I’m now six weeks into my sabbatical. The first month I was on sabbatical I spent 100% of the time on vacation. (Well, vacation aside from the point when I hit rock bottom.) We traveled to Italy for a month as a family as part of my plan to take a sabbatical abroad. We traveled slowly, staying in just 4 places, and doing day trips while enjoying the slower pace of Italian and vacation life.
Sabbatical In Italy Highlights
Favorites included the beautiful town of Lucca, and shopping in the many food markets, enjoying the mini beaches on the Cinque Terre, the main beaches and their mini beach clubs in several cities. (If you’re ever on the Amalfi Coast make sure you visit Mary’s Beach in Nerano and enjoy a meal of Spaghetti Alla Nerano plus dessert). In Viareggio hit up Bagno Maurizo as a great family-friendly beach club and restaurant). Pompeii was also a hit.
Post Italy Reality
Now we’ve been back about two weeks. The first week I spent settling back into my new non-work life was a little rough. There was a lot of “administrative stuff” to do around the house post trip. One goal for my sabbatical is to purge our house of much extra stuff. Turns out cleaning thoroughly is more time consuming than I expected.
The second week post vacation I’ve gotten back into an exercise routine – which for me is a key habit to feeling healthy, happy and productive.
Even though it seems clear that my worst fears about quitting my job (yet again!) during a recession are proving true, I only have one regret about leaving. And it’s 100% materialistic – I regret not having the funds to continue to invest during the down market. One of the greatest aspects to having a corporate job was that it afforded me enough income to have money left over to invest. And I enjoyed seeing the continued investments hit my accounts month after month. During this downturn (or is it a recession?) I do wish that right now I had extra capital to be investing for the long run.
Instead, we are starting to spend down the money saved for my sabbatical. I’m trying to stay focused on the rest and recovery I’ve planned and saved for.
My Sabbatical Goal and Current State
The mail goal of my sabbatical is to get to the point where I’m so fully recovered that I’m actually bored. Right now it feels like it will be years before I am bored again. Each day I wake up with many things I want to do – from writing to reading, to playing tennis to learning a new language. (In addition to the daily items of picking up the house, working out, cooking delicious food and the like).
It has been incredibly freeing to not be tied down to a corporate career. The amount of additional capacity I have – not just from the hours I used to work, but more notably – in the non-work hours I used to spend working, or usually thinking about and fretting about work. My job had an incredible amount of emotional labor that was required. And now I’m free from that.
My recovery from corporate life has gone quicker than I would have thought. It makes me wonder: if I had had real vacations – where I didn’t have to work or check my email – during my 6+ years at my job – if I would have needed a sabbatical as much as I did and do.