I attended this seminar - Meet Plan Go! in Chicago a few weeks ago and it was awesome! I wish I attended one of these things before I went on my trip! They have these seminars all around the country and if you can, I highly suggest you attend them - it is free and they give you goodies!
They also had free food and lots of giveaways and prizes. Oh yeah they also have great information about traveling. The presenter was Lisa Lubin (llworldtour.com) and they had a panel of speakers and all have traveled extensively. What's surprising was there was only 1 guy in the panel out of 4 (5 if you include Lisa) - all were women. There was a couple and as far as I know, the 3 women were single when they took their trips! Its surprising because apparently, these women have more balls than most men apparently. They all left their jobs, sold their house and went on their trips! I mean where are the men who do this? I am not sexist - ok, maybe just a little bit but its surprising because you see on the news everyday how dangerous some of the places they went to can be. These gals went there, had a great time, learned a few things and came back to tell their stories unharmed! It actually inspired me to go to these places I was afraid to go to. Where are these places? well there's too many countries to mention but most of them were in South America which now is where I am planning to go on my next trip! Thanks to them!
Meanwhile, back at the seminar..... It was somewhat structured but totally informal. You can ask the speakers at any given time. If you are thinking about a career break, this would be a great resource for you. From quiting your job, cheap lodging, insurance, cheap flights, gear, selling your house/car/soul/etc... finding work while traveling (teaching english who speak better english than you speak their language), to finding work again when you come back - that is if you ever decide to come back. like these couple! www.onourownpath.com They are still out there and if they can do it, I should be able to figure this out! This is exciting!