career development sabbatical

On sabbatical

hiking sunshine coast sabbatical

I don’t officially leave the country until Sunday morning. But while I have the hubby doing some packing and a beer next to me…..wait, did I say that out loud?! I meant to say ‘tea’. 🙂 I’m getting in a few farewells.

I’m terrified. I’m scared. Why oh why did I think taking a sabbatical and going out of my comfort zone was a good idea? I’ll miss my pillow, my bed, my couch, weekend afternoon wines on the back deck. Brisbane. Oh Brisbane, I love you. Brisbane will always be my home. But, this fear is the very reason why I need to go. That, and….I’m exhausted.

I really am. Emotionally, more than anything. My career path, as well as my personal life, has had ups and downs these past few years. I’ve had wonderful moments. I’ve had absolute sh*t moments. Actually, I’d say more than my fair share of sh*t moments, especially at my age. I’ve put up a pretty good fight, put up a ‘don’t worry, I’ve totally got my head together’ front, for as long as I can. Personal strength is only truly known when it is tested. Mine hasn’t been found wanting. But goodness knows, it needs replenishing.

True, I’m loving my work right now. My new job, building on my previous research work, has re-ignited a love and passion, and I can’t wait to work with my new supervisor upon my return. I didn’t expect to be in this job. But I need this break if I’m to be a better person and a more effective professional.

I can’t go into my next chapter, personal or professional, if I don’t go now.

The plan

We land in Ecuador first. Then it’s onto a tour and into the Amazon. We’ll make our way through Peru, Bolivia and parts of Argentina, before staying with friends in southern Brasil.

Ireland is next, arriving on 16 June. Two weeks there, then a flight to Manchester, where we’ll catch up with some friends and I’ll attend and speak at the CILIP Conference. I’ll re-surface for a short while there, tweet and hopefully make a few new connections. I’m really looking forward to this event.

On the Friday or Saturday following the conference, we’ll take a car up through Scotland for two to three weeks. We have friends in England, so hopefully we can make arrangements with them before heading to Spain and Portugal. I don’t really know what we’ll do in August and September. I’d like to head to Rome for a few days before Amsterdam and one to two weeks in Iceland. Then head home at the end of September from London.

As luck would have it, or perhaps the hubby had it planned all along (I wouldn’t put it past him), we land on Footy Grand Final Weekend Eve. And I’ll return to work early October.

The blog

The main idea of this sabbatical is to let go. Let go of the ‘to do’ list in order to find out what is really important to me, what I love to do and how I want my day-to-day life to be when I come home. So I won’t be placing any pressure on myself to blog. I may post about my experience at the CILIP Conference. But I’ll wait to see how I feel. I may be content with writing in my travel journal.

I will tweet from the CILIP Conference. And I’ll tweet every now and then from the ALIA NGAC Twitter account.

But I’ll say up front and right now that you may or may not see action here for the next six months.

However, you can catch the not-so-professional action on Instagram – @clarksontour. 😉

Final thoughts

I love to travel. I want to see and experience more of this world because life wasn’t meant to be lived in one place. My husband and I are very lucky to have found each other, as we both value experiences and are career-minded. Far from a holiday, this sabbatical is an investment in ourselves, our lives and our relationship. Sure, there’ll be plenty of fun times, but there will also be days I’ll want to quit, pack up and go back to my comfort zone.

A sabbatical or a career break is a personal choice and I believe that if anyone has the means and opportunity to do one, and feel they need to, they should do it. A sabbatical doesn’t necessarily mean travel. It could be any number of things, but basically a sabbatical is extended time away from what you normally do. Also, an opportunity doesn’t mean that all your ducks will be in a row either. If we all waited for our ducks to be in a row before we did anything, we wouldn’t really live.

Despedidas! Hasta la vista!

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