I quit my job for a sabbatical and a new direction

As some of you who read my article about quitting my job know, I effectively did it in the end of August in order to do a sabbatical. People often asked things like “How long will you be on your sabbatical?” or “Are you really not going to do anything?”. To be honest I could not really tell. In the beginning I said something like between 3 and 6 months and I spoke about travel plans. But I actually knew that it might be more time than this (sidenote: Today I am nearly a year on a sabbatical). My sabbatical started rather a bit chaotic as I had to make quite some arrangements in Spain as I left my job and got back to Germany. Then I finally had to face it – planning. I maybe should have done it before but I was not able to as I was feeling  exhausted because of my last job. I remember that I felt so tired and slept so much when I finally was having time for myself at home. But I was also wondering how to start the travelling in the best way. At the beginning I thought that I would be super-efficient and go on the Camino de Santiago from September to October and then fly to Asia for a roundtrip from October until Christmas. But the planning of all this seemed tough and I felt so limited with this time scope. So I had the idea that I would start with the camino, and afterwards use the time from October to December to think, go to workshops, visit friends and family and fly to Asia after Christmas. Taking a look at the timeframe this was maybe not the most efficient way but definitely the most feasible and enjoyable. I had been travelling on my own before but never in such an extreme way. And I had never been on a long distance flight. So I needed some rest before planning.

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But this is how things showed up. I ended up going to the camino in September and came back in October and from October to December I really went to workshops, yoga retreats, visited new places in Germany, visited family and friends. And I PLANNED the big trip to Asia.

The idea was to leave in January and come back in April, May or June. I wanted to plan the first months and leave the rest open. First I went to a paradise-like island in Thailand, then I went to a 4-week yoga camp in the south of Cambodia, then I made a round trip around Thailand, Cambodia and Laos, then I went to another yoga camp in Siem Reap (again Cambodia) and then I booked a round trip through Vietnam starting in Saigon and finishing in Hanoi. Then I had the idea to go to Bali, Singapore, Malaysia, India or Nepal. But sadly before the intuitive and spontaneous travelling Corona came and destroyed my plans. But at least I was able to travel for 3 months. The pandemic is a really bad extraordinary situation but the fact that it cut down something that was until this time the greatest thing I did in my life was so infinitely disappointing. I was also lucky that I got one of the last regular flights and I did not have to be brought back by the government. But it was also smashing me back to “reality” in a quite unpleasant way. When I processed the disappointment and frustration I finally explored the new corona reality back home with all the limitations. If I had known that toilet paper was scarce in Germany I would have brought a suitcase full of toilet paper from Cambodia. But well now the sabbatical is over and I am handling the shift back to professional life. And of course I will write the travel blog posts – Asia, the camino and so on… So feel free to stay tuned…

About Johanna

A human on a journey. In my blog Split seconds of life I write about my experience with career changes and travels, but also other topics I am interested in as cooking, natural cosmetics, photography and there will be some art as well.
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5 Responses to I quit my job for a sabbatical and a new direction

  1. That sounds like a courageous trip to me, I would never dream of doing all that travelling. Kudos to you and thanks for sharing, Love your stories!

  2. WalkAlongsideMina says:

    Aww I feel for you. 2020 would have been my sabbatical year, I would have handed in my notice in June and leave in August. Unfortunately, COVID19 happened and I had to postpone everything. Luckily I have not quit my job so have something to do while I wait until we can all travel again. Cheer up, I am sure everything will turn up just fine for you!

    • jhnnbrts says:

      Wow, this was exactly how I did it last year… I mean I am happy that I was able to travel but I did not expect this situation…But this sounds good that you still have the job and meanwhile you can think about your sabbatical plans when it is a better time to do it 🙂 Warm greetings from Germany!

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