|Three Month Visa is a professional Life and Career Coaching practice with a passion for the Life Sabbatical / Long-term Travel niche. I love working with people who dream of living, working or volunteering abroad and my mission is to empower my clients to change their lives (and ultimately the world at large,) through meaningful international travel.
Tara Russell is a professional Life Coach based out of San Francisco. A graduate of the prestigious Coaches Training Institute and a National Finalist for the 2007 eWomen Network Emerging Leader of the Year Award, she coaches clients from around the world and will be traveling to Asia in June of 2007 to lead personal empowerment workshops for teenagers in Seoul, South Korea.
What does the typical coaching session consist of? What goes in to getting someone mentally and physically prepared to commit and take that much needed break?
One of the things that I absolutely love about coaching is that no session is â€œtypicalâ€. Each time I coach, I get to work with exactly what my clients bring to the table and that keeps my job fresh, engaging and interesting. That being said, my methodology can be summed up through my motto: â€œGet Inspired, Get Focused, Get Going!â€
When I start working with clients, the very first step is to get them inspired about what they want to do with their travel sabbatical. This involves getting clear on what they need from their â€œtime offâ€ even before looking at where to get it. For some people, they want adventure â€“ river rafting and sky diving, for example. For others, ten weeks spent in a hammock with nothing but a pile of books to occupy their time fits the bill.
After helping my clients get clarity on what they want during their time off, we move on to â€œGet Focusedâ€â€¦this involves figuring out what their ideal itinerary might look like and then taking care of all the logistics that go into making a travel sabbatical possible; visas, immunizations, plane tickets, financial planning, etc. For many clients the long â€œto-doâ€ list can be overwhelming and reason enough to quit planning, so coaching helps keep them on track, taking it one step at a time until everything is taken care of and they are ready to get on the plane.
â€œGet Goingâ€ is about finally being able to hit the road and realize the trip of a lifetime. I coach my clients to truly own the experience they have earned for themselves and to acknowledge what an immense accomplishment they have achieved.
Have you found that the majority of people you have coached have returned from their sabbaticals to go on to accomplish what it is they want out of life?
Absolutelyâ€¦and more. Travel provides us with time and space to examine who we are and what we truly want out of life. It expands our horizons, pushes us to challenge ourselves and feeds an appreciation of our own unique strengths and abilities. Taking time off can be an immensely empowering experience and my clients return home rested; filled with fresh perspectives and a renewed sense of drive and purpose. Travel strips away the artifice of our daily habits and routine and gives us a clear picture of how truly capable we areâ€¦that type of self-realization lasts a lifetime.
Travel writer Pico Iyer once said, â€œTo travel is to believe anew in many of the deeper qualities that get mislaid on the office desk.â€ However, our office desks are no longer stationary items that we can leave behind after 5pm. With the introduction of cell phones and PDAs, many of us are forever wired and always accessible from the moment we wake up in the morning to the time we go to bed at night. In an age when we are hearing more and more about work / life balance, it seems increasingly difficult to truly â€œunplug.â€ Perhaps now more so than ever, travel is essential to maintaining our balance and perspective in life.
What have been some of the challenges you have faced in launching Three Month Visa? What has been the most rewarding aspect of launching it?
One of the greatest challenges I have faced in launching Three Month Visa has been the fact that I am the only Life Coach currently working in my niche. As a result, people donâ€™t necessarily know to look for me the way they might know to look for an executive coach or a personal coach. Many of those people out there sitting in their cubicles wishing they were living their travel dreams in Brazil, Tibet, Fiji or Italy donâ€™t realize that there is now a coach who can help them make it happen! On the other hand, it has been amazing to spearhead a new niche in the coaching industry and I love the visionary aspect of bringing â€œTravel Coachingâ€ to the world.
One other challenge I have faced is making sure not to â€œover-nicheâ€ myself, as I love traditional Life Coaching, too. I remain very open to working with clients who are not necessarily interested in long-term travel or living abroad but who do want to work with a dynamic, effective coach who will empower them to meet ambitious goals for personal and professional growth.
By far, the most rewarding aspect of starting my coaching practice has been the privilege of working with so many amazing clients who have each inspired me with their unique dreams, vision and drive.
BONUS: What has been the most interesting story you have heard for someone wanting to start a sabbatical, long-term travel or volunteer experience?
One of my favorite stories is of working with a client who wanted very much to take time off from her career to travel and volunteer abroad. However, despite being gainfully employed, she was convinced that she could never afford to save for the trip she dreamed of. After coaching her to track her daily spending closely for two weeks, we discovered several areas where she was spending money without even realizing itâ€¦small amounts that added up very quickly. After doing the math, I was able to show her that her daily latte and scone alone had her spending over $1,200 per year on fancy coffee. (The cost of a round-the-world plane ticket!) By making small changes, savings became effortless. Taking time off to travel is all about setting priorities and being honest with yourselfâ€¦do you want to have a lifestyle or do you want to have a life? Itâ€™s about realizing that when youâ€™re halfway around the world watching the sunset over the beaches of Rio de Janiero, you wonâ€™t miss that grande extra-hot half-caff soy latte one bit.
Copyright Â© 2007 by Will Kern