Second Career: From Management Consultant to Travel Writer

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career changeThe travel bug bit Craig Zabransky early in life, and bit deep. In fact, his interest in travel has influenced every career move he's ever made. He accepted his first job because it included two weeks of training in London. Later, he became a global management consultant because it allowed him to live and work across Asia, Europe, Latin America and the US.

While on a year-long sabbatical from his job-a year spent traveling, naturally-Zabransky realized his interest in consulting had run its course. He was ready for a career that offered more creativity, freedom and flexibility. "While in Costa Rica, watching a majestic sunset with a pen in my hand and my journal open, I thought, why not travel writing," says Zabransky.

Zabransky's friends and family had mixed reactions to his decision to try his hand at travel writing, and with good reason. "With a college degree in finance and Cs in my English courses, I was not a writer," says Zabransky. "But I was a storyteller."

He signed up for a ten-week travel writing class at Gotham Workshop in New York City. "The class provided a great foundation and I gained contacts I still talk with," he says. Zabransky also enrolled in a Vocation Vacation, which connected him with a veteran travel writer who mentored him on the ins and outs of making a living and getting invited along press trips.

This is how he got his start, but he says that he honed his writing skills the only you can–by writing a lot and mostly for himself at first. He wrote every day on every trip he took. To date, he has 15 journals of his adventures. But he's also published dozens of articles and authored countless blog posts.

Over time, his confidence in his writing grew. "I learned the biggest obstacle to my challenges was myself. I thought my writing was not good enough, I'd never make a living at it, or there was just too much competition in the field to enter it. And to be honest, there are still days I have such thoughts," he says. "But I learned and believe there is an infinite wisdom inside each of us that guides us. And when I listen, I find the most success."

For someone who likes to accumulate stamps in his passport, Zabransky's transition is paying off. During the first six months of 2010 he will travel to Baja, Mexico; Savannah, Georgia; South Carolina; the Florida Keys; London; Amsterdam and four countries in southern Africa. You can follow his travels on his StayAdventurous Blog and on Twitter.

Zabransky offers this insight to others who want to turn a personal passion into a career: "Once you pursue your career dream or passion, you can never imagine your life without it. Imagine a place where the grass is always greener on your side of the fence. You don't ever want to go back."

The best part of the transition might be that he's been able to trade his stodgy consultant's business card for one of his own design. It reads, "Writing tales of travel and adventure to inspire others to take and make adventure in their life."

That adventure could be your next vacation-or your next career.

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