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At one time or another, we've all wished for a vacation. But sometimes, we need even more than that; we need a long vacation. Enter: the gap year, a sabbatical taken into your own hands.
Once reserved as a year-long break for faithfully-employed career veterans, sabbaticals have been repackaged as a short-term perk within top companies. Ranging from several weeks to up to a year or more of paid time off, sabbaticals are intended to give an employee the opportunity to rejuvenate with the hopes that he or she will return to work even more inspired and productive.
Malia Obama is On Trend
We're no longer waiting for employers to take the lead in giving us time off. From Boomers to Millennials, and even Gen Z, we're proactively opting out of traditional paths for gap years. A common undertaking for European students prior to starting university, gap years are the perfect opportunity to make space for personal exploration, rest, travel, volunteering and trying on new paths — at any point in your life. Joining the growing number of American students taking time off before college, Malia Obama recently shared that she'll take a gap year prior to attending Harvard University in the fall of 2017.
James Green Quits Career to Sail Around the World
Feeling burnt out in his high-stress career, James Green quit his job when his boss declined his request for a sabbatical. With a life-long yet mostly unrealized passion for sailing, Green packed up his family and hired a sailing crew to help. By the time his savings started running out, he felt more recharged than ever and excited to work again. As it turned out, the storms he battled on the sea were helpful in landing a new job. His experience, and the blog which chronicled his journey, stuck out from the applicant pack and helped him land a gig as CEO of an ad targeting firm.
Millennial Finds Alternate Career Through Gap Year Travel
Think that taking a year off is financially out of reach? It doesn't have to be! Knowing that his first corporate job after college was not for him, Michael Tieso saved up $15,000 on a $50,000 salary to break loose. With his sights set on China, Southeast Asia and South America, he cut all kinds of corners to make it happen. When his savings ran low while out on the road, he relied on earnings from his backpacking travel blog. That's not all — through traveling he found that there were many more ways to earn a living than sitting in a cubicle.
Perhaps one of these gap year stories will inspire you to take one of your own!