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taking a year off

I've been saving up so that I can take a year off to travel.
I'm planning on taking of from August 2004 - August 2005.

What I'm wondering, is how to prepare for finding work again when the sabattical is over. I've talked it over with my manager, and they will be happy to hire me back, but can't promise anything. Also, with recent layoffs and whatnot, I'm not sure if my employer will exist in August 2005. So, I'm wondering if people who have done this in the past could share their experience with finding work again. - thanks

jpr
Tuesday, January 13, 2004

I'd give yourself about 3 months to find a job.

So, if you're traveling until August 2005, make sure you have enough money to last until the end of the year, give or take (end of the year is a harder time to get hired than beginning anyway, because most people are worried about budgets, and everybody knows that December tends to be a "throwaway" month for productivity for most people).

Brad Wilson (dotnetguy.techieswithcats.com)
Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Just curious: where will you be travelling? how much did you budget for this year-long trip?

just curious
Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Plan a trip to India...... you'll have better chances of getting hired there... after your sabattical is over.

And yes, I mean even in 2005 !!!

Shai
Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Assume that you won't get your job back.

Also, one thing to keep in mind is that if you don't have much experience in the industry at this point, taking a year off might set your resume back quite a bit.  Remember you'll have to explain the gap when you get back ... so clearly, "I went to meditate with the Dalai Lama" may not be a good interview line as "I went to build houses in rural third-world communities".

Make sure you're still viewed as "employable" a year from now.

Alyosha`
Tuesday, January 13, 2004

for just curious, I've been working with a travel agency on buying a round the world fare that starts in LA and goes west. Trying to hit middle east, southeast asia, china, japan, australia, ending up in europe. The tickets are around $8000. I have just over $80,000 in cash for the trip, and $30,000 in another account for when I return. I haven't worked out a formal trip budget but will be mostly staying in guest houses, homes of friends, hostels, and budget hotels. I'm trying to keep expenses under $100 per day.

jpr
Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Wow, $80K for a round the world trip you'll be living in luxury.  Even at $100 / day.

YummyPad
Tuesday, January 13, 2004

I should point out I don't plan on spending the whole $80K, but have that much earmarked so I don't have to pass on any events because I can't afford it.

jpr
Tuesday, January 13, 2004

I'm wondering what's gone wrong in my life that I don't have $110K in the bank  :)

Zahid
Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Sounds great. As someone who did something similar (2 months around the US), I know this is going to be an amazing experience.

Don't be afraid to take a job for a few weeks. Waiter for a week in Key West, Tour Guide for a month in Prague, work on the Hostel for free room & board. Not only will this provide income, it will cut down on your expenses.

As far as getting back & getting a job. Don't assume you will, and be sure to have enough living expenses & a backup plan, like someone to stay with while you're looking.

Take lots of pictures, especially of the people you meet. As the sidewalk in Boulder Colorado says "What is a city, but it's people."

ENJOY!

www.MarkTAW.com
Tuesday, January 13, 2004

"I'm wondering what's gone wrong in my life that I don't have $110K in the bank"

Well you could be doing contract work to such a degree that it requires an entire year of vacation to prevent a complete mental and physical meltdown. :)

jpr
Tuesday, January 13, 2004

For $110K you could retire in luxury and live in a seaside bungalow in any number of emerging economies (Thailand, Sri Lanka, Costa Rica...). AND have broadband.

Ron
Tuesday, January 13, 2004

... until that economy starts to catch up and inflation takes hold.

www.MarkTAW.com
Tuesday, January 13, 2004

I'm so glad to see someone do this.  I have a similar plan to take off for about a year near the end of '05.  I won't have anywhere near 110k, though.

From a similar trip I've taken in Europe (for a lot less than $100 a day), I'll just say to be as flexible as you can let yourself be.  If you like someplace stay longer than you thought you would, and if you don't, don't look for a reason to stay.

"So love life for what it is and form no preconceptions whatever in your mind."  -  Kerouac

Oh, and on topic, if you're taking a one year vacation to avoid mental collapse, don't even think about returning to development.

Motivation Zero
Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Yeah, actually that you're talking to a travel agent kind of scares me. I realize organizing flights is difficult on the fly*, but I did my travels without a formal plan and it worked out great, I wouldn't have done it any other way, and to this day, my vacations are always "by the seat of my pants."

I arrived in New Orleans with my friends, they booked a hotel and I had none. I stayed in a Hostel for 2 days and met some great people... ok just one really cute girl. Unfortunately the hostel was booked for the weekend. There was another hostel in town, but far from Bourbon Street. So I called a few hotels and ended up in one on Bourbon Street - I could literally stumble home from the bars, and it was the same rate my friends were paying to stay 3 blocks away. And my hotel had a pool.

I also found that 3-4 days in any city was good enough to get a feel for it, but who knows what it would be like in a foreign culture.

*rereading this post I realize that's a funny pun, but definately not intended.

www.MarkTAW.com
Tuesday, January 13, 2004

I've done a lot of travel in the past but the maximum was 6 weeks, not a year. I would try to do it my self, but travel agents are actually pretty helpful with organizing round the world air fares. I'm using www.airtreks.com, which I found after reading the book "practical nomad" (the author helped start airtreks.com, I think.)

jpr
Tuesday, January 13, 2004

My advice would be don't plan too much. You are going to do new things, discover things you have never heard of and meet new great friends. You'll also find yourself bored in places you thought would be the absolute hight of entertainment.
Just start out by having a rough list of things you want to see, and places you want to visit and check all the visa requirements for those etc. Then just pick your starting place and maybe have a more detailed idea for the first six weeks. The rest will emerge along the way. You really don't need a travel agency.

Just me (Sir to you)
Wednesday, January 14, 2004

I was thinking... maybe you could bring along a laptop and  a digital camera. Say, take pictures of cool stuff at an antique shop in Prague, put the items up on E-Bay for a day at a 4X reserve.  If you get takers, buy it, ship it, Pay-Pal it and continue the journey. Become sort of a modern day virtual trader. You may be able to extend your trip indefinitely. Might not have to come back at all...  ;-)

Marco Polo
Wednesday, January 14, 2004

woah, marco polo. that's a good idea. :)

jpr
Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Too bad I don't own an antique shop in Prague, I could flood the market.

www.MarkTAW.com
Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Marco,  *Brilliant* idea.

Bella
Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Wow, a sterling endorsement from Bella.

www.MarkTAW.com
Wednesday, January 14, 2004

$80,000???  You can get by quite comfortably for $12,000/yr (for everything) if you avoid Europe & the States.  As far as airfare try airtreks in San Fran.  I suggest buying a one way ticket somewhere central (ie Singapore) and see where your travels lead.  You don't want to be stuck with a specific itinerary.

On the job front...don't worry about it.  It's only a job. 

Sawadi
Thursday, January 15, 2004

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