Author Topic: Ideas for a month long sabbatical  (Read 4592 times)

luckyme13

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Ideas for a month long sabbatical
« on: February 18, 2017, 06:10:05 PM »
Hi,
Due to my 10+ years with my company I have the opportunity to take a paid month-long sabbatical.  I'm debating about a trip to some national parks, one week in Iceland or similar or chill at home and enjoy where I live before we move away in a year.  Thought I'd check in here for any thoughts/wild suggestions from like-minded people.  We are well traveled (30+ countries) so international travel isn't a must but we do enjoy it but with aging dogs and a pre-schooler it's a bit harder these days to get away.  Thanks!

travelawyer

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Re: Ideas for a month long sabbatical
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2017, 01:42:27 AM »
Rent an RV and do a NP road trip? You could also easily spend 3 weeks doing NPs in just Arizona and Utah, or the NW coast (leavingvyou a week at home). If the aging dogs are required travel companions that's probably the best choice, and save International travel for another time. Seems like a waster to break up your time and go to Iceland for a week when you could easily do that on a regular vacation.

If it were my sabbatical, maybe a month long traveling Spanish school in Ecuador.

Captain Cactus

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Re: Ideas for a month long sabbatical
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2017, 05:17:42 AM »
Wow what a great benefit.  Are you willing to share what company you work for?

YttriumNitrate

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Re: Ideas for a month long sabbatical
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2017, 08:00:26 AM »
It's not really an option with a toddler, but back in 2009 I took a month off from work and took a trip to Antarctica. The boat trip from Ushuia was 15 days, and then I spent a week or so in Argentina.

Perhaps for your 20 year sabbatical...

blahblahblah

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Re: Ideas for a month long sabbatical
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2017, 08:15:14 AM »
Fun!  Do you enjoy traveling solo or would you prefer to go with someone, or go somewhere you are likely to meet travel partners?  What are some activities you'd like on this trip?  I've done a few US road trips to NPs and similar road trips in Iceland and other countries ranging from 1-6 weeks.  If you have specific questions I'm happy to share some ideas.  Don't think you can go wrong!

If you want a social component you might time it based on US or European holiday travel patterns.  If you want more wilderness/less people I'd still time it against those, just in the opposite direction :)

If you go international get on the mailing list for green motion and some other rental companies, they've been sending out some great promotions recently.

undercover

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Re: Ideas for a month long sabbatical
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2017, 09:39:13 AM »
Wow what a great benefit.  Are you willing to share what company you work for?

You want to go work somewhere for 10 years only to have an extra month paid off? No offense, I just found this odd since it's a bit irrelevant considering overall compensation is more important than the specifics of benefits.

Dicey

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Re: Ideas for a month long sabbatical
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2017, 11:54:59 AM »
Where are you based?

Here's a crazy idea you might consider, given your previous travels and current constraints. Stay home and do all the things you never seem to have time for. Make it a mix of chores and fun stuff. Kon-Mari the whole house! Pack picnics and take impromptu hikes! Have a garage sale and blow the money on fun stuff like theater tickets, concerts and admissions to fun places. It would be crazily cost-effective and might feel great to go back to work knowing all your at-home shit was totally together.

Financial Ascensionist

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Re: Ideas for a month long sabbatical
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2017, 12:49:11 AM »
I also happen to have a month off this year.  Here's how I plan on spending it.

First two weeks: travel to a climbing destination and spend most weekdays on the rock while the crowd is away in their offices.  I don't know if there is any outdoor activity that you particularly enjoy, but road tripping to a place where you can do it at a leisurely pace would be a good way get work out of your head.  Weekday rates for accommodation in many travel destinations can be incredibly cheap.

Second two weeks: stay home, disconnect, read plenty of books, workout a lot, then restore some of the burnt carbs with copious volumes of craft beer.  This is when I plan on finalizing my FIRE plans and resetting from the fast paced work life.  I will be incorporating some of Diane C's suggestions and getting rid of all the stuff that I won't be taking with me when I embark on a more nomad life after I am done with work.

Whatever you do, I encourage you to take advantage of the long duration of your time-off and to avoid cramming your days with too many plans.  Take is slow, do only one attention grabbing thing everyday, and enjoy having the option of accepting any last minute invitations. 

Let us know you end up spending your days.

COEE

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Re: Ideas for a month long sabbatical
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2017, 05:56:24 AM »
I'd be trying to get on a rafting trip down the grand canyon.  Its a mandatory 21 days if i recall correctly.  Getting ahold of someone with a permit for your time off can be tricky though. 

soccerluvof4

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Re: Ideas for a month long sabbatical
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2017, 06:09:22 AM »
I'd go with renting the Rv and hitting a bunch of NP's that way. Depending on were your located I am sure there is plenty to do and see and being mobile will be fun.

cerat0n1a

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Re: Ideas for a month long sabbatical
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2017, 09:23:40 AM »
My employer gives us a paid 1-month sabbatical every 4 years, on top of normal holiday/vacation. Last time round, we did a US trip - couple of weeks in the north-east, couple of weeks in the south-west. This year, we're going to do just under 4 weeks in Peru.

I could easily spend several weeks in Iceland; there is so much to see and do there if you like outdoor stuff/spectacular geography and plenty to keep small children occupied. Probably not worth the hassle with dogs though.

JoJo

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Re: Ideas for a month long sabbatical
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2017, 10:41:05 AM »
With a month off you should go international - some place it takes a day to get to - like Australia.  You can always do the national parks in shorter one-week trips since the flights are short. 

Europeans travel quite frequently with kids.    Do you have someone who can take the dogs?




