4 Questions to Help You Plan Your Sabbatical

4 Questions to Help You Plan Your Sabbatical

Sabbatical Sundays
Some people plan a sabbatical because they have a particular thing in mind they want to spend their time on.  Maybe it’s a round-the-world trip, a massive art project, writing project, house project, or something entirely different.  Others (like me) plan a sabbatical because all they know is that they need a break to avoid burnout. If you fall in the latter group, as your time gets closer to actually telling people and then going on sabbatical, you start to wonder, what exactly are you going to do with your time off? Questions to Ask When Planning a Sabbatical Here are some questions to ask yourself as you start figuring out what your sabbatical will look like. 1. How do you spend your time on vacation?  Vacation isn’t the same…
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Is a Sabbatical Like a Long Vacation?

Is a Sabbatical Like a Long Vacation?

Sabbatical Sundays
I’m currently working remotely and also taking some much needed vacation time. It’s wonderfully relaxing. I get to sleep in, go for runs once the sun is up, cook more meals, spend more time with my kids, feel less rushed, and still feel productive.  And I find myself wondering: Is this what my sabbatical will feel like?  And the short answer is: I hope so. Some people imagine a sabbatical to be like a really long vacation. For anyone who has been on a long vacation before, you know that towards the end of it (even the middle of it), you are ready to go home. There is only so much completely unstructured down time you can have.  On the extended vacations I have previously had, I started having weird dreams or getting…
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I Quit My Job During the Last Recession & I’m Terrified I’ll do It Again

I Quit My Job During the Last Recession & I’m Terrified I’ll do It Again

Sabbatical Sundays
On Monday, September 1, 2008, I gave notice to my employer. I quit my job to travel the world.  Three weeks later, I dropped off a carload full of stuff for storage at my parent's house and boarded a plane to Buenos Aires. I had saved enough to spend a year traveling the world. My plan was to return at the end of it and easily find a new job.  I was happily devouring famous Argentinian steak, drinking Malbec, and taking walks along the Rio de La Plata when the stock market crashed on September 29, 2008. This was the first market crash that began the Great Recession. While it seems like many years ago, those who were scarred by it remember the (seemingly) endless market lows, coupled with an…
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How Taking a Sabbatical is like The Greatest Showman: It Means Taking a Leap

How Taking a Sabbatical is like The Greatest Showman: It Means Taking a Leap

Sabbatical Sundays
So trade that typical for something colorfulAnd if it's crazy, live a little crazyYou can play it sensible, a king of conventionalOr you can risk it all and seeDon't you wanna get away from the same old part you gotta play'Cause I got what you need, so come with me and take the ride If you’ve never watched The Greatest Showman, take 5 minutes and watch this scene now. The background is this: Zach Effron’s character comes from wealth and lives a very upper-class, posh life. Hugh Jackman’s character comes from nothing, was orphaned at a young age, and is trying to start the circus.The show is loosely based on the life of PT Barnum. In this scene, Hugh Jackman’s character is trying to convince Zach Effron’s character to give up…
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How I’m Saving $100,000 to Take a Sabbatical

How I’m Saving $100,000 to Take a Sabbatical

Sabbatical Sundays
As I’ve been writing about my journey to save enough money to take a sabbatical, you are probably wondering, "how is Sam going to save $100,000 to be able to take a year off of work?" Honestly, that’s a question I am asking myself as well. But, I have a plan. First, let’s start high-level. In order to save $100,000 in a year, here is how I could break the savings down: $274/day$8,333/month$25,000/quarter$33,333 three times$50,000 two times$100,000 once Doing any of these things would allow me to save $100,000 in one year. Note that these don't take into account any interest calculations. This means either earning this much more per day, week, month, quarter, year or cutting expenses by that amount. Or somewhere in between.  You’ve probably seen many writers…
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I Set a Date! (for my Sabbatical)

I Set a Date! (for my Sabbatical)

Sabbatical Sundays
This week, I set a date.  That’s right. I set a date for when I will officially be starting my sabbatical. I’m not ready to share what my date is just yet, but suffice to say, a year from now, I will be taking a sabbatical from my job. While I’ve now been planning for a sabbatical for some time, I hadn’t yet finalized some of the details - like setting a date. So, what led me to set a date with such conviction this week?  Picture this: working all weekend and too many nights this week. Feeling beyond burned out and underappreciated.  I had set up some time about a week ago with my HR partner to talk through something I wanted to discuss with my boss. Instead of…
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8 Signs of Burnout and How to Recover with a Sabbatical

8 Signs of Burnout and How to Recover with a Sabbatical

Sabbatical Sundays
“I’m so tired, but I can’t sleep, [standing on the edge of something much too deep.]” The Sarah MacLaughlin song, “I Will Remember You,” always pops into my head when I think about burnout. Burnout and avoiding burnout is one of the most common reasons women consider a sabbatical. The struggle to avoid burnout is particularly real right now. COVID’s unique challenges are making work-life balance so much more difficult. Trying to avoid burnout is one of the biggest reasons I am planning for my own sabbatical next year.  Eight Signs of Burnout Here are the biggest warning signs that you are already burned out or are on the path to burning out.  1. Being Tired but Not Sleeping  Whether you lay awake at bedtime and can’t fall asleep or you…
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Does Money Motivate You?

Does Money Motivate You?

Sabbatical Sundays
I previously wrote about the importance of finding your “why” when it comes to taking a sabbatical.  Whenever you are doing something big and sort of scary, you need to know why you’re doing it. You also need to have motivation. Motivation is what will drive you to continue, even when it’s hard. Recently, I read Drive by Daniel Pink. One of the most interesting questions he tackles in his book is: does money motivate people? More specifically, he examines the research about whether money motivates people and if this ultimately leads to happiness.  According to Pink’s research, reaching a certain dollar value in savings shouldn’t increase my happiness at all. In fact, having a goal of saving a certain amount of money is not a “good” goal in that it won’t…
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Finding Your Why for Taking a Sabbatical

Finding Your Why for Taking a Sabbatical

Sabbatical Sundays
One thing I’ve learned in my sabbatical journey is that it is going to take a lot of extra work. Over the next year, I’m going to have to work extra hard, save more money, and skimp on purchases I might otherwise enjoy.  This won't be easy.  Whenever we are doing something hard, we need a really good reason - a purpose - to keep us going.  Some might say that this is your “why." What’s Your Why? Discovering your “why” may be the most important question you ask yourself. If you want to succeed, it may be the most critical question you answer. If you want to reach your goal — a sabbatical, a year off, a trip around the world, or just a break — you must know…
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My First Sabbatical

My First Sabbatical

Sabbatical Sundays
About 15 years ago, I took my first sabbatical from work.  I quit my job with plans to spend a year traveling around the world.  That was the goal. I wanted to experience the world while I was still young, without kids, a mortgage, or a real career. And I did it. Though, it ended up being about a six-month trip because, the truth is, it got sort of boring. That’s right, traveling the world got boring. Not because there wasn’t enough to do or see.  But there wasn’t enough challenge. What I remember most about the end of my trip is feeling like I had too much time to think.  I started having bizarre dreams about people from my childhood. It was all enjoyable, but it felt like a…
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