LY Podcast Episode 12: Tamara Murray – Taking a Leap Year



Tamara Murray from and is featured in this episode where she shares her experience leaving a high-paying corporate job to take a “leap year” – a year off to travel around Latin America while finding alternative work resources and learning about different cultures and environments. She shares her “aha moment” of deciding to take a year off with her husband (and their dog!) which involves retirement planning, of all things.

Tamara talks about her adventure – from learning how to transition from a corporate work mentality, to trying new ways to earn income – including what has worked, and what is still a work in progress.

Episode artwork taken by Tamara from



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  • What inspired taking a leap year to travel and work different
  • How they prepared, financially and mentally for the travel year
  • What it is like living in a different country and moving several times
  • How to find a place to live while on this adventure
  • Creating alternative work solutions while “on the road”
  • What has been working work-wise, what hasn’t worked out as hoped
  • Creating an online course – lessons learned (platform – SkillShare)
  • Fear around transitioning back into a “traditional” workforce post-travel


  • Online:
  • Travel Blog:
  • Travel inspiration and links to blogs of other full-time travelers
  • More information about how to budget for this type of adventure
  • Tamara’s book with practical advice for new managers titled Awesome Supervisory Skills
  • The Ted Talk that inspired it all: Stefan Sagmeister: The power of time off
  • Favorite Quote About Why You Should Get Started

    It’s often attributed to Goethe, but is actually by W. H. Murray:

    Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, the providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. I learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets:

    Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it.
    Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!’





tamara murrayTamara Murray is a mentor, strategic communicator and full-time traveler. She spent the past decade helping social-change nonprofits and other do-gooders with their communications, eventually becoming a vice president at one of the nation’s top public-interest communications firms before the age of 30. It was her dream career — until 9-to-5 blues, a TED talk, and a conversation with her financial planner set her on an unexpected course.

In October 2013, Tamara and her husband set out from their home in San Francisco with just two backpacks and their 15-year-old dog. Their destination: Latin America. On their sabbatical, which they’ve dubbed their “leap year,” Tamara is soaking up Latin American culture, meeting interesting people, and taking her Spanish to the next level. She’s also experimenting with new projects in an effort to re-imagine what her work and life could look like. Currently in Argentina, she’s written her first book — called Awesome Supervisory Skills: Seven Lessons for Young, First-Time Managers is teaching classes online, and is researching her next project.

ly-podcast-smallENJOY THE PODCAST?


Tamara Murray - March 20, 2014

Thanks again for having me on the show! If anyone has any specific questions about the logistics of taking a leap year sabbatical, don’t hesitate to let me know and I’m happy to share advice. Either way, I hope folks feel inspired to take whatever leap they’ve been thinking about…

eemusings (NZMuse) - March 24, 2014

Love it! I took six months off last year to travel and it’s the best thing I’ve ever done. No regrets.

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