Laid Off, Will Travel!

Old Oct 18th, 2008, 07:32 AM
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Good for you. You can do what I have done for a long time. Buy a rail pass, get a good map, plan your journey based on what you want to see or experience. I do this each year in Great Britain and it is fun to book B&B's and plan ,say, a trip to Scotland, catch a ferry and explore a small area by hiking or a local tour.
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Old Oct 18th, 2008, 08:11 AM
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Hello 111op

Having been through layoffs, may I first of all extend an empathetic hand.

I also think you are wise to concentrate on a project, but perhaps not a travel project.

Okay, you ask, what project then? I'd paint my house/apartment (interior if weather rules out exterior), mend that broken doorknob, search for volunteer work that you would find meaningful.

Keep to a schedule - it doesn't have to be as rigourous as when you were employed, but keep to a schedule. Meet once a week for coffee with ex-colleagues and friends in a similar position. Keep up your contacts, right now just for support and structure.

I can't quite explain why, but I think this is the best route for you to follow for at least a few weeks, as opposed to travel. I don't mean you never travel, just not now.

Best of luck.
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Old Oct 18th, 2008, 08:29 AM
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A friend of mine, was laid off, some years ago from a big record company that she'd worked for about 15 years, right out of university. Another company came in and bought them out and there went a LOT of jobs.

So, what did she do? She planned an around-the-world trip for 3.5 to Europe, Africa, and South America . She said that if she had been working, she'd never get that much time off and she was sick and tired of putting her plans and LIFE on hold and also tired of taking little, rushed trips to countries because she couldn't get much time off from work.

So, instead of panicing, like everyone else was doing, and maybe having to take a not-so-great job out of panic, she wanted to rest, reflect, regroup, and come back with a clear mind and then see what would happen. Plus, you never know whom you might meet on all of those roads. I've had friends who've met people overseas who have led them to professions that they never would have thought of.

Also, she'd even just purchased a condo within that year before the surprise lay off.

Well, she got home, and found a job that worked for her for the time being. It was in a totally different field. Her mind is always open to new ideas.

Now, some years later, she has her own business along with a regular job...just in case... and has totally changed directions....from record company professional to teaching and running her own travel-related business. Things worked out just fine. Happy Travels!
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Old Oct 18th, 2008, 08:53 AM
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Sorry to hear about the layoff, 110p. I too thought someone was reporting "WillTravel" had been laid off. Weird.

I haven't been to any of these places, but how about an Egypt/Jordan+India combo? How much $ do you have squirreled away, I think that will make the difference.

Good luck.
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Old Oct 18th, 2008, 08:56 AM
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Go to Thailand. I've been going there for a decade and have a great serviced apartment It's an 80 square meter studio with an unobstructed city and park view. It's absolutely wonderful.

There's also that lists serviced apartments all over Bangkok, with photos of the buildings. They also have apartments in Singapore and other areas. I never book through them, but get ideas from their very extensive list. I book directly through the building. Some use discount internet booking agencies.

You could do Thailand, Singapore, and Malaysia. Just hop from one apartment to the other and have time to really absorb things. You could even go to language school while there. That's fun and a great way to meet people. In Singapore, at the YMCA International House Hotel, where I've stayed for a decade, they have language classes there at their center.

Maybe you could also throw in Indonesia depending on how much time you have. You could even rent a house, with a cook, on Bali.

I don't know your age, but I think this is a wonderful opportunity and something good usually comes out of something bad. For about 2 decades, from my teen years to my late 30s I used to take off and rent a place in Copenhagen for 11 weeks at a time and then take off on Eurail and travel around Europe. But, my base was Copenhagen. I'm SO glad I did that. I started back in the 70s.

There were folks who thought I was crazy back then...female, traveling the world alone, and at a young age. But several of my friends were doing the going off to Africa to live for a year or full summer and other very adventurous things especially for the 70s.

Of course there were folks who couldn't understand why my parents would let me do such. Well, it was simple. I grew up with the philosophy that there's more going on out there in the world than what's going on in ones backyard. So, I was allowed to explore as long as I was back before the first day of the new quarter at my university.

I hope you have a great time and I can't wait for the trip report. Smiles. Happy Travels!
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Old Oct 18th, 2008, 10:28 AM
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I think you should treat yourself to a RTW Business Class ticket (for even First if you have enough miles). And then basically decide which cities based on flight availability!

Have you been to Portugal? Morocco? Or Malta? Crete?
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Old Oct 18th, 2008, 10:44 AM
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Morocco...fabulous idea. Great place. Happy Travels!
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Old Oct 18th, 2008, 10:50 AM
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I remember you from your Madrid airport to Prado trip last year and wanted to say I like your attitude. Good for you, man.
Old Oct 18th, 2008, 11:49 AM
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Good for you! I would love to have the time and money to just travel for a few months. You've already got loads of suggestions, so I'll be interested to see where you choose.
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Old Oct 18th, 2008, 12:51 PM
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I'm reading these suggestions with great interest. Just to answer a few questions and add a few more thoughts of my own....

I'm in my 30s. I've saved enough that I'm not panicking right now even though my investments have taken a hit and I must be the worst stock investor in the world (having hit two crashes in 10 years, my lord!). I have few financial commitments and I'm single, so I don't have a family to support. I don't have any debt.

So, it shouldn't be a problem if I travel for a while, but I'm usually pretty prudent and thoughtful. So I'll probably worry that the money won't last, but in reality, I'll be ok for the short run. Unfortunately I can't opt for early retirement, and believe me, I would if I could.

Claiming miles is a good idea. I'm up to about 250,000 miles on AA. I've thought of cashing it in for First Class tickets to London, though not in this context.

