The Displaced Nation

A home for international creatives

BOOK REVIEW: “The Career Break Traveler’s Handbook” by Jeffrey Jung

careerbreak_coverThe author of today’s reviewed book, Jeff Jung, was one of our featured Random Nomads last May. We caught up with him again at Christmas, shortly after The Career Break Traveler’s Handbook was published.

TITLE: The Career Break Traveler’s Handbook
AUTHOR: Jeffrey Jung

Website: Career Break Secrets
Twitter: @Career BrkSecret
Other: Facebook page, YouTube channel

FORMAT: Paperback, Ebook (Kindle)
GENRE: Nonfiction, Travel
SOURCE: Review copy from author

Author Bio:

Host of the new global TV show, The Career Break Travel Show, and publisher of, Jeff Jung is the world’s leading career break expert. Originally from Fredericksburg, Texas, Jeff became an international traveler at the age of sixteen with his first trip to Australia and, when he left a successful marketing career for his own career break, became a “true citizen of the world.” He lives in Bogotá, Colombia.


The Career Break Traveler’s Handbook is your indispensable tool for dreaming, planning, and finally taking your trip of a lifetime. Filled with tips, stories, and photos from around the world, the Career Break Traveler’s Handbook will both excite you and prepare you.”

(Source: book description)


Six years ago, Jeff Jung, like many other people, was experiencing dissatisfaction with corporate life.  Business trips abroad racked up frequent flyer miles and provided a temporary escape from the office cubicle and constant phone calls, but those were the only benefits of his adult experiences of travelling. Faced with years more of a work-life balance teetering heavily on the “work” side of the scale, Jeff wondered if he had 

“made a bargain with the devil, building a successful career while sacrificing a satisfying personal life?”

More to the point:

“How was I ever going to engage with the things that really mattered to me: time for myself, for my family and friends, time to pursue my personal passions?”

A throwaway question from two friends provided the catalyst he needed to do something about this unsatisfactory state of affairs.

“What’s it going to take to make you happy?”

In answer, Jeff quit his job four weeks later, although it was several months before he set off on his trip. Planning is all — which is where this book comes in. It’s one thing to dream about getting away from it all, and another thing to do it right.

Based on Jeff’s own experiences, plus those of other seasoned travelers, this book offers advice on aspects from the mundane (budgeting and saving for both the trip and your return, when you might be out of work for a while) to the slightly morbid (make a will; go through details of insurance and finance with a close family member or friend; appoint someone to have power of attorney). There are tips on emotional aspects, too: how to stop talking yourself out of this wild idea, or how to deal with people who, out of concern or jealousy, aren’t as enthusiastic about this adventure as you are.

As you would expect, much of the book covers advice on preparations and the trip itself, such as managing money on the road, dealing with unexpected loneliness, and adjusting to being free again. It also includes specific tips such as “White headphones are an unmistakable marker of an iPod. Replace them with black ones” which might not occur to you at the packing stage and won’t be much use occurring to you when a mugger is running away with your iPod and unsaved photographs.

The final part of the book deals with your return trip, your re-entry into your old life, and how you can turn that “dreaded résumé gap” to your advantage.

It’s worth noting, however, that after their life-changing travels many career-breakers — including the author — don’t re-enter their old life at all but instead make a new one.

Word of wisdom:

On persuading yourself:

You only get one shot at life. Are you really sure you can’t take less than 3 percent of your working life to do what you want to do, to reconnect with yourself and pursue personal passions?

On reasons for going:

This is not a time to run away. It’s a time to run to something.

TDN verdict:

With many companies starting to see the benefits in offering paid sabbaticals to their employees — nearly one-quarter of Fortune’s 2012 “Best 100 Companies To Work For” do so — career breaks, we hope, will become more common. This book will help you make the most of yours.

STAY TUNED for next week’s posts!

Image: Book cover — “The Career Break Traveler’s Handbook”

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2 responses to “BOOK REVIEW: “The Career Break Traveler’s Handbook” by Jeffrey Jung

  1. Jeff Jung March 6, 2013 at 9:58 am

    Kate and Displaced team, thank you for taking the time to review my book. I really appreciate it. And, so glad you liked it!

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