We knew we wanted to take an around-the-world trip as a family. It would be the trip of a lifetime and we couldn’t be more excited to plan and take our 9-month adventure. But, like all good things, the trip had to come to an end and we had to return to Charlotte, North Carolina, and settle back in.
After living out of a suitcase, moving every few days, spending days at leisure, and seeing brand new things at every turn, we discovered coming back home was harder than leaving! If you’re considering taking a sabbatical with your family, here’s how we dealt with the return — hopefully we can help make it easier for you.
One of the biggest fears that prevents people from traveling is the fear of not being able to communicate. Visiting a country where English is not widely spoken can definitely be nerve-wracking: How will you find your way? How will you purchase tickets or order a meal? So many “what ifs” may run through your mind, but having visited numerous countries where we couldn’t speak the language, we discovered it’s much easier than you think.
One of the most often questions we are asked is about taking a gap year with our son. To travel 9 months together meant leaving our jobs and putting our home life on hold. We had to plan a budget, save for the trip, make tough decisions, and have a plan for life at home once we returned. It wasn’t an easy thing to do, but was it worth it? Absolutely!
People often ask us to tell them about the vacation we took in 2017—and we often offer a gentle correction: When you’re traveling for eight and a half months, that’s not a vacation. It’s a sabbatical. And the difference is more than just semantic. It represents a totally different state of mind.