Do the same thing often enough, and it will start to feel boring. This is true of work, even if you get to do your dream job every day. But while quitting can be too permanent and risky for some, many employers offer the chance to take a sabbatical—extended leave in which to unwind, refresh, and maybe focus on achieving a set of goals away from work. Using your sabbatical to travel is the best way to maximise your health, outlook, and life experience.
Burnout is that feeling of utter exhaustion which can lead to lower happiness and productivity. Typically, we associate it with working too hard and long hours. But it can also just creep in overtime; working the same job in the same place for too long can be enough to cause fatigue.
Taking a sabbatical means you can break up the routine, enjoy something new for a while, and then return refreshed.
Companies are increasingly recognising that they risk losing personnel permanently if employees overwork themselves. In addition to improved benefits and the inclusion of in-work relaxation spaces, more and more businesses are offering sabbatical leave.
If you can time it right, taking time off won’t harm your career and you’ll enjoy the benefits of extended leave with the assurance that your job is waiting for you upon your return. In short, there’s no downside; so, take advantage and start travelling.
When we only have a week or two on holiday, it can be difficult to switch off entirely. The thought of needing to be back at work in a few days can be hard to resist.
This is not the case for extended leave. Even if you know the date you need to return to work, the big distance between then and now means you won’t think about it so often. Combine this with travelling—waking up in a strange, new place every day—and you will be too distracted by the excitement to worry about anything else. It is the ultimate way to disconnect.
If friends and family can get permission to take time off from their jobs, too, then you can explore the world together, making memories to last a lifetime and forever cementing your bond. Replace waking up to an alarm clock and passing your partner on your way out to work with lazily watching the sunrise atop a mountain.
Use your newfound free time to indulge in your hobbies, or discover entirely new ones. Travelling is the best way to do this because you constantly expose yourself to new activities by virtue of being somewhere unfamiliar. By being away from home, you are more likely to have the mindset to go out, explore, and try new things.
When we go to the same place of work day in, day out, the type of people we meet and the conversations we have become stale. Consequently, we start to believe it’s not worth making new friends because our interactions are all the same.
But meeting new people while travelling is entirely different. From speaking with locals in faraway destinations and learning how they live, to swapping stories with fellow like-minded travellers in hotels and hostels, you will reinvigorate yourself by making friends from around the world, with unique stories and perspectives, whom you will bond with over your shared passion for travel.
Whether you are attempting to navigate a strange city, book a tour in a foreign language, or trying to haggle sellers in the hopes of getting a bargain, travel tasks us with discovering our potential. While it can sometimes feel nerve-wracking in the moment, we usually come out of these experiences knowing ourselves better and with more confidence in our capabilities; confidence we can then take home and apply in our day-to-day lives.
We live on a diverse planet, from snowy mountains to vast desert, and wide-open ocean to green valleys. Human beings have built a wall that we can see from space, pyramids which reach the sky, and medieval cities with charming cafés and romantic walks. Don’t wait until you’re retired and creaking at the joints to see all these wonderful places; take your extended leave now.
Travelling somewhere on a short holiday for a week or so is a great way to see popular sites. But to truly get a feel for a place and its people, you need more time to interact with locals and explore places off the beaten track. A sabbatical affords you the time to truly know a new place and its people, and to learn lessons which can transform us for the better.
Similarly, by exposing yourself to different ways of living, you will see how others around the world prioritise their lives. Some cultures place family above the individual. Others put more emphasis on happiness than material wealth. Experiencing different approaches will make you evaluate your own priorities. You will then either feel more assured of your choices, or you will change your outlook and focus on things which bring you greater fulfilment. Either way, you will come out the other side a much more assured and positive person.
Have we convinced you to take a sabbatical and travel? Whether you want to journey the world or just fancy a short break somewhere new, check out our latest holiday deals for the best bargains on superb hotels and flights.