Sabbatical Planning

For the last 17 years my wife and some of her college friends have taken a trip together during the summer. It’s a pretty awesome tradition that I fully support. When she is gone I usually take a couple of days off to be home with the kids and we go on Dad Time. The dishes are left in the sink. We eat a lot of pizza. Maybe catch a movie. It’s a good chance to recharge the batteries. In addition to the ‘roommate trip’ my wife has a second trip planned with her family that I declined because heading further south in the heat of July seems illogical to me. (I promise I am not a terrible husband. My employer is generous with vacation and the wife and I will have plenty of time together in the fall.)

This year the stars have aligned and the kids will also be gone when my wife is away, so I decided to schedule two five-day blocks of vacation for myself, about three weeks apart. I have begun to refer to this as my ‘mini sabbatical’ (Part 1 and Part 2) since I don’t think I have had this much time alone since I got married in 2003. I am devoting my mornings to a big writing project (more on that later this summer) but beyond that I really have nothing on the docket. Maybe some movies, maybe some long walks with the dogs. I’m heading into uncharted territory and while I am excited, I am also nervous that I will not make the most of the time. So my question for readers is this: Have you ever taken a sabbatical? If so, what was your experience? For those that have not, what would you do with a week all to yourself? Get some work done or goof off? What would your perfect week look like?

Mike Dwyer is a freelance writer in Louisville, KY. He writes about culture, the outdoors and whatever else strikes his fancy. His personal site can be found at He is also active on Facebook and Twitter. Mike is one of several Kentucky authors featured in the book This I Believe: Kentucky

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8 thoughts on “Sabbatical Planning

  1. Fun post. Thanks. We are actually in process of building a marketplace for professional adventures aka working sabbaticals. Will be in beta in a month or so. Would be great to hear about your thoughts on that! ;)


  2. Awesome.

    If I were you, knowing your interests, I would go visit a whole bunch of important Revolutionary War sites. Oddly enough, I heard a rumor that one of your friends lives within an hour of most of ’em.


    • Mark,

      I do know someone who lives up that way. Unfortunately the same funding problems that will leave me stuck in Louisville for Leaguefest will also leave me here during my sabbatical. As a consolation I will spend some time staring at our new kitchen floor and trying to convince myself it was a good trade-off.


  3. I’m a big fan of “down time”. I can spend an entire weekend doing the following:

    Watching old movies
    Cooking in the kitchen making things
    Sleeping in
    Playing on the computer

    I don’t see anyone and don’t talk to anyone. It’s fun about once a month.

    On a longer time period I’d probably go take care of some linger “bucket list” things I’d like to do: Hike the Zion Narrows for example.


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