How I decided to go on a Sabbatical
Caterina Kostoula

I find it refreshing that you seem to be very cognizant of the realities you will face, while savoring a bit of the fantasy too. Because it’s both, of course. (Marc’s opinion expressed below seemed a tad caustic to me, written as if in reply to someone captured only by the unrealistic fantasy.) My wife and I and our dog did this for 2 years in 2012–2014: 8 months in Sayulita Mexico; 4 months in San Miguel de Allende; 1 month driving all over southern Mexico; 4 months in Cape Canaveral Beach, Florida; 3 months in South Africa; and a long lazy trip cross-country back to our starting point (I use that phrase on purpose), our home in Santa Cruz CA. I was taking advantage of an early retirement offer (at 53), and she was ready for a break in her consulting business. The first thing that struck (and stuck with) me was the difference in feeling between vacation, even long ones, and actual moving. Life does indeed “happen” there. It’s a very different thing, setting up the normal routines of life — renting a home, finding doctors, setting up internet, finding favorite grocery stores, etc. etc. — than to go somewhere relatively exotic on even a very long vacation. But it is full of great new experiences, new friends, lots of relaxation time to contemplate life and yourself and where you’re headed. In short, it was a life-changing experience for us, and very much for the better. Yes, it is about growing. And you know what? When you are good at what you do, when you are an honest person who lives with compassion, integrity, and intention, people want you even MORE than they did when you left. Strange paradox indeed.