Sabbatical Stories

Renee’s Lifelong Dream Coming True

renee bruns feature image

A dream sabbatical to experience the world using a wheelchair

I am a former Fortune 500 executive, currently on a professional career sabbatical and I’m out to experience the world.  My goal is to visit every UN member country – a lifelong dream finally coming true.  Oh, and I use a wheelchair!

The newfound confidence I have in myself made my sabbatical all worth it!

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

Complete career change and general improvement in physical and emotional well-being.


What catalyzed your sabbatical?:
  • Someone I knew took one
  • Negative event – death of a loved one, health/burnout, job loss, etc.


List some activities you engaged in during your sabbatical: 

I am traveling the world and have since made it a mission to see all 195 countries (a lifelong dream that I never thought I’d actually complete)


Tell us about your sabbatical: 

I was burnt out and struggling with the ethics of corporate America. I decided that my life and morals were not worth the big paycheck and fought my fear to take a year-long sabbatical. I am more confident than ever and have clarity on what I want to do with my future career to feel more impactful. The fear is the worst part; the indescribable rewards are the best part. If you can get through the fear and anxiety, and take the big jump, your life will be better in more ways than I can describe.

Renee on wheelchair on sabbatical, traveling.
Describe the impact of your sabbatical in one sentence: 

I am so confident in myself, my relationships, and the path my life is on now.

How long was your sabbatical (in weeks)?



Why do you think others should (or shouldn’t) take sabbaticals? Are there occasions in life where it’s particularly helpful?

Everyone should absolutely take a sabbatical! It is the most life-altering moment I’ve ever had and I am a better person because of it. Of course, it needs to make financial sense, and for me, I was struggling with things in my career, so it was the perfect time. Everyone has a different series of life events, and we all handle them differently, so the right occasion will always be different for everyone. Follow your gut – not your hesitation – and do it when it’s right for you!

Interested in more stories about executives on sabbatical? Check out Justin and Allison’s story here.

You can connect with Renee on her website or Instagram.

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