Malia Obama put gap years back in the spotlight when she decided to delay her college experience so that she could immerse herself in experiential activities like a Hollywood internship, international travel, and intense study of topics such as environmental conservation and social activism.

Bridge years – or any intentional time away from the traditional classroom and the world of work – aren’t just for the young. They’re also for the young at heart – those of us who yearn to go within, explore, and embrace areas of our lives that have been lost.

If you’re flirting with the idea of taking a career sabbatical, you’re not alone. It’s a dream for many people, but few get beyond the fantasy phase of the process, largely because so many questions surface:

  • How will I decide? On the right time, the right budget, the right route, the right structure, the right balance between activity and rest?
  • How will I explain it? To my family, my friends, my colleagues, potential employers when I return? How will I even explain it to myself?!
  • How will I extricate myself from my current responsibilities and, if I choose to come back, how do I transition back in a manner that doesn’t destroy the peace and learning that I want to cultivate?

Don’t let these questions overwhelm you. We’ll sort through them together using a structured process that includes practical elements such as budgeting and timeline, specific questions about your current relationships and obligations, and dimensions of core identity that surround your health, personal expression and creativity, and connections – both present and desired.

Schedule time on my calendar for a free discovery call, and we’ll look at what’s tempting you and what’s holding you back about your own sabbatical.