I've been to Crete (attended a wedding there), though of course there's a lot there I've not seen. I've been to Lisbon. I've never been to Africa, so I don't know Morocco. It sounds interesting, but I think I'd rather go to Egypt first. I've never been to Malta.

The project idea is not a bad suggestion. Apart from updating my resume before I go, my project is probably cleaning the apartment and throwing out things I don't need. I never really had the time to do a thorough job while I was employed. Then I'll probably invite friends over, celebrate my layoff and take off!
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Old Oct 18th, 2008, 12:54 PM
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Oh I did think that I might be suggesting WillTravel was laid off with my title.

But then I figured that the grammatically correct way for that would have been "WillTravel Laid Off!" The comma was strategically placed to clarify, plus there's a space between "Will" and "Travel."

You betcha I think about these things.
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Old Oct 18th, 2008, 01:02 PM
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Oh, by the way, in case there are people who are in a similar situation and who are reading this, I've been told that LinkedIn is a good tool. I'm too old to believe in social networking, but I do plan to create a profile there.

I hadn't thought about going to India specifically on this trip, but thanks for suggesting it.

That's the thing about asking here. After thinking more about it and looking at what's available, it's quite possible I'll end up with something completely different from what I was thinking about.
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Old Oct 18th, 2008, 01:24 PM
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Hello 111op I am sorry you were laid off but just wanted to say my late husband had a saying that I still believe in (as do the children) when life gets stressful and/or confusing. He would say "I need to recoup and regroup". And yes recouping and regrouping consisted of taking a trip. It is amazing how getting away can clear one's head and consequently how fresh and new ideas come to mind when far from the day to day grind.

I wish you interesting and fun travels and of course good wishes with your next career!

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Old Oct 18th, 2008, 11:09 PM
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Two thoughts as I read your post...
my husband I are pretty careful with money. Years ago, he had about a month after grad school before his job started and I was job hunting. Really, we should have gone overseas during that month but didn't. One of our few regrets.

My other thought is that those miles don't rack up as quickly if not traveling on business. I'd stretch them as far as possible.

Good luck!
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Old Oct 19th, 2008, 06:44 AM
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A good girl friend and her boyfriend have been low budget traveling for about 10 months now - they went through Mexico, Central America and are now in South America - last I heard from them they were on their way to Machu Picchu - I've told myself that when my current gig ends I'm emptying the refrigerator, drawing the blinds, locking the door and doing the same thing. You have the time now (not to mention a wealth of past experiences to draw from) - how often do we get opportunities like this?
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Old Oct 19th, 2008, 11:19 AM
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Sorry to hear about your job situation, though it sounds like you're one of the luckier ones to manage it given your personal situation as you've described. I too work in the Financial/Banking industry and know how hard the current global situation is for so many.

However, if you can afford the time and adventure, why not go for something COMPLETELY different to what you're used to (I've been reading your previous postings for years and all the places you seem to like going to and things you like doing) as part of your re-evaluation - with an open mind ?
I'd suggest Africa : East and/or South. Its not New York ! The art you'll find there isn't of the type usually found in European museums but it is exquisite in its own way, and the adventures and natural beauty of the land, animals, beaches and especially people are among the best to be found anywhere. Nov - Jan. is a good time to go, and you'll get plenty of help planning it on the Africa board.

Good luck whatever you choose.

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Old Oct 19th, 2008, 11:37 AM
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How about a couple of weeks of "voluntourism" mixed in?

If you've spent any time over on the Asia board, you may have read about the Ponheary Ly Foundation ( in Siem Reap Cambodia. This is an incredible organization which helps suppliment funds and supplies to local schools in Siem Reap.
It's run by a couple of amazing women, Ponheary Ly, Khmer Rouge survivor, and Lori Carlson, an American woman who quit her job to move to Cambodia and start the organization (she posts on the Asia board as "offwego"). I know they welcome volunteers to help come and teach English to the teachers and the kids. And if you've never been to Cambodia, it's a great opportunity to visit the amazing ruins of Angkor Wat (which should be seen ASAP, btw).

Anyway, if I had a couple of extra weeks, that's what I think I'd do.
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Old Nov 7th, 2008, 05:11 PM
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I've waited a little too long to make travel plans.

I'll most likely finalize my first trip tonight as I'm right at the 7-day advance purchase mark.

Unfortunately it won't be a departure from my usually rushed trips. I'm looking to do the following, leaving coming Friday.

Day 0: Fly JFK-Milan.

Day 1: Milan-Parma-Milan. Going to Parma to see the Correggio show. Fly to Tel Aviv in the evening.

Day 2-4: Israel

Day 5: Tel Aviv-Paris via Budapest. I'll leave at 6 am and arrive at 6:05 pm, flying Malev. I'll have a few hours in Budapest, where I've never visited.

Day 6: Paris
Day 7: Paris/London
Day 8: London and fly home.

I'm stopping in Paris to see the Mantegna show at the Louvre (underrated Renaissance painter, in my opinion), but I also plan to see the big shows on Picasso.

Has anyone seen the one at Grand Palais? It's sold out for my dates already. How long is the wait?

I'm going to London to pick up some items and take in a few more art shows (like the Rothko show at Tate Modern and Babylon at British Museum).

In case you're curious, the tickets are bought separately for JFK-MXP, LHR-JFK on AA and MXP-TLV-CDG on Malev (via Budapest). I still need to get my Eurostar ticket.

Shortly after this trip, I'm planning to fly to Asia and spend at least 6 weeks there. Most likely I won't be back until next January. I've yet to book the tickets, however. I'm looking to visit Taiwan, Beijing & Shanghai, Singapore and Malaysia. The rest TBA.

Later this year I'll see where I am with the job situation and plan the next trips for 2009.
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