5 weeks. 37 days. 888 hours. 53,280 mins. 3,196,800 secs.
Finally, a much needed break…
Before I graduated college, I had a job lined up and a career path paved out. Its been almost a decade since then and I have not taken a ‘real’ break. Other than a week vacation here and there, where by the time you’ve actually let loose its time to go back, I have never taken time off, not even between jobs! I have always poured all of my energy into my career letting my ambition get the best of me. It’s not a bad thing but I have unfortunately neglected some of my personal passions by putting work above all.
Last December, I decided that it was time to put “me” first, even if it is just for a few weeks. I decided to put my personal goals and wants above all else. I’m single, I don’t have children, and I have no obligations other than to myself, and I’m in a period of my life where I have started to (re)evaluate my relationships, my accomplishments, my goals, and where I want to be in the next chapter of my life.
Looking back, I have no complaints. I have loved and I have been heart broken, I have made mistakes and learned from them, I have worked my ass off to get where I am today, I have traveled, and I am now in a position where my company values me enough to let me take 2 months off from work. I do have to split those two months up but again, no complaints because I never expected an opportunity like this. So, I am very grateful.
This brings me to today. Today, May 23rd, 2015, I will embark on a journey of a lifetime. I have 5 weeks to recharge my batteries. 37 days to think about where I want to take the next chapter in my life. 888 hours to explore new surroundings. 53,280 minutes to discover not only different cultures and people but also new or even old things about myself. And 3,196,800 seconds to enjoy every single moment with nothing holding me back.
Where will I be there next 5 weeks? Well, I kind of have a jammed packed itinerary like any Type A personality.
Week 1: Lake Como, Italy. This is the only place I have 100% wanted to visit more than once before seeing “new” places the world. I visited Lake Como during my last vacation in September 2014 and absolutely fell in love. Wakeboarding alongside beautiful villas, delicious food, a family-run hotel right on the water (aka. water sports galore). What more can I ask for? I mean, I kind of want to move here.
Week 2: Milan, Italy and Split, Croatia. I didn’t ‘see’ Milan last time because I decided to stay on Lake Como a few extra days, completely bypassing the fashion capital of the world, but I’m headed back and will be going to the World Fair (Milan Expo 2015)! Then, I’ll be spending two days in Split/Trogir where I’ll spend a day at Krka National Park seeing one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the world with my own eyes.
Week 3: Croatian Islands and Dubrovnik, Croatia. Hmmm…. two words. Yacht Week! Followed by a few days exploring the old town walls of Dubrovnik.
Week 4: Budapest, Hungary. Ok – this has been a bucket list destination for 8 years! Finally making it and I’m definitely going to one of those Thermal Bath Houses.
Week 5: Aix-en-Provence and the Cannes Lions Festival in France. I chose Aix-en-Provence based on the numerous lavender fields I have seen in pictures recently (yes, my last two vacations have been based on pictures I have seen) and Cannes (even though I have already been there) because my initial intention for a sabbatical started off as partly wanting to rediscover my creative passion. So, I thought this would be fitting since the Cannes Lions Festival is the Oscars for advertising! Why not re-inspire my creativity by going to the largest and most prestigious advertising event of the year? In the South of France. My initial decision to go was based on the creative and forward thinking people who typically speak at these events, but I am also not going to say no to Yacht and Villa parties… and the endless amounts of Rose that apparently is served to thousands of guests.
For someone who has a full-time job, this trip is pretty amazing. Of all the tough times I’ve been through,
Who knew it could be this good. Reach for the Stars and Never Give Up. #workhardtravelfarther