[The Trek] How To Take A Sabbatical That Will Change Your Life
Have you ever wondered what you could learn if you threw yourself into a foreign country for a few months and became totally immersed in the culture? That's what my wife, Katie, and I wondered back in 2016, so we hit the road to travel slowly through Argentina for seven weeks all while keeping our full-time jobs.
This trip literally changed our life. It is the origin story of LLAMAWOOD. It taught us how to travel. It taught us how to live. On that trip, we promised to never stop taking sabbaticals and we have held true to that promise (Azores, Portugal 2019 & upcoming Amsterdam 2022) all while having 2 kids, moving, changing jobs, and starting companies. Through our travels, we learned resilience, gained new perspectives, and were inspired by unfamiliar traditions in pursuit of continual learning. I tell you all this because I want you to do it too! There's a good chance that you need the break and that it will change your life too. I don't buy into the work-from-anywhere culture that COVID has created - you've got to completely unplug.
This is why I am starting a travel series called The Trek. The first series is a step-by-step breakdown of how we did this Argentina sabbatical while also providing actional (repeatable) steps for how you can too (and before you say it, yes you can).
I'll share stories (so it isn't just boring how-to articles) like how I studied Spanish in a group classroom in Buenos Aires, learned how to make homemade lamb-stuffed ravioli from a chef in Patagonia, rode horses in the Andes, participated in the yerba mate ritual with new friends, and took a 33-hour bus ride to a 5-star hotel where I hit a bull's eye in archery from about 50 feet away.
Here is a rough outline of the how-we-did-it articles I am planning to tackle. I would love to modify these based on your feedback so keep it coming throughout the process.
- ... decided where to go
- ... asked our bosses for unpaid leave (including conversation templates) and kept our jobs
- ... prepared for time away from bills
- ... covered all of our DC home expenses while we were gone
- ... decided what to pack (1 backpack each)
- ... booked bus rides, flights, and hotels during the trip (vs. figuring it all out before)
- ... thought about splurging and saving costs at the same time
- And much more!
The timing is never right. If you've thought about doing something like this, just do it, and course-correct along the way. Look for Trek articles at the bottom of our upcoming newsletters (so as not to impose). Nothing else really changes about the newsletter - we will still share all sorts of useful, cool stuff about fire (of course) and just living the good life in general.