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Real Career Break Travel Stories: Kimberley

Written By: jeff

Posted On: November 6th, 2010

Kimberley, “The Rebalancing Breaker”, New Zealand

For years, Kimberley had always maintained a healthy work-life balance.  In her professional life, Kimberley is a Chartered Accountant in New Zealand and had served as a Finance Manager for a variety of organizations.  She also had been a successful hotel entrepreneur. In her personal life she traveled, played tennis, netball and volleyball.  But, by her late 30s, her life fell out of balance.

After an accounting contracting job ended, she decided that she needed a break to reflect on her past and think about her way forward.  In 2006, she hit the road for 7.5 months on a round the world ticket taking her through Hong Kong, Europe, Turkey, the Caribbean, the US and South America.  In 2007 after finishing up a short-term contracting assignment, she went back to South America for 4 months to learn a bit of Spanish and see some more.

Her experience strengthened her confidence in herself and it enabled her to figure out how to launch into her 40s knowing what she wanted in her next stage of life, both personally and professionally.  In addition, she credits her newfound confidence from her career break with positively impacting her job performance.  “I had to learn how to navigate in countries where English was not the primary language. It was exhausting, it was really frustrating not being able to communicate, but in the end, I did it.  I now prefer to select contracts which tend to involve project management. As a result of my experiences, my ability to work through business problems creatively has increased immensely.”

Her advice to people thinking about a career break? “Definitely go for it. Life is too short.  I think having a back-up plan in place in case something goes wrong so you can recover.  Having that in place will allow you to really be spontaneous and be flexible as opportunities come up along the way that you hadn’t planned for.”

Kimberley returned successfully to contracting work in Wellington where she currently lives.

Here are a few pictures from Kimberley’s career break travel adventures.

career break travel adventures in Bolivia

Kimberley in Bolivia near Uyuni. Copyright Kimberley Gates.

career break travel adventures in Peru

Kimberley at Machu Picchu in Peru. Copyright Kimberley Gates.

career break travel adventures in Hong Kong

Kimberley in Hong Kong. Copyright Kimberley Gates.

career break travel adventures in Peru

Kimberley sandboarding in Peru. Copyright Kimberley Gates.

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