A Sabbatical…

…is something that may linger in the minds of people as they feel the affects of the rat-race syndrome in their daily lives. Often connected with universities, sabbaticals are a tradition of higher educational teachers, lecturers or professors who, after a traditional period of seven years, thereby the word coming from “Sabbath”, are rewarded with a year off with pay to do something different. Often using the time for continual research or similar.

I’ve often been fascinated with people I met who were on a sabbatical. They would just pop-up at the Grand Canyon, a Massachusetts flea market, Union Station in D.C., London’s New Globe Theater or just tenting at a campsite in Acadia National Park. And, many of these weren’t newly retired nor at all connected with a university or corporate organization. They were just (extra-) ordinary people who decided to break-away and do something else to spice-up life. Everyone seemed to have that special glint in their eyes and a look of total satisfaction with themselves and with their lives.

In 1992, I met two people from Scotland who had traveled around on their very own self-inflicted sabbatical and had wound-up in Jokkmokk. They had been several months in the U.S. doing odd jobs such as erecting and dismantling party tents. Not teachers nor professors. He was a car mechanic and she had been a mother and housewife. They were two simple hard working Scots who just wanted to do something different in their lives…and did!

All this sounds exotic, doesn’t it? But, How is it done and What is there to learn?

Feeling a need for changes, my wife and I have decided on “a great adventure” in our lives. We are headed for a self-made sabbatical and, at this writing, have only 4 weeks to go before we realize this adventure. The goal with this new category is to relate to any readers of our experiences, of what we do, have seen and have learned. Hopefully, we will share what works and what doesn’t work with having a sabbatical and, hopefully, others can find advice and encouragement to do something specially different in their lives.

Photo: North Mainland coast on Shetland at Eshaness

Our sabbatical is on the Shetland Islands. Two people from the inland mountain county of Jokkmokk, in northern Sweden, to a group of islands in the North Atlantic. A totally different experience! Two totally different places!

Please feel welcomed to follow along in our adventure on Shetland in the coming months….