I wasn’t leaving it.  It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I would return from.  It was simply a detour.

Well that was the plan anyway.  What I didn’t realise as I headed to Heathrow to board the first leg of my round-the-world flight was that I may have had plans for my career break – but my career break also had plans for me.

Fast forward to today and my career now feels like the detour.  As I’m planning Career Break #2 I’m not sure that is the correct name for it.  It’s not another detour, it’s the main road.

In the coming months I’ll be reflecting on the journey towards Career Break #2 on my website in the hope that sharing my experience inspires someone else to create their own.  STAY TUNED!




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Kellie is a traveller and photographer who is most at home when exploring the world beyond it. Through the intersection of her travel, writing and photography passions, she shares her experiences to inspire others to create there own. The desire to live life instead of existing through it has introduced Kellie to inspirational locations throughout seven continents and from this a passion for landscape and wildlife photography has evolved. She feels a particular connection to the polar regions and Africa. You can see more of her photography at www.kellienetherwoodphotography.com


  1. “It’s not another detour, it’s the main road.” Well said. It takes balls to make that decision and stick to it though. I’m jumping off the diving board now,.. but TBH not really sure if it’s a detour or the main road!!! Very well said there.

    • I had been contemplating another career break for some time, but it never quite felt right until I had the revelation recently that it wasn’t another detour! Are you planning your own career break? You won’t regret it!

  2. Good for you on the second career break! Just finished the travel portion of my second career break and am trying to settle back in….basically to raise more funds for career break #3. Somehow I don’t think they will be so many years apart this time. Good for you….looking forward to hearing more.

    • Career break 3 – I love the sound of that! Have you done similar things on your career breaks? One of the challenges I have with the concept of my second one is how to avoid returning back to the position I’m in now…where I’m craving another career break!

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