Author Topic: A Mustachian Sabbatical?  (Read 5218 times)

Mr. Tiny Stache

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A Mustachian Sabbatical?
« on: September 18, 2012, 10:38:04 AM »
Hello Mustachians!

My work has a supremely awesome benefit in that after a length of employment I receive one month of paid leave (on top of my annual vacation allowance). It is discouraged to tack too much annual vacation on to this paid leave so I am probably looking at 5 weeks of vacation. That is a bigger block of time outside a workplace than I have had in, well, seemingly forever. My wife and I are still a solid 12 to 15 years from early retirement (although working to reduce that time horizon). There is one constraint of note in my sabbatical planning. It must occur between July 1 and September 30 of 2013 (in order to accommodate my wife's academic calendar). Also important to note is that I live in the Pacific Northwest which has glorious weather between July 1 and September 30.

I have known about this benefit since well before I started down the mustachian path. I originally intended to do some gratuitous consumer adventure. Now I cannot imagine doing so. I am, whether through lack of experience or imagination, having some trouble coming up with an appropriate mustachian adventure.

What is you idea of the ultimate mustachian sabbatical (for the pre-fi mustachian)?

jrhampt

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Re: A Mustachian Sabbatical?
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2012, 11:04:56 AM »
Hmmm...If I were in the Pacific NW and hadn't been to Banff, I might do that.  Maybe road trip up to Alaska?  Is that feasible or too far?

kaeldra

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Re: A Mustachian Sabbatical?
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2012, 11:07:38 AM »
I think we need to know a little about your interests and skills to appropriately recommend an adventure.

For example, I'm assuming you like the outdoors since you live in the PNW (I'm in the Seattle area). You could hike the Wonderland Trail around Mt. Rainier for a week-long adventure, or hike the PCT through your state for a longer backpack - or you could sail or paddle through the San Juans in Washington. Or if you wanted something outdoors-y but not so strenuous, you could do a seasonal park ranger or camp host gig (maybe even earn some $). Or you could make a quest to visit every state park.

tooqk4u22

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Re: A Mustachian Sabbatical?
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2012, 12:56:01 PM »
Five weeks is awesome - you have a lot of time to plan for it.  For me I would plan for the first for weeks to be traveling up and down the coast (maybe Sequoia, Central CA coast (Hearst Castle, Central CA Wineries) on the south end up to Alaska on the North End - plenty of camping options all along the coast.

On the other hand going to Australia, China or Europe could be really cool.  Man I want five weeks straight - there is so much more you can do with five weeks vs. a week at a time.

As for money, don't blow the budget or FIRE goals staying in some five star hotels but IMO don't worry too much about how much you spend (within reason of course).  If you delay FIRE by a few months in the future for a great lengthy experience today - to me it would be worth it.  And in all reality it may actually reinforce your FIRE goals causing you to step it up and get there even quicker.

Also because you have a year to plan you can challenge yourself - maybe cut an extra $100 for groceries out each month (wham $1200 toward the trip, no change to fire) or some other thing.

Mr. Tiny Stache

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Re: A Mustachian Sabbatical?
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2012, 04:02:02 PM »
kaeldra,

Your assumption that I like the outdoors would be correct. I didn't want to give people too much detail about myself though as I'm not really looking for a trip planner. I was hoping to see new possibilities for the sabbatical through the lens of other mustachians sabbatical dreams. That said your suggestion of a sailing / kayaking adventure is one that excites me. My only concern there is I have none of the experience nor the presumably expensive equipment to undertake such an adventure. I did look into the National Outdoor Leadership School's month long PNW sailing and kayaking course but at $11k+ for my wife and I we have to figure out where that fits in the mustachian spectrum. I'm not even sure what an appropriate budget for 5 weeks looks like (having taken either no vacations or fancy pants vacations during my adult life).

jrhampt,

An Alaskan road trip could be awesome. As I understand it that road has not yet been fully tamed.

tooqk4u22,

I think the balancing perceived fun consumption with FIRE goals is the hardest part of planning this trip. I like your idea of challenging myself to make changes in my current consumption that would free up funds for the sabbatical while at the same time allowing me to adapt to lower consumption and accelerate my FIRE goals post sabbatical.

