Sabbatical Stories

Kira Goes from Corporate to Living the Dream

Summary: Kira’s 26-week sabbatical helps her reset her priorities and transition from corporate to the dream life she hoped to live.

How My Sabbatical Transformed My Life

The sabbatical allowed me to reset my priorities and redefine my career goals resulting in a more fulfilled and mindful way of living.

I sold my house and all my possessions, reducing my life to four suitcases, and resigned from my job to move to Mexico. I drove through various states before crossing into Mexico, taking my time to explore the country. I immersed myself in learning the language, traditions, and customs, and eventually settled in Guadalajara.

There, I enrolled in a Spanish language immersion program at the University of Guadalajara. My days were filled with meeting new people, attending yoga classes, and biking around the city. I made new friends, sampled diverse cuisines, discovered local music and dances, and embraced a simpler, slower pace of life.

When you share your story, you are not only proof but also permission to do things differently.

Activities you engaged in during your sabbatical:

Decluttered, traveled abroad, attended therapy, rested, hiked, swam, read, visited the library, learned a new language, began yoga, started a business, colored, drove across the country twice, took dance classes, became a beekeeper, attended festivals, camping, visited museums, attended sports events, went to the beach, got engaged, went vegan, lost weight, met online friends in real life, got a tattoo, improved my relationship with my children, went to the movies, tried new restaurants, started a YouTube, invested in a record player and vinyl records, rode public transportation, cooked more, traded my car for a bicycle, visited cafes

Length of sabbatical: 26 weeks

Did HOW you work change at all, post-sabbatical?

Went from full time to part time, Went from company employed to self-employed, Committed to taking significantly more time off
(e.g. 4 day workweek, or summer’s off)

Describe any changes you made in your life post-sabbatical:

Post-sabbatical, I actively regulate my nervous system, work as a consultant for better work-life synergy, embrace slower living, and establish healthier boundaries.

How did your sabbatical experience change the way you thought about your employer?

During my sabbatical, I realized that my employer did not always respect my boundaries, prioritizing the company’s interests over my well-being.

Why do you think others should (or shouldn’t) take sabbaticals?

A sabbatical is a great way to prevent and recover from burnout while providing you with space and time for personal and professional growth. It is a period for rest and recovery if you are facing emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion from prolonged work stress.

Beyond just a break, a sabbatical allows you to develop new skills, pursue personal interests, and improve your physical and mental health. This time off can be especially helpful for those looking to deepen their knowledge through formal education or hands-on experiences or for those wanting to pursue passions like writing, art, or extensive travel.

Strategically, a sabbatical can be beneficial during times of transition or following significant life events.

Whether considering a career change, recovering from a personal loss, or seeking clarity after achieving professional milestones, a sabbatical offers the space to reflect, regroup, and realign with your goals and aspirations.

It is also an ideal time to engage in educational pursuits that require full-time commitment, such as studying for a degree or specialized certification. By stepping back from daily responsibilities, you can gain important perspectives for making informed decisions about your future, returning reinvigorated and ready to tackle new challenges.

You can connect with Kira Isom on TikTok, Facebook, Instagram or YouTube.

Curious to read more about how sabbaticals can catalyze self-employment? Check out Cady’s story.

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