From my previous trip to Melbourne, a view looking out over the cliffs on Great Ocean Road. Several spires rise out of the surf. There were once twelve, but over time, erosion has led several of them to collapse.

Sabbatical, or Farewell for a Year

January 24, 2019 — Jason

Perhaps the greatest envy I have known has been directed towards those lucky ones who have traversed the globe on that adventure dubbed “Gap Year”. Or, since I’m an adult, I should probably call it by its more mature name “Sabbatical”. Sure, I have taken my share of peregrinations but never of such scale.

The years have passed, and this goal has to this point eluded me. But no longer.

In just a few short weeks, I will be putting the entirety of my belongings—save a backpack—into storage, heading to the airport, and likely won’t see Chicago again until 2020. I have an arm full of vaccinations, months worth of malaria pills, and a fresh passport. Part of the excitement is leaving things up to fate and chance. If I like a place, I might stick around a little longer; if I don’t, I can easily move on. Some paths will be spelled out by the luck of the plane fare.

Here is the general itinerary:

February 11 - Depart Chicago
February 13 - Arrive Melbourne Australia (for me at least, the 12th will not really exist)

Work from Melbourne for about a month. This will be a challenge because of the time difference (9am Australia is 4pm Chicago the previous day), but I have some contacts and an office to hang out at.

After that, 6 months of full-time exploring will ensue.

March/April - Spend a little more time in Australia before heading up into Southeast Asia. Bali, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam.

May - Make my way to Nepal and do some hiking.

June-August - Africa. The current plan is to start in Nairobi, Kenya then take a 6-8 week camping trip wending its way down to Cape Town. Checking out places like Zanzibar, Victoria Falls, Uganda, and Namibia.

September-December - Begin working again, but of course remotely. Exact plan TBA, but likely locations include Sweden, Germany (did somebody say Oktoberfest?), Scotland, and Macedonia.

Capping it all off will be my 40th birthday in December. I’ll be planning a party somewhere in the world. Currently, the frontrunner is Dublin. So start planning on joining me for that.

Then, I’ll be home for Christmas.

If you have any interest in meeting up somewhere along the way (always wanted to hike the Himalayas? hang with the gorillas? trek the Scottish Highlands?), let me know and let’s cross paths!

Stay tuned!

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