Quitter to Winner

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

INTERVIEW: Consulting Rehab Part 2

Jennifer Ransom of Consulting Rehab offers her perspective on the couple's career break and what's next for the pair.

Congratulations on getting named one of the top 10 travel blogs in Argentina! You're a hit there, no?

Thanks! We’re flattered that we seemed to have gained traction in the Argentina travel blog space, which is pretty crowded. It’s so gratifying to hear from readers from all over the world planning trips here and hearing that our blog has been helpful to them - people from the US and even as far away as Australia. We’ve made plans to meet up with a few people who’ve used our blog once they make it here - so fun to meet like-minded travelers (although it’s a little weird that they know all about us)!

Is this your first foray into blogging? Has it been learn-as-you-go, or did you consult any how-to sites/blogs?

Yes, this is definitely our first attempt at blogging. Ryan has a tech and entrepreneurial background, so this was right up his alley (and, as such, he’s the blogmaster in our family). He’s spent a lot of time reading different things online about how to build a good blog and we’re starting to get the hang of it. We’re definitely learning as we go.

Have you considered the ironic opportunity of changing your career to blogging about career breaks?

I can’t say it hasn’t crossed our minds! We love what we’re doing and we’re so glad that we took the leap to leave our jobs that made this possible. It’s incredible how much perspective you gain by being away from the daily grind for a while. The typical 1-2 week vacation just isn’t enough. We absolutely believe that besides this being a great life experience for us, we’re much healthier and happier than we were before. We also have a clearer perspective on our life priorities. As such, we’d love to encourage and enable other people to do the same. Not sure if this will turn into a career, but we definitely plan to continue sharing our thoughts on career breaks and the adventure that life can be!

What's been a typical day on the road for you and Ryan?

We took the approach of trying to get to know one place well, rather than traveling around to a lot of different locations. We haven’t been on the road all that much. As such, for much of our time, our day consisted of getting up “early” (I use the term lightly - typically 8 or 8:30am) and walking to our Spanish school for four hours of intensive Spanish lessons. After class, we’d usually go to a leisurely lunch, and then a nap was necessary. Post-nap, we’d study and do our homework, then do something fun like check out a new neighborhood or walk over to our favorite park to watch the dogs play (I love the dogs in BA!). Then we’d usually go to a low-key dinner and enjoy some good Argentine wine. We found that we needed a break from so much studying every couple of weeks so took a week off here and there to travel and see other parts of Argentina or just be tourists in Buenos Aires.

Do you have a return date to the states/back to work?

We thought we did. Then we discovered Santiago, Chile. Our plan was to return to the US at the end of August and start looking for jobs, but it’s looking like we’ll delay our return flight. Until when is TBD. We visited Santiago as an afterthought, after our wine-tasting trip to Mendoza, and absolutely loved it. It’s such a bustling city and seems to be a great, exciting place to live. We’re thinking we’ll hang out here for a bit, spend some time learning about the economy and job opportunities and see where that takes us. It’s definitely about time to go back to work, but that might end up being here in South America rather than back in the states.

Have you learned anything new about yourself while on your career break?

Yes. We’ve learned that we need to have some sort of purpose in order to feel fulfilled and happy - we’re definitely not perpetual vacationers. At first, vacation mode was great and we just enjoyed not having to get up early and work late. We signed up for Spanish classes pretty quickly after we arrived. We’ve kept busy with learning Spanish and working on the blog, but we’ve definitely noticed we start to go a little crazy when we don’t have anything productive to do.

At this point in our journey, that “something to do” might turn into work (or some other income-generating activity). I think this time around we would put a lot more weight on finding something that we enjoy doing, rather than just something we think we’re “supposed” to be doing to advance our careers. There are things we genuinely enjoy about working (camaraderie, pursuing and achieving a goal, building something), and we’d like to work in jobs that highlight these without being clouded by all the things that made work too intense before.

What are your plans for the blog if/when you return to work? Or will you travel to another country and start Consulting Rehab Phase 2?

We’re still trying to work that out. If we stay in Chile, we’ll have plenty to write about, with the extra spin of how to live long-term and assimilate in a different country. Regardless, we’d like to explore more the “career break” theme - we’re starting to meet other people who’ve designed their lives to allow them to travel and take career breaks periodically. We’ll be featuring them on our blog in the future. After that, we’ll just have to see where life takes us.

Do you think you have a story to pitch a TV show idea to the Travel Channel? It certainly would be a unique angle: couple leaves high-powered job to explore/immerse themselves in another culture. I think many professionals would relate and enjoy the show.

Love it!!! We hadn’t thought of it but think it could be so much fun! There are so many people, particularly in the US and particularly with our backgrounds who feel this external pressure to climb the ladder without really knowing why. Something like this would be a great way to share an alternate path, whether temporary or as a long-term shift in life goals. That might be relevant for a lot of people. Our day-to-day life isn’t as thrilling and dramatic as “Man vs. Wild” but there might be an audience out there for it nonetheless!

No comments:

Post a Comment