Review: How to Take a Career Break to Travel by Alexis Grant

Hello Everyone!

I’m back and blogging at a horribly early hour, because I wanted to tell you about a rather good book I was asked to review that launches TODAY and can be purchased at a 25% discount this week only!

The book (if the blog title wasn’t obvious enough!) is called “How to Take a  Career Break” and it’s written by the lovely Alexis Grant. As I’ve mentioned before, I hardly ever review books, mostly because it takes a lot of time and sometimes because the books actually turn out to be complete crap. I’m happy to report that isn’t the case with Ms. Grant’s guide, and while I didn’t agree with everything she wrote (more on that later), I will say that I wholeheartedly wish a guide like this had existed before I went on my trip. It’s not groundbreaking or choc-a-bloc full of unknown travel secrets, BUT it is written from the realistic perspective of someone who’s been there and done that.

Alexis in Madagascar

I should be honest and say that as I was perusing the table of contents and looking for something to critique (I know, I’m a mean person before I’ve had my coffee), I zeroed in on the section entitled “Blogging While Traveling” and almost winced at how easy it would be to tear the chapter apart. Why? Because every travel book in world (it seems), has a vague and completely incorrect section which praises the benefits of travel blogging and how it will rain down riches upon those who are so intelligent as to think of it as an income idea.

Surprisingly, and to Alexis’ credit – her book is different. I swear to you, I almost dropped my cereal spoon when I saw that she espoused the benefit of travel blogging as platform for oneself and as a way to meet peers. True, she did mention that a few, select, lucky, and ueber talented individuals can make money on blogging but this admission is reasonable, and her perspective was so accurate, I found myself flipping through the rest of the book – reading bits and pieces and nodding quite often in agreeance.

For most of the book, she is spot on: she claims that traveling can help you build skills and test out a new career, and I’m a testament to that. Because of my travel blog, I was hired as a speechwriter for a politician last spring, and now I’ve successfully launched a conservation research career in Africa thanks to my connections and newly international CV.

She articulates the cost, planning, and choices required for traveling well; she articulates the difference between scheming and planning, and the address label ides she has is genius. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, stop dilly dallying and just buy the book already!

My biggest critique (if you can call it that)? In the book she  claims to be a backpack-user, while making concessions for those travelers who need actual luggage pieces. As I experienced horrid flashbacks to my 30-day trip around Europe using a rolling suitcase, I realized that I completely and totally disagree. No one person needs real luggage! The moral of the story is: DO NOT USE SUITCASES TO TRAVEL!

Moving on and stepping off my soapbox: this is a great book. From someone who has done the gap year/travel break/career switch/expat life, I can tell you that Alexis’ book will help you feel empowered when you probably need it the most: while you’re scheming your fantastic adventure abroad.

For more information  on Alexis Grant, click here! If you’re sold on the book, you can purchase it online here!