3 Stupid Reasons Why We Don’t Take Sabbaticals

Now that I’m in Bali, I’ve been thinking about how or why I didn’t take these long-term getaways sooner. This marks my third trip since Sicily back in August and Cape Town after that. If you follow me, you know its been life changing. Every trip has represented a major shift in my development professionally and personally. I’ve re-learned what it is that gets me motivated in the mornings and what I’m willing to work endlessly, even for free.

Before this, the only thing that came close was a week-long vacation. The mere thought of a two-week detachment would make me more anxious than relaxed. Don’t even talk to me about a sabbatical or a 6-month life break. I’m just asking to give up on life, my savings and all that I worked for.

I hardly ever heard of anyone else taking sabbaticals too. It’s not a common thing we do. We, at least the majority, don’t believe in them anymore. We put no value or plan in setting this time aside for ourselves other than retirement.

With that said, I went around and asked my friends from all sorts of professional backgrounds and values about sabbaticals. Should we take them? When? How often?

The answers were surprising and a bit sad. Here were the most common:

  1. Sabbaticals are only for the deserved, possibly for those with a minimum of 10 years of hard work. What if you hate your job or your life for the past five? What if you haven’t figured out the career you want to invest your life in?
  2. Sabbaticals are only for those who have attained a certain level of professional seniority or personal achievement. So, you’ve climbed the corporate ladder into that managerial role or you’ve finally bought that house. Doesn’t sound like a great time to split town. Either you are house poor to spend on anything else or you’re about to give up on something you just accomplished.
  3. Last, a sabbatical is something you do only once. Whaat?! No wonder it’s not ingrained in our culture to take a life break. Now, you have to be precise in when and why it’s the best time to pause for yourself. No pressure to figure out your life  this one other time either.

These answers were telling in how unrealistic we think and how absurd we restrict ourselves.

I’m not an expert in building a case for sabbaticals or a life break, but after what I’ve seen and done, this is what I plan to do.

Every 4-5 years evaluate my life.

Am I happy? Am I on the right path? Is this what I expected? What has changed? Has anything changed? Am I living to pay the bills again or am I living for something more? Is this going anywhere?

Either I will course correct or confirm I’m on the path. The point is, setting time aside for reflection and resolution every 4-5 years is part of life now. I owe it to myself.

But at this speed, I may take any excuse to come back to Bali….

Here are my ridiculous but fair reasons to take one. The voddy (vodka) always helps to get in front of the camera.

Tell me below how you really feel. And if you’re anywhere in your life, like me, where you’re “still single”, then going on a sabbatical or a life break is a damn good way to make up for the white picket fence void. #stillsinglet #singleaf

‘Til Next, Elisa
#stillsingle #mindsetreset #letgoandgrow


3 thoughts on “3 Stupid Reasons Why We Don’t Take Sabbaticals

  1. How and why, I traded my life of material riches for the priceless spiritual SABBATICAL, I now call my life.

    Part 1.

    When I was a growing up in rural Zululand, literally half naked, no TV and little contact with the outside world. Old newspapers, fishermans tales, maps and my treasured (out dated) globe, my only vessel to connect me, to the world beyond my limit horizon. Each night my mind would take a proverbial SABBATICAL. I would fly to distant lands, day dreaming myself to sleep. Exploring the world, until the sand man stole my compass and aptly guided the second half of each adventure. I was a shy, introverted, quiet child.

    My first decade on this splendid earth, was filled with pain and anxiety. Acutely dyslexic and even more frustratingly undiagnosed, I shamefully withdrew into own secret world. Crumbs, back then the eduction gurus, neatly boxed our young minds into three neatly arranged boxes. Smart, Average and Beyond Dumb. If I was to excel at anything back then, it would be as, the poster child for the quintessential lowly private in the army of the dumber than dumb. My position made even more legendary by the juxtapositioning of two future valedictorian sisters and son to arguably the most successful parents in the province.

    Part 2 to follow…..2:55am Austin, Texas


  2. A lot of food for thought in there. This line especially resonated: “We put no value or plan in setting this time aside for ourselves other than retirement.” How true! It’s time people started thinking differently.


    1. We don’t and its sad. Thats why programs like #Adventurouslife is so key for people that don’t want to wait for retirement and want more!


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