We're thrilled to have George Gensler on board as our new American MD. We sat down with her and asked her a few questions so you could get to know her as well.
Welcome to The Career Break Site, George!
Thank you! I am so excited to be working with you and The Career Break Site! I love travel and think everyone should travel as much as possible. And now, I get to help them find their paths.
Tell us a bit about yourself
For years, I worked in educational publishing as a copyright specialist. I enjoyed the work, but it was mainly a job that paid for my travel. I live in New York City now, but I have lived in five countries on three continents.
Now, I'm freelancing and traveling, which means I can take longer and longer trips without worrying about work, because I can work wherever I am.
You've traveled all over the world, haven't you?
I have! It all started with my parents. My father was in the Navy, so we traveled wherever Uncle Sam sent us and, wherever we were, we traveled as much as possible, too. By the time I was 20, I had been to 20 countries.
I've (been) driven across the US from coast to coast and from Texas to the East Coast. I've taken trains across Europe, (been) driven across Europe, and flown all kinds of planes to get around.
Once I was responsible for my own travel, things slowed down a bit, but then I started running. My first destination marathon was at the Arctic Circle. I've also run the Antarctica Marathon and a 27 km race in Japan. I have more running-while-traveling goals, but I need to get back into running first.
Where are some of your favourite places?
It is almost always the case that my favorite place is the place I am at the moment. I love everywhere! There have really been very few, if any, places that I don't want to return to, that I don't imagine moving to and making a life there, and that I'm sad to leave. Though I am always happy to return to New York City.
My favorite non-USA place that I've lived is Germany, though that might be because that was the last overseas posting we had. I loved living in Spain, Greece, and Japan, too. The only country I've returned to, though, is Japan, so that might be telling me something (though it is the only one of those countries with a Disney theme park!).
I have a goal of visiting at least one new place every year. The ultimate goal is a new country, but I'll settle for a new region or city, if I can't add a country. This year, I was able to add Denmark and Singapore. I loved both and can't wait to return to both.
We've heard that you are involved in chocolate as well. Tell us about that.
I'm a founding member of the Manhattan Chocolate Society. We are a small group of six chocolate tasters and we invite guests now and then. We focus on plain, dark chocolate, but will include milk and/or white, if it fits our focus for the tasting. We've even started making chocolate ourselves, to learn more about the process.
I'm also on the Permanent Grand Jury of the International Chocolate Awards, which takes me around the world, tasting chocolates and helping decide who has made the best chocolates each year.
What are you looking forward to about working for The Career Break Site?
We have some exciting plans for the new year! Our 20/20 Travel Project launches in January [more on that below].
I am getting to know some of you through social media (I posted during my recent trips to Singapore and Hong Kong) and look forward to chatting with more of you soon.
I'm especially looking forward to working with Americans to promote career breaks and gap years and sabbaticals here. Self-care is extremely important, especially in a country with no general vacation standards, and I want more Americans to experience the joys of traveling for yourself and learning more about people and places around the world.
We know you've got some plans for the company - can you tell us about some of them?
My first project is getting The 20/20 Travel Project launched. We are very excited to get to know you all more and to help guide travelers in new ways of experiencing travel, whether it's across your own home town or across the world.
I'm beginning a client newsletter, which will offer industry insights, social media opportunities, and more, so we can engage with our partners and clients better.
The Career Break Site book will be published soon, too. I've got a bit more editing and writing to do, so our plan is to publish by June. If you want to help us by doing a chapter review, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
One of my blue-sky projects, once I've got my feet wet and have settled in, is to start engaging with American companies to guide them on their path to offering sabbaticals and career breaks to their employees, which will ultimately benefit both the company and the employee.
Anything else you'd like to add?
I think I'm most looking forward to getting to know our readers. We all love to travel and have so much to share with each other. If you're not connected with us on social media, you can find us on Twitter and Facebook. We share tips and news and love to see where you've been and what you've been doing.
Let us know how we're doing, too! We want The Career Break Site to be as helpful for you as possible.
Thanks George! Welcome aboard - we're so excited to have you working with us!