While we will continue to share amazing stories about what people are doing on sabbaticals, there is also inspiration in how people factor in financial reality and still manage to soar into a sabbatical experience. Even when salary and benefits continue, the money for one’s dream sabbatical might not exactly be floating around in a bank account somewhere.
When Dale, a 50-something technology employee planning a 4-week paid sabbatical, confronted financial reality, it hit hard. The money just wasn’t there for his sabbatical dream experience. That moment may happen for many of us.
But now as Dale’s plan “B” gets closer to reality (he leaves work for his 4 weeks in mid-September), his gray eyes still brighten as he bounces into our “work covering planning sessions” – finding the right people and process to keep his work moving.
He’s getting ready not for his original “dream of a lifetime,” but for an experience still beyond what he could have imagined back when his bank account shivered at the cost of angling off the coast of Mexico aboard a fishing charter boat with blue Gulf waters outside his cabin door.
We encourage upfront “big dreaming time” when considering a sabbatical but we don’t encourage going into hock. So when the time came to total the costs associated with Dale’s “dream” – well, who would have thought that just the fishing equipment he needed for the Gulf would look like a monthly mortgage payment.
Revisiting the nugget of the dream – learning offshore fishing skills – Dale came back with the affordable version. He would use his own boat, find local offshore captains to teach him and basically use his own back yard (he lives in Pensacola, Florida). Even then, there are costs to incur (going 30 miles offshore takes a lot of fuel, boat needs additional gear, paying the Captains.)
A bonus to his revised plan has been the new relationships he’s beginning within his local fishing community. By posting questions at his online fishing forum, interviewing local captains and fielding “yahoo’s for you” from jealous working anglers, he’s forging a new group of friends for life (these fishing people want to hang with other serious fishing people.)
We’ll be following Dale along in his own blog on this site beginning in mid-September to mid-October. Based on his research from local experts, he chose this 30-day window as one of the best times for fishing the Gulf. So if you are interested in wind/water conditions, how his engine fairs, trials and tribulations of a new offshore angler, pictures of fat fish and Dale’s broad smile – follow along.
And if your original sabbatical dream is not affordable at this time, can you save it for later? Or as Dale did, keep the essence of the dream and find your best plan “B”?
Dale thinks he’ll be better prepared as an “experienced” fisherman (and better prepared financially) for his original dream of living on an offshore fishing yacht – on his next sabbatical.
So dreams live on.