I’ve been sitting on this news for so long but I can finally speak on it – I’m taking a sabbatical from work!
It’s something I’ve been contemplating for a while and I’m excited to be taking the plunge and taking some much needed time out.

Where am I going?

It was one of the first questions I got when I started telling people. I’ve decided to spend time in the US and Canada, and while it seems like I’m always there, it’s usually only for a week or so at a time, which means when I start to relax and enjoy myself, it’s time to come back home.

I could see people’s puzzled expressions on their faces when I told them too. Most opt to go traveling around Asia but that’s exactly why I didn’t want to go there. I feel like I’ve made the journey with them and right now that part of the world isn’t beckoning me.

I wanted a nice balance between doing my own thing but taking time to be around friends and family, so the US made total sense.

As tempting as it is to nestle and stay stagnant in NYC, that isn’t the plan. The US is vast and with Canada to the north and the Caribbean to the south, I’m kind of spoilt for choices for three months.

Why am I going?

I hosted a Twitter chat recently on the subject of breaks and sabbaticals and a lot of the thoughts around taking time out from your career really resonated with me.

Since leaving university I’ve been working job to job, without really having any kind of leisure time to switch off and spend time doing the things I want to do.

It’s definitely important to grab that opportunity and disrupt your normal now and again. I almost want to go out of my comfort zone I also have the chance and time to reconnect with my writing and meet other bloggers and initiative-starters, which is super exciting. It makes even more sense to go at this given time especially as I don’t have major commitments like children or a mortgage.

Why you should consider a sabbatical

There are a number of benefits to taking a sabbatical. It’s a great way to rejuvenate your career and allows you to gain a bit of perspective and purpose for when you return home. This is something I’ve been lacking and I know being in a completely different environment will go some way in helping to restore that part of me.

On the other hand, people who want to up-skill may use this time to study or go on courses that will allow them to retrain. Others prefer to do some voluntary work while they have the free time. For me, travel has been on the cards but the decision wasn’t just made on a whim; I’ve made sure financially it’s a feasible plan and kept an open line of communication with my employers at all times.

Stepping away from your everyday routine can have tremendous effects on your overall well-being. As we move forward and more organizations become open and understanding of mental health and well-being, I’m hoping career breaks and sabbaticals will also follow as an option to help people.

If you do get the chance to take a few months off, make the most of it. Set an objective but don’t plan excessively – that’s the motto I’m going with… I’ll let you all know how that goes!

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