In some cultures, young people take a year off after high school/college to explore, to work, or to simply figure out what they want to do with their future. What is the value of taking a break? Well, you can’t really answer that question until you commit to it. These days, adults are taking time off to rediscover a past passion, to gain perspective after losing a job, or to ‘find themselves’ after a spouse passes, kids go away to college, or because of a constant feeling of stagnation. If you’re planning on taking some time off, here are some considerations that one would be remiss to overlook.
Most people do not have the financial muscle to take an entire year away from work. Ensure that you plan around how you will maintain a healthy diet and be able to afford rent or a mortgage without exhaustively tapping into a retirement fund…or worse, university savings. There are several ways to make money while traveling abroad, such as teaching English or working at a bar. If you’re staying close to home, you do not have to worry about a place to stay, yet you still need to pay the rent or mortgage, so consider taking in a tenant. Alternatively, you could join the Peace Corps or become a housesitter in a country you have yet to explore.
If you rent a property (or a single room), then you will amost certainly be unable to take all of your valuables with you. You will need to invest in a storage unit. There are cheap storage units at First Choice Mini Storage in Lakeland, Fl for those headed south. Your vehicle may be another item to consider. You can sell it, rent it for the time being, or store it along with other items. Alternatively, ask friends and family members if you can store items with them, or have people housesit for you while you’re away.
Reason to Leave
Fresh perspective is invaluable, and can be the reason that many decide to take time off. Even experts in problem solving give credit to the notion of walking away to inspire new thoughts. Fresh thinking can and might provide time for your brain to unwind, so that you can better focus when you return to a problem. In terms of taking an entire year away from a job, a location, and/or immediate friends and family: you might not feel comfortable within yourself. This freedom could result in a better personal stance; a new appreciation for where you live, and stronger relations with the same people, upon your return. Especially in times of trouble or tribulation, staying in the same place might result in more of the same moods and a lack of real resolutions.
Fear and New Experiences
Some people never make radical changes because of their fear of the new. I speak not of the fear of being chased by a boogeyman or a witch, but the fear of the unknown. It can be one of the reasons why many abused women stay in terrible relationships, and why some people linger in jobs that they hate. The fear of not knowing what comes next seems more troubling than poor present states, and reason enough to stay in place. However, those who have a healthy sense of their locus of control know some occasions call for action.
New experiences can trigger excited, normal thinking patterns and habits of coping, and could challenge individuals to seek other means of survival and well being. Humans are often creatures of repetition; meeting expectation feels normal. We work at the same buildings, live in the same homes, and order coffee the same way. Such things provide a sense of security; we feel as if we know the future.
Otherwise, a wide open future would seem scary and could result in feelings of anxiety. But, as many people know, change is inevitable and new challenges often open new and exciting doors, rather than introduce poor outcomes. Even failure, with the passing of time, often becomes cherished by those who have learned from experiences.
Leaving a place of repetition does not mean cutting ties with people, places, and things that make you feel positive. In addition to the thought of returning, you can keep in contact with important people in your life, continue to do activities that you enjoy, and further appreciate things about a particular location. Absence makes the heart grow fonder; leaving a situation, place, or people can increase the emotional value you place upon them. Take along pictures and possessions that make you happy. Leverage Skype, Facebook, Twitter, snail mail, and other opportunities to stay in contact with key individuals.
What’s the advantage of taking time off? If you never give yourself an opportunity to answer the question, you won’t ever know what could be, nor, perhaps, ever discover the real you. So much of ourselves is shaped by our immediate culture, associates, and routines. If you step away from the familiar, you invite opportunity to identify the real you. What is one year of potential awakening versus the rest of your life not knowing? Maybe even regretting?
Photo 1 – Pixabay – Public Domain
Photo 2 – Pixabay – Public Domain
Guest Author Bio
First Choice Mini Storage is a family-owned self storage facility in Lakeland, Florida. Owners Keith and Robin Aronoff are passionate about their business and towards serving the local community. They are also owners of Creative Coach Collision Repair and Design Center, located directly across the street from First Choice Mini Storage. Creative Coach services the motor-home community nationwide from its 16,000 square-feet state-of-the-art facility, with three generations of motor home enthusiasts.