Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Take a Break and see the world

Few of my friends took a year off after graduation to explore the world. I had the same idea but due to then economic crisis, I was exploring odd jobs as an unemployed graduate back home, something to cherish about.

It could be my umpteenth times to take a break from work. Last year, I was offered a place for a master programme in the UK but did not proceed. A good decision during this trying time.

It could be this an article says, who said taking time out to explore the world was limited to teenagers in between studies? Some ideas already flowing through wild imagination, such as round-the-world in 80 days.
Today there are countless opportunities for volunteering, learning a language, taking a career break and even a little something for singles. Whatever your status, there is something to match your needs.
For those who have to drag themselves out of bed just to make it to work on time, now is the perfect time for a touch of inspiration. You might even love your job but feel like getting a change of scenery.

Sabbatical, not leave
Browsing through the malls or walking along the Dubai coastline as the sun sets flawlessly over the water might simply not be enough anymore.
Perhaps a trek through the jungles of Vietnam, salsa dance classes in Argentina, learning Italian in Florence, pitching a tent in Canada or volunteering at an orphanage in Zambia would do the trick.
According to, around 90,000 people take a career break each year in the UK and it has become an accepted part of an employee’s