Do you dream of traveling the world? What would you do? Would you backpack through Europe, or would you journey through South America? Taking a year off work to travel sounds like a fantasy, but it’s not as far-fetched as you think. If you have never considered a sabbatical as an option for your future, you may want to weigh out the benefits to see if it’s right for you. Let’s go over the basics of a sabbatical and how you can make it work.
Why Take a Sabbatical?
A sabbatical may sound like a glorified vacation, but studies have shown that is beneficial not only to you but also your employer. You will embark on new adventures, allowing your mind and creativity to flow freely. Stress levels will lower, resulting in both physical and mental health benefits. One of the most surprising rewards is the potential to enhance your career and resume. You may think that leaving your job for a year would be harmful and detrimental, but there are beneficial networking opportunities that present themselves during travel in addition to broadening experiences. The benefits are numerous!
Plan Your Trip
According to STA Travel, the first step is to figure out where you want to go and what you want to do. Deciding what you hope to achieve from this trip will also help sell the idea to your employer, hopefully securing your job while you are gone. Often, personal growth is one of the primary goals — the desire to destress and refocus. Choose a location that is appealing to you personally. For some, they may dream of traveling to the other side of the world to find their inspiration. Maybe you dream of cities closer to home. There are plenty of places stateside that can offer all the same benefits at a fraction of the cost. Boulder, for example, is a great destination to explore the great outdoors, offering endless opportunity to hike, bike, rock climb, and soak up all nature’s beauty. BBC reports that studies show a drastic increase in health and happiness after having spent time connecting to nature. Wherever your sabbatical takes you, be sure to soak up the outdoors while you are at it.
How to Afford It
All of this sounds great so far, but in the back of your mind, you may be struggling with the financial reality of how to afford an entire year without pay. This is certainly not something to just do on a whim, but with the right planning you can confidently and securely finance your sabbatical. Having already mapped out where you want to travel and what you plan on doing, you can create a budget to estimate the expenses that you will need. Be sure to include the cost of meals, lodging, and transportation as best as you can. Setting aside ample savings ahead of time will allow you to comfortable travel for a year without running out of money.
Caring for Your Home While You Are Gone
In addition to planning for your finances during your year sabbatical, you also need to make plans for your current home. If you have a pet, consider planning a trip that you can bring them along or find a trusted friend or family member that will take good care of them in your absence. If you own a home, you will need to ensure that it is safe and secure while you are gone. Research the best home security systems and consider choosing what that sends alerts directly to your phone, and don’t forget to use programmable lights and automated lights. An empty house tends to attract break-ins and theft, so you may want to even consider taking on a renter during your absence. Make sure you prepare by deep cleaning your entire home, ensure that all your appliances are in good working order, and protect your belongings by putting them in a temperature-controlled storage facility. Your house will be well cared for while you’re gone, and you may even generate a small income to help finance your trip.
Getting ready for a sabbatical takes work, but you can make that happen if you take your time. So, take a leap, make a plan, and get ready to take the trip of a lifetime!
Keith Jacobs is the creator of CarUpkeep.info. He enjoys writing about car maintenance and safety.