"It's only normal to come up with excuses not to try something new or bold. We all fear uncertainty and things going wrong. Another way is to focus instead on the potential upsides and how the decision could transform your life for the better" Gil Dove, Leadership Coach
Change can be scary. Whether we're teetering on the edge, or have already taken the sabbatical decision plunge, fears about the logistics - the 'what abouts', the 'what ifs' - can start to creep in. Sometimes these are self-doubts, other time they're niggling questions from those far-too-practical voices around us, but either can lead to excuses as to why we should or shouldn't do something.
The good news is that these fears and excuses are entirely conquerable when considering a sabbatical. After all, the practicalities can be organised into submission, especially with the help of experts who have done it all before. Someone like Original Travel, for instance. Other fears are more deeply rooted emotional barriers within ourselves, but these too are entirely surmountable. As Mark Twain sagely declared: "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." You can't say fairer than that.
Let’s Get Emotional
Just for a minute, mind. Many of us have thrived in other areas of our lives - at work, for example - by appearing fearless, but there's no shame in having some concerns around leaving one's emotional comfort zone. Many of us feel prepared to overcome work barriers; after all, we've already done it time and time again and survived (and often thrived) to tell the tale, but we're often less comfortable with facing personal barriers, unlocking new ideas or perspectives and, potentially, confronting a few home truths.
We've heard tales of those brave souls who seek out mountain retreats and, alone with their thoughts and without the distractions of day to day life, achieve great realisations about their place in the world; about who they truly are and what they truly want. While this idea may excite some of us, others might be scared of this introspection; of not having a perceived purpose like we have at work; of being out of the loop or behind the group as the world keeps turning without us, and missing the predictability of routine. These are all very valid concerns when considering a sabbatical. We have structure in our lives for a reason: to help us predict the future and control whatever we can control, but the truth is that while these fears are understandable, they should not be debilitating or stop us from living our best lives.
The best way to conquer these emotional fears is first to ensure all of the practicalities are taken care of. Afraid of getting homesick and missing family and friends? Book in regular trips back home, or organise for people to come and join you. Concerned about how to pack for five difference climates in one bag? We'll organise for your luggage to be sent ahead so you only need to carry the basics. Once we've tackled the logistics and no longer have any excuses about those practicalities to deal with, we can look at what it is we're actually scared of, feel that fear…and then do it anyway.
So, Let’s Get Practical
Planning a sabbatical can seem overwhelming - you're faced with the prospect of organising all of the mechanics of a huge trip with flights, packing and visas aplenty, plus all of the practicalities of being away for an extended period of time, such as finding nannies or tutors for children, coordinating home security, ensuring you can access healthcare as and when you need it - all the boring-but-important stuff that has its place in our ordinary lives.
Luckily you're in the best hands possible. We've seen it all before and have a vast amount of experience tending to these details so that you can focus on simply enjoying the trip. So the dream of exploring the world is there, and the passion to discover something new and get out of your comfort zone is ignited, but there are still several things to think about, and a lot of excuses we might still make as to why we shouldn't go through with it. At Original Travel we've got a lot of experience in planning (and taking our own!) sabbaticals, so we've collated some expert advice and information on conquering your fears about travelling for an extended period; asking for and taking time off work and how to pack for it, and have even included space for you to scribble a few inspirational notes. We're on hand to help you out with planning, budgeting, logistics and generally making the most of the time you have in the destination(s) you want to visit.