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FOTOFRIDAY: Be brave & have fun

Posted on: Friday, April 3rd, 2020
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Photo by Elsa Horsted

My guess is everyone is sick tired of hearing and reading about the coronavirus. So just for today, let’s just try to: Be brave & have fun.

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FOTOFRIDAY: Life’s a Beach

Posted on: Friday, March 27th, 2020
Posted in: Travelog, FOTOFRIDAY | Leave a comment

The pun works well today, too well.

Days before California got closed, residents and tourists alike were blithely enjoying the sweet spots—including the 840 miles of lovely coastline. Memories help us cling to hope, and gather the strength and patience to weather hard times like this crazy virus.

Here’s to better days ahead.

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FOTOFRIDAY: A Sign of Sick Times

Posted on: Friday, March 20th, 2020
Posted in: Travelog, FOTOFRIDAY | Leave a comment

During spring break last week, my daughter and I managed a BreakAway of sorts (more on that soon), and were enjoying a stroll down Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade on Thursday. That’s just one week ago today as I sit back home writing. The Nasty Corona Virus was all the buzz, yet this was the first sign I saw of a business closing. Man, how the world can change in a mere 7 days.

Travel tends to bring some risk and angst. But this trip featured an endless barrage of disturbing news, rather like the waves at a California beach that just keep coming and coming—but stressful, not peaceful.

We got lucky. Our ambitious checklist of things to do all got done, even though many of them would not have been possible the following day. We visited three colleges that suspended tours the day after. We were also the last guests to enjoy the Getty Museum, a neighborhood bar, a French restaurant…

We’ve returned to a shut-down, locked-down world, including my daughter’s school and sports. A world we must stay away from people, stock up on food, and hoard toilet paper. A world where many are worrying about not only how to pay bills, but how to eat. The situation is dreadful, and getting worse.

But, Dude! How was Cali? Well, it was a lovely trip, miraculously. We even played Frisbee under the sun on a beautiful beach; that’s a deep-tissue soul-massage for us Minnesotans. Normally, any sane person would feel sad to see a vacation like this one end.

Yet this time, as I comb through photos and memories and worries, this traveler can only say: There’s no place like home.

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FOTOFRIDAY: Art Vs. Noise

Posted on: Friday, March 13th, 2020
Posted in: Travelog, FOTOFRIDAY | Leave a comment

Spring break this year inspired a California trip for my high-school daughter and me. We had several missions: Visit family and friends; sneak in some sun, sand, and surf; and see some potential higher-ed schools.

“Be prepared” is a motto of this travel-centric website. So we packed ample snacks, sunscreen (didn’t need it), umbrellas (very handy, unfortunately), and hand sanitizer. Nothing, however, could prepare us for a world-wide pandemic—and all the accompanying fear and loathing. It’s brought new meaning to “traveling heavy.”

Still, we gratefully accomplished most of our goals, including a fascinating info session and tour of Pitzer College, in Claremont, CA, a school founded in the 60s and where those ideals are alive and loud. Proof: The “Freedom Wall,” where students can write anything, anytime. It’s extraordinarily popular, even sorta famous.

I would call it a work of participatory art—and find it interesting that people are fascinated by it. Can we say the same about the gazillions of messages placed online through countless platforms? No.

Art beats noise any day. And that happens every day at Pitzer College.

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FOTOFRIDAY: Cigarette Butts

Posted on: Friday, February 28th, 2020
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Is it just me or does toilet humor (literally) seem to be on the rise? Maybe it’s just men’s rooms. Maybe it’s bars and restaurants trying to increase the fun factor to boost sales. Maybe it’s another sign of the rather rude, crude times we live in.

Regardless, my collection of such statements has become noteworthy. (Yes, I try to shoot fast and not disturb fellow bathroom guests.)

No butts about it, this toilet “art” caught my eye and made me chuckle. And since the bathroom was on the island of Belize, they were serious about not wanting cigarette butts in the septic system. You’d see similar signs in most any establishment. But few were, shall we say, as eye-catching.

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FOTOFRIDAY: Life Before Costco

Posted on: Friday, February 21st, 2020
Posted in: Travelog, FOTOFRIDAY, Wily Mktg | Leave a comment

Here you see a shop-owner dutifully working in the shadows of his perfect produce shop just outside of Paris 20 years ago. So much has changed on USA soil; there are myriad grocery options in most American cities, yet a family-owned fruit and beverage boutique may be impossible to find. Who can market a small market and make a living?