Stacey

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Re: A Mustachian Sabbatical?
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2012, 07:17:32 PM »
When my husband and I finished law school and took the bar, we took a decidedly mustachian "bar trip"  While most of our friends went to exoctic locales, we had a great time in the Tetons and Yellowstone.  It was an amazing several week adventure with lots of outdoor fun to be had and minimal costs.  You're in reasonable driving distance from some fantastic national parks  and if you're up for camping you could keep the costs even lower.  But, there's plenty of reasonably priced lodgings if camping isn't your thing.  Also, depending upon whether you'd be up for this sort of thing, you could head up to Alaska with Green Tortoise.  I did their month long Alaska trip about ten years ago and had a great time.  You do, however, live on a bus with strangers for a month (with a fair amount of camping thrown in there).  I loved it, but I was pretty young back then.

kkbmustang

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Re: A Mustachian Sabbatical?
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2012, 07:33:42 PM »
My bar trip was a trip to the CiCi's all you could eat pizza buffet. $7.68 for two. It's burned into my brain. We were poor.

Mr. Tiny Stache - Can you research whether you could rent or borrow whatever equipment is required for whatever you decide to do?

AlexK

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Re: A Mustachian Sabbatical?
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2012, 01:37:23 AM »
My new wife and I took a one month vacation this year as a honeymoon.  We bought a small travel trailer and explored Oregon and Northern California, mostly the Oregon Coast. It was amazing. After the trip we sold the trailer for $500 more than we paid for it. The time goes by faster than you think so don't get too ambitious with distances.

I've done the road trip to Alaska and that was great too but it was a lot of driving. My dad and I put 4400 miles on a Geo Metro on the way North and then sold the car in Anchorage (for a profit of course!) before flying home. That took 2 weeks and we only went one way. I heard the ferry is a really nice way to go.

happy

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Re: A Mustachian Sabbatical?
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2012, 04:50:21 AM »
 I have found self contained road trips remarkably good value...if you plan to camp, or stay intermittently in budget accommodation such as a caravan park. If you have a small fridge in your vehicle, and self cater you can save lots. You can stop in one place for a few days and go hiking or some other adventure. Takes a bit of research and planning initially but once you sort out your" set-up" , you can re-do the same thing at a later date

tooqk4u22

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Re: A Mustachian Sabbatical?
« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2012, 09:32:35 AM »
The time goes by faster than you think so don't get too ambitious with distances.

This is very true. not only does the distance eat up time but I also like to keep it fluid  (i.e. if I planned to stay in xyz spot for two nights but am really enjoying it then I like to have the flexibility to just say ok then I'll stay another night or two) - it sometimes means you don't get to do or see the other things that were planned but then that provides an excuse for the next road trip.

JJ

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Re: A Mustachian Sabbatical?
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2012, 10:33:07 AM »
How about a meditation retreat?  Not particularly expensive and you will gain some insight into how your mind works and overcome future urges to spend on ridiculous things. 

mushroom

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Re: A Mustachian Sabbatical?
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2012, 11:08:29 AM »
A lot of people have tossed out some great ideas about U.S. road trips (I love Alaska and Yellowstone/Tetons!), but one nice thing about a long sabbatical is having the time to go somewhere far away if you're interested. My husband and I are on a long trip and have been tracking our expenses pretty closely: excluding our international flights, we averaged about 25-30 dollars per day per person in India and southeast Asia (that would be about $2000 total for two people for 5 weeks). That included eating out for all of our meals, often ordering multiple (sometimes alcoholic) drinks, local transportation including some local flights, renting motorbikes, a private hotel room with ensuite bathroom, going to various attractions, visa fees, etc. We felt like we lived like kings for cheaper than it would have been to stay in the U.S. The international flight can be expensive, but we used airline miles from credit card deals for most of our flights and there are still some decent credit card deals out there to rack up miles. You don't have to spend a lot of money, and it's neat to immerse yourself in some really different cultures.

kaeldra

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Re: A Mustachian Sabbatical?
« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2012, 10:38:52 PM »
That said your suggestion of a sailing / kayaking adventure is one that excites me. My only concern there is I have none of the experience nor the presumably expensive equipment to undertake such an adventure. I did look into the National Outdoor Leadership School's month long PNW sailing and kayaking course but at $11k+ for my wife and I we have to figure out where that fits in the mustachian spectrum.

If you live in the Seattle area, the Northwest Outdoor Center offers kayaking classes (http://www.nwoc.com/classes/default.asp?page=classes) - my partner took and enjoyed their intro to whitewater kayaking class, you could check out their sea kayaking classes. I'm pretty sure that if you have some skills of your own but want someone with more experience/ familiar with the local area and currents to come with you, you can hire a kayaking guide for the San Juans, or join a larger group trip.