My First Sabbatical


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 really long, wonderful vacation. I was ready for a change.

During that first sabbatical, I experienced many new places, new faces, new foods, new languages.

I learned a lot about the world. And about myself.

I did some freelance writing, and we stayed in most cities for a week or two. Long enough to feel like there was a home base and really get to know the city.  

But in the end, six months was enough. I had the break I needed to start a new life.  

After traveling, I moved to a new city, bought a house, completed grad school, had kids, and climbed the corporate ladder on a solid career path.

You can accomplish a lot in 15 years.

Have you ever asked yourself: What will my life look like in 15 years from now?  

Do I want to climb to the top of the ladder I’m on? Or am I ready for a new ladder? A different path?

If the answer is you don’t want to reach the top of your current ladder, but you don’t know where to pivot to, sometimes that calls for a disruption, a break. 

That is why I am planning for my next sabbatical. I need a break to think. I am ready to run out of things to think about.

I am working towards a sabbatical in order to create space for the new me. 

This post is part of our Sabbatical Sundays series. To read more, click here.