Sabbatical: What Will I Do?

Filed in Personal Status

multiple job offers

Sabbatical Definition and Types

A sabbatical is anytime you try something different for a period of three months or more.  This includes traveling (domestic and international), volunteering to build skills and help the world, trying a new job, and starting or building a business.

Generally speaking, “different” breaks down into four Sabbatical Types

  • Travel
  • Volunteer
  • Business
  • Job


TravelTravel Guides

The number one choice elected by many professionals.  How are you going to travel?

There’s a number of styles in which you can travel including: Hostels, apartments, hotels, luxury resorts, home swaps, boats, huts, tents, etc. etc. etc.

Sabbatical Plans

A careful consideration is how much planning to invest in the sabbatical prior to leaving.  Will you specify each destination before leaving?  Or just plan the first one and go from there?  Depends in part on who you are, your strengths and weaknesses, and simply your personal preference.

In my case I went for just planning to be in Buenos Aires for a month then worked out the rest while I was there.  In advance I said to myself “Right now I’m stressed out and unhappy.  I am in no position to effectively plan a good time!”.  So I figure it out as a I went along.  Even after moving on from Buenos Aires I continued to not plan anything and simply find the adventures as they arose.  Worked out beautifully!

Where and how long?

How many places will you visit?  How long will you stay in each one?  On my last trip I:

  • Couchsurfed including a last-minute, day-of, offer when I needed it most.
  • Lived in an apartment with sisters renting out a spare room in Buenos Aires.
  • Stayed in hostels in the cities, country-side, islands, and beaches of Brazil.
  • Stayed with locals who invited me in to their home for Christmas and New Years.
  • Rented a fancy apartment in the business area of Sao Paulo complete with a penthouse view of the city, hot tub, bbq, and a terrace with a retractable roof (seriously, I’m not make this up, you can sit in the hot tub eating your charcoal grilled chicken, while looking up at the stars)




Volunteering can be local and international.  Building skills through volunteering is an excellent option for everyone.  And if you’re out of work it’s an amazing way to build some new skills, wait out a bad job market, and return to take on an even better job than you qualify for today.






business card

business card (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

If you have an existing business then taking six months to devote yourself full-time is a great idea.  See exactly what you can do.





There may be a job, internship, or side project you’ve been putting off.  Some type of new work you might like but you aren’t sure yet. Or maybe a community project you’ve been putting off for lack of time.

  • Internship
  • Working with a friend/business associate
  • Side projects for the church, school and other associations





Whatever type of sabbatical you choose remember this — choose one and do it!!!

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