So this is life before Costco. It also portrays the other-worldly passion of worldly Paris, where such artisanal shops in 2020 are probably less omnipresent but still very present. And residents show up.

This writer-chef loves the savvy of Trader Joe’s and the convenience of a Target that sells everything from grapes to undergarments. But as I reminisce this random Parisian morning and a sight any traveler to France will encounter countless times, there’s no question which lifestyle offers better connection, quality, and values.

Long live Costco? No. Viva la France!

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FOTOFRIDAY: Hello Luna

Posted on: Friday, February 14th, 2020
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Still figuring out the new iPhone 11 camera. In some ways, it seems much ado about not so much. In other way, like this “dark mode” shot taken in actual darkness, it just might be pretty cool.

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Forbes & Motley Fool Endorse BreakAways

Posted on: Saturday, February 8th, 2020
Posted in: Sabbatical Shuffle, Work/Life Hacking, Wily Mktg | Leave a comment

To everything there is a season: A time to work, a time to play. 

The BreakAway Crew has been selling sabbatical lifestyles since 2008. Yet we’re always delighted when bigger influencers like Forbes and the Fool affirm our Big Idea. Both approach the topic from a career-centric POV. And that’s swell, since most folks have a career-credit-card focus and that encourages MYBA room to romp in the equally vital faith-&-freedom space.

  • Iconic takeaways from media masters

You can peruse these articles quickly, but here are the primary reminders in case you need to get back to tic tok. 

Career breaks…

  • WON’T RUIN YOUR CAREER….

Since they give you a chance to try new challenges, embark on an entrepreneurial endeavor, diversity your skill set, volunteer for something impressive, up your passion profile, boost your confidence, and more.

  • HELP YOU STAND OUT…

Because these days, so many jobs are LinkedIn-predictable and (for many) STEM-ish. Travelers have grander perspectives and wider exposure. Savvy employers want nothing less. As we say at BreakAway, it’s about self- Wily Mktg.

  • PLAY INTO THE ‘CAREER WAVE’ TREND RATHER THAN THE CONVENTIONAL ‘LADDER’…

This will make more sense as the Millennials take over. And they will comprise 35% of the work force this year. And get this: 84% of them foresee career breaks in their future.

  • FIGHT BURNOUT….

Since, frankly, that’s a career (and well-being) killer. Forbes says that 23% of full-time employees report burnout often; another 44% say it hits them sometimes. Our side-EFX-free RX: BreakAway ASAP.

  • “CLARIFY WHAT TYPE OF LIFE YOU WANT”…

My favorite. Paths, passion, restlessness, test drives, that whole deal. And our Motley not-so-foolish writer remind us that, depending on your age, many retirement funds are eligible to pay for your adventure. (Why wait until you’re old and rickety!?!)

  • Free your mind and your ass will follow

So says one of my heroes, George Clinton (and Funkadelic). Our fine writers agree but might paraphrase thusly: 1) Free your mind and your career will follow. 2) Free your mind and your career break will follow. 

So do like Forbes and the Fool and start planning BreakAways into your life already! Or just agree that careers are long yet life is longer so…When the time is right, why not go? 

PS Thanks, Forbes and Fool!

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FOTOFRIDAY: Play Ball!

Posted on: Friday, February 7th, 2020
Posted in: SoulTrain, FOTOFRIDAY | Leave a comment

To some of us, baseball remains a blissy mini-Breakaway. The game plays without a time clock, in the open air (ideally), and during the warm, long days. Oh sure, football has become WAY more popular, as presaged long ago by journalist Mary McGrory: “Baseball is what we were, and football is what we have become.”

But hey, football is finished for a while. Finally. And…

Next week, pitchers and catchers start reporting to pre-season practice—a rite of spring, of optimism, and of gentlemanly competition usually devoid of vulgarity and violence. We could use some of that in Washington, DC right about now. Although it’s worth noting that said city is presently home to the world champion Washington Nationals.

A sign of hope? Keep dreaming.

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FOTOFRIDAY: YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL

Posted on: Friday, January 31st, 2020
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And don’t you forget it. And BTW, congrats to Lizzo, Billie Eilish, and a whole bunch of new-school superstars who are helping us rethink what beauty means—and making millions and winning awards while doing so!

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