Who's out there now?

Who’s Out There Now? Amar

Written By: jeff

Posted On: May 17th, 2010

travel advice, career break advice, travel the world, career break travel

How´s Work? Copyright GapYearEscape.com

In this week’s ¨Who’s Out There Now¨ feature, we bring to you Amar, who is the mastermind behind GapYearEscape.com.  This career breaker have been out traveling since September 2009 and has so far been through many parts of South East Asia like Indonesia, Laos and Thailand, currently can be found in Australia and then will be moving on to New Zealand. Amar took a career break from management consultancy. His site documents his travel stories through his blog, photos and videos.

1.  So, where in the world are you answering these questions?

Right this second I am sitting in a hostel dorm in Sydney. I’ve been using Sydney as a base to travel round Australia. I love this city; beautiful place and beautiful people!


2.  On your first blog post last September, you pledged to ¨watch sunsets in Fiji, ride an elephant in Malaysia, spot the stars in LA, swim with sharks in Australia, jump out of planes in New Zealand and, of course, avoid the lady boys in Thailand.¨ How have you done so far on checking things off your list?

I’ve done pretty well so far. Watched plenty of sunsets, ridden elephants a few times and I go diving with Great White Sharks next week. I made a mental ‘bucket list’ before I left so I like to tick things off.

travel advice, career break advice, travel the world, career break travel

Amar hanging out on Monkey Beach, Thailand. Copyright GapYearEscape.com

3.  You´ve had some pretty incredible adventures. Through your site, I´ve seen you tubing in Laos, elephant riding, hanging out with the monkeys, hiking through the jungles, touring temples, and surfing on Australia´s storied east coast.  You really are slacking through your career break, aren´t you?

Slacking indeed! Everyday life can be so restrictive; work, gym, groceries, hit a bar at the weekend etc. The hardest part of my day was deciding what I wanted for dinner. Every day of the last eight months has been a Saturday. I’ve had some incredible adventures and treasure them because I may never get to do this again. I see this break as being all about me. It’s my chance to be selfish and do exactly what I want to do when I want to do it. No pressures or expectations. It’s liberating.

4.  What was the most important thing you wanted to get out of your career break? And, are you achieving that goal?

Exactly that, a break! I’ve had some nice holidays and even spent one summer living in Holland but it’s not a proper break. I’m spending a year completely recharging my batteries and focusing entirely on me. I always knew that I would come back with a new perspective and I am considering a change of career direction upon my return.

travel advice, career break advice, travel the world, career break travel

Amar overlooking the ocean at Indian Head, Fraser Island, Australia. Copyright GapYearEscape.com

5.  What was the biggest fear or concern you had in planning the trip? Knowing what you know now, was it a valid concern?

I think I was brought up thinking that life consisted of a mortgage, marriage and money. A lot of my close friends have it really ‘together’ in the conventional sense in terms of relationships and careers. Sometimes it nagged at me that I was somehow wasting a year. This is a notion that I quickly squashed. If anything this break has been invaluable and I honestly believe I am actually better off for it.

6.  What was your first ¨We´re not in Kansas (London) anymore¨ moment?

Pretty much from the word go! I got a taxi from the airport in Bangkok and headed to the Khao San Road where you are assaulted by touts and billboards advertising ping pong shows and fish massages. Shock to the system but it’s the way I like it.

7.  What´s been your most ¨local¨ experience so far?

When I was in Thailand I went jungle trekking and spent some time in a remote Lahu Village. It’s incredible how these people live so high up and far removed from civilization. No electricity, rain water and bamboo huts. It was certainly an experience.

8.  What has been your most embarrassing moment?

Ha, nothing I should publically admit to! Anonymity in foreign countries can make you do things you normally wouldn’t! I do however have a slight tendency to head butt things. Being 6’2” in Asia isn’t the best as doorways, shop awnings and signs tend to be quite low.

travel advice, career break advice, travel the world, career break travel

Amar relaxing at the Botanical Gardens in Sydney, Australia. Copyright GapYearEscape.com

9.  So, in April you had a pretty nasty accident surfing (read about it here). First of all, how are you? And second, has this caused you to change how you approach your trip, and more broadly, life?

I’m actually doing rather well thank you. I made a rather speedy recovery, far quicker than anyone expected. I’m back on my feet again and have most of my mobility back. Medically speaking I have been given the go-ahead to continue travelling. My perception hasn’t changed if anything it’s stronger than before. Pick any ‘live life to the fullest’ cliché you want but that’s the way I like to live. I don’t regret the things I’ve done and I certainly don’t regret getting on the surf board one last time. It’s the things you don’t do that you regret.

10. Looking back, is there anything you could have done different to be better prepared for such an accident?

Actually there isn’t! I paid the extra to be fully covered for every eventuality. I mean everything. I’m pretty sure that if sneezed too hard I would be covered. If you’re spending thousands on a trip what’s a little bit extra for a solid insurance plan. When I had the accident they were considering calling a helicopter. That’s $10,000! If they did I wouldn’t have to worry because I was covered. Trust me you don’t want to be worried about money when you might not be able to walk again.

11. What´s your secret for getting the most out of your journey?

In some way or another everyone travels for escapism. This doesn’t just ring true for location but escape from themselves. You don’t have to be Larry from accounting. You can be that guy who jumped off a waterfall or the girl who won the bikini model competition. Just do everything, anything. When someone asked if anyone wanted an 11,000 volt cattle prod in the rear end, guess who was first to volunteer. That’s right, me.

travel advice, career break advice, travel the world, career break travel

Amar in Koh Phi Phi, Thailand. Copyright GapYearEscape.com

12.  Finally, our lightening round.

a. Best dish you´ve found so far – Pad Thai

b. Most exotic food eaten – Coconut Cakes

c. Most breathtaking moment – Sunset over Koh Phi Phi, Thailand

d. Biggest disappointment – Chocolate in Australia. Tastes weird.

e. Most memorable place – Lake McKenzie, Fraser Island

f. Most memorable person(s) – The crazy Canadians!

g. Best thing to have on a long bus ride – Ipod!

h. Worst thing to have on a long bus ride – Driver pulls over to sleep with a prostitute.

i. Best thing you packed – My netbook.

j. Dumbest thing you packed – A hat. I look silly in them.

k. Funniest travel habit you have – I carry round a small frying pan.

l. Place you wish you could´ve stayed longer – Bali

travel advice, career break advice, travel the world, career break travel

Amar letting go on Whitehaven Beach, Australia. Copyright GapYearEscape.com

You can follow Amar online at GapYearEscape.com, and on Twitter @GapYearEscape

Every week, Career Break Secrets profiles a different traveler or traveling couple who are embracing the ¨Because Life Is Out There TM¨ travel spirit.  These are people who have taken the plunge to embark on a career break and are currently traveling the world.

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3 Responses to “Who’s Out There Now? Amar”

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jeff Jung. Jeff Jung said: Who´s Out There Now? Read about Amar from @GapYearEscape http://budurl.com/frwx #careerbreak #travel #rtw #rtwnow… http://bit.ly/9ncXNZ [...]

  2. Amar says:

    Post looks great. Cheers Jeff!

  3. jeff says:

    Thanks again for the interview Amar. Have a great time in New Zealand.

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