Author: Larry Mager
Readybrain.net | firstname.lastname@example.org
Travel is not something you should put off until retirement. It is one of the only real ways to open your mind to other cultures and to experience all the world has to offer. Traveling can serve as emotional therapy and may even help you better appreciate your profession. If you’re considering walking away from it all for a spiritual, mental, and physical sabbatical, here are a few things you can do to prepare for your extended absence.
Let go of fear
The first thing you have to do is learn to let go of the fear that taking time away will hurt your career. Chances are, it won’t, and when you return, you will have an interesting story about your “pretirement.” If you’re worried about returning to your industry after a sabbatical, Monster.com offers tips on how to explain your sabbatical during the interview process.
There is no doubt about it, if you want to get the most out of your personal retreat, you will need to plan ahead, and that means planning for how you’ll afford your journeys. Obviously, you need to have money saved up, but it does not hurt to have a source of income while you’re away. One great way to do that is to set your own home up as a rental property. This starts by getting it ready. You will need to stage it, stock it, and secure it. Angie’s List recently published a guide on rental property preparation, it’s a five-minute read with plenty of great tips. Also, don’t forget to plan for your pets, let your neighbors know what’s going on, and alert the Post Office.
Know when to go
Timing is everything. There are a couple of considerations here, and it starts with talking to your boss well ahead of your planned departure. The more notice, the better, especially if you are working on a crucial project. Give your employer at least a six month’s heads up so that you can coordinate your leave for a time when it will not be harmful to the company. Even if you are not a full-time employee (such as a freelancer or consultant), this is necessary if you do not want to part ways on bad terms.
Even if you rent your home while you’re gone, you probably will not have the same amount of money coming in as you did when you were getting a regular paycheck. Transunion recommends saving the equivalent of one year’s salary for a sabbatical lasting six to nine months. This will keep you from running up your credit and give you a small cushion of funds to live off of when you return.
Have a purpose
Finally, and most importantly, know what you expect to get out of your time away. This is an excellent opportunity to connect with your higher power and make your trip a meaningful travel experience. Plan to do things that put you in touch with your inner self and remain mindful at all times of the beauty of your surroundings. It doesn’t matter if you are traveling alone or with your closest friends or family, make it purposeful and you’ll take away more than memories. You will gain a new perspective and may find out who you really are along the way.
If the idea of taking an extended vacation is intimidating, keep in mind that the longer you wait, the more entwined you become with your current surroundings. The last thing you want is to become so involved that you can’t break away.
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