Ynari

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Re: Ideas for a month long sabbatical
« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2017, 01:38:33 PM »
FYI Iceland Air lets you take up to a week stopover in Iceland on transatlantic trips at "no extra cost" (I found it was like $10 more while researching a trip, but whatever - it was still cheaper to do a stopover than to just go to Iceland!) Their fares are pretty cheap, too, going from US to Europe and back.

Lmoot

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Re: Ideas for a month long sabbatical
« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2017, 04:06:48 AM »
I think most full time jobs, after you've been there a longer period of time, allows you to stash enough vacay to get a month. Growing up, my dad has regularly been able to take off 2 consecutive months every 2 years with the company he worked for 30 years (starting at about 10 years into working with the company).

I will be taking 3 1/2 weeks off into my 3rd year with my company this spring

Now if they are paying for a month long break, in addition to you keeping your vacation time, that's pretty awesome. In European countries, a month every year is normal....it's sad that it gets us so excited here in the US. LOL

I like the RV/NPs idea. I don't know where you live, but I would fly out furthest away from your home, then rent an RV and drive through back (to save time). Unless you prefer to do a circular trip and see more parks. 1 month will fly fast though, especially if you are staying a couple nights per park. Whatever you decide, have fun!

luckyme13

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Re: Ideas for a month long sabbatical
« Reply #14 on: February 25, 2017, 09:02:25 AM »
Thanks all for the replies.  We live in Colorado so we have a ton of great parks and camping in our backyard but I'd really like to see Yellowstone and Glacier if we can before we leave Colorado next year.  We found some RV rentals that look like they'd work with our situation with our pets.  Right now we can't leave them with anyone as they really need a lot of help and it's a lot to ask and we'd be devastated if anything happened while we were gone.

Jojo-we've been to Australia already but I totally understand the thought process around going out further when we have the time.  Colleagues of mine are heading to New Zealand and Thailand for that very reason.

Diane C-we are slowing purging our house on a weekly basis which feels so good.  I do plan on taking at least one week of the time just to ride my bike, hike and read. I know the time will go by quick.  I'm always amazed at how many people reply with "I don't know what I'd do with a month off".  Tells me they have been working way too much and need to find new interests.

Financial Ascensionist-congrats on your sabbatical!  Your plans sound great.  We are very much slow travelers.  I like being active but not racing around every day. 

YttriumNitrate-Antarctica and Argentina sound fabulous!  I have both on my must-see list but that will be before 20 years at my job.  I plan to be outta there in the next 2-3 years. 

Captain Cactus-I would rather not divulge my employer's name but suffice it to say they have been good to me over the years.

Thanks again for the great responses!

PMG

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Re: Ideas for a month long sabbatical
« Reply #15 on: February 25, 2017, 09:47:34 AM »
I had a month sabbatical in 2011 I think?  I spent mid September to mid October in a tiny cottage a two minute walk from the Atlantic in Delaware. I did some traveling and visiting family my first week, then settled into the cottage. It was wonderful to be in the same place, to get to know the area, but to be completely cut off from the stress and pressure of regular life. I had no internet. No obligations. I really rediscovered my own mind on that trip.

Imade sure I ate 2 or more meals had to be eaten outside each day. I didn't intend to, but I accidentally got in the habit of getting up in time to watch the sunrise. I started going for long walks and runs in the morning (I am a couch potato). I wore myself out so thoroughly that I was often sounds asleep by 9. 

Essentially, my body and mind reset itself. It was an incredible experience.

I say all this to encourage you to get away from home!  If seeing a lot of things is what you like, then go for it.  For me, while I love seeing knew things, there was something in staying in one place that really worked for me.  The first week felt like normal vacation, but by the third week everything had changed.

JoJo

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Re: Ideas for a month long sabbatical
« Reply #16 on: February 27, 2017, 09:10:59 AM »
It cracks me up that every one in here calls 1 month a Sabbatical.  I've been taking 3 week - 1 month trips every year for the last 10 years.  I've taken two sabbaticals - 20 months & 3 months.

spokey doke

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Re: Ideas for a month long sabbatical
« Reply #17 on: February 27, 2017, 09:23:28 AM »
Being a dog person with one senior dog, the RV'ing sounds pretty cool...except that dogs aren't a great match with National Parks if you plan on getting out much.  That also means having the ability to keep them cool enough if you leave them behind in the RV for a while.  For those reason and more, I'd go for a early-mid Septeberish start, and locate a bunch of places to stay near but outside the parks for at least some of your stops (for instance, there are lots of great FS spots, and dispersed camping, available south of Jackson along the Snake R., and on the west side of the Tetons as you head up to Teton and Yellowstone NP's. Some similar options near Glacier).

And if it were me, I might consider a class or two through the Yellowstone Institute and/or Glacier Institute (wolf howling anyone???).

Pair that with some well chosen city food destinations and you have a great outing...


SilveradoBojangles

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Re: Ideas for a month long sabbatical
« Reply #18 on: February 27, 2017, 09:30:08 AM »
If it were me, I would rent a dog and kid friendly house somewhere cool and just have a chill month. I think I would choose the San Juan Islands, which are just gorgeous in the summer.

spokey doke

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Re: Ideas for a month long sabbatical
« Reply #19 on: February 27, 2017, 10:56:09 AM »
If it were me, I would rent a dog and kid friendly house somewhere cool and just have a chill month. I think I would choose the San Juan Islands, which are just gorgeous in the summer.

That sounds really good too...or split it up in a couple different places

OurTown

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Re: Ideas for a month long sabbatical
« Reply #20 on: February 27, 2017, 02:38:27 PM »
I did a three month sabbatical back in '03.  Led to the birth of my daughter in '04.