Time For A Mini Retirement or Sabbatical?

I have recently had the restless itch of feeling I have been stuck in one place for too long and want to do something different. I need a jolt to my system if you will. My wife and I have been back in the US from our assignment in China for over 2 years now. We have only left the country once (on a Carnival Bahamas cruise) last October since we returned back to the US.

My wife and I have been kicking around the idea of planning some sort of international trip, but don't have anything really specific in mind. If I take a step back and think about what I'm really looking for I think of:
1) A trip (preferably relaxing/refreshing) where we are not constantly on the move, but some journeying/exploring will be fun.
2) Discovering new things in a new place.
3) International - I want to get out of my comfort zone.
4) Duration, don't want this to end as soon as it begins.

...and that starts to sound more like a mini-retirement, sabbatical, or extended trip to me. I guess what I'd really like to do is go somewhere new for a month, or two or more. That would allow us to take in the area, get comfortable with the place, be able to do much of the exploring we'd like to, and not feel rushed. It might actually even be a lower cost trip if planned that way, but just like any trip there are a lot of details and planning required.

Typical Obstacles
Well we have all the typical obstacles why this isn't feasible:
1) a kid
2) thinking about having more kids
3) a job with not that much vacation
4) a home that requires upkeep
5) a pet (dog)
6) other various commitments, etc

We are still dreaming about this though and have done a little research. I found these sites have at least given me a feel for possibilities:

It looks like there are opportunities to rent furnished places with 2+ bedrooms for a month or so all over the world that wouldn't break the bank, although the prices and specifics vary widely.

After my cursory research I'm leaning toward an extended trip (<3 weeks) this year as it keeps some logistics simpler. However I want to continue to build on that and do something more of a stretch in the next couple years.

Related in Temporary Assignment:

Wrapped China Assignment, Round 2 (Jan 01, 2014) Hanoi, Vietnam We just wrapped up our temporary assignment in China and arrived back in the US before the end of the year. Its amazing how time flies, it seems like just a few days ago that we began...

Packing Tips for Extended Family Travel (Oct 14, 2013) My young family is on the move - we are currently living in China on a 6 month work assignment. With the exorbitant cost to ship additional stuff to China we were incented to only bring what we could fit...

Survival Guide to Traveling with Young Kids (Jul 28, 2013) We didn't have much experience traveling with our young kids prior to our current assignment in China. We did lots of reading in preparation, but we were unprepared for both how exhausting and rewarding it has been for us. Here...

Comments (5)


Have you considered another expat assignment? I know friends that have taken positions in Singapore, Australia and Britain with one of the main reasons being that they wanted to see a different part of the world. Most of the world offers better vacation time than the US, so not only will you be experiencing a new area first hand, you will be positioned to travel to nearby areas as well to explore.

My other suggestion would be to leverage credit card mileage/points deals. It costs a lot to travel with a family, but maybe you can fly for close to free.

gbrain - yes I recently pursued another expat opportunity at work that didn't materialize - thats what sort of got me thinking about this more.

Go for it! Love the new entries you've had lately that have focused on life and not just $$. By the way, I've used both vrbo and sabbaticalhomes successfully - they are both great sites.

I am itching to go somewhere, too, but when it gets down to it I am anticipating the day a bit under 3 yrs from now where we will be living the quiet rural life. I think after we get there I will never need to go on vacation again.

You may want to check out www.housecarers.com, too.

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