In early June we’re taking leave from our jobs, putting our belongings in storage, and embarking on a 14-month sabbatical with our three kids.
Why are we doing this?
We’re continuing to break the news to our friends and coworkers that we’ll be taking a sabbatical and as a result we’re getting pretty good at answering common questions about it. One of the most common (and most important) questions is also one of the simplest: “Why?”
“Why?” is a logical question. We Intrepid Parents are doing well in our careers and are entering our peak earning years. In our fields (engineering and accounting), taking a 14 month sabbatical (especially for a reason so seemingly frivolous as traveling the world) is practically unheard of. We’ll be foregoing a year of earnings and spending a lot of hard-earned money on this trip, putting a major dent in our savings. We have a great community of family and friends and our kids are settled in at their schools.
By taking a sabbatical we’re putting a lot at risk; our careers, our finances, our kids education, our relationships with friends and family, our happy ‘normal’ life.
So why are we doing this?!? Are we crazy?
Given all that it as stake, our “Why” is of utmost importance, and we’ve given it a lot of thought, and we’ve come up with ways to articulate our reasons when being asked “Why?” in a variety of settings.
Our “Why” – Elevator Version
Most of the time when we are asked “Why?” it is in a a setting where we don’t have time for a long explanation (often when riding an elevator). Our 30 second version of “Why” goes something like this:
We have a passion for travel and experiencing new things, and we want to share this with our kids before they get older and move on with their own lives. This trip will strengthen our family bonds and will be a unique experience that we will always remember.
Our “Why” – Extended Version
In settings where we have a little more time, we might share some more aspects of our “Why”:
- Our kids are growing fast, and we want to share our love of travel with them.
- This trip will provide an opportunity for us Intrepid parents to strengthen our marriage as we work together to solve the challenges that travel brings.
- The sabbatical will let us fully disengage from our jobs for a year so that we can fully recharge and objectively evaluate our future career goals.
- Learning about the places and cultures we are visiting will provide an educational experience far beyond what our kids would gain from school.
- The world is an awesome place and we want to experience as much of it as we can.
- The only commodity that is truly limited in this life is time. Today we are all in good health but that could change at any moment. We could wait until we’re at retirement age but our kids would be grown and we wouldn’t be able to experience the trip with them. Time is precious, and for us the time to set out on this adventure is now (well, June 5th to be precise) 🙂
There’s a lot at risk as we embark on this adventure. But there’d be even more at risk if we kept the status quo. So off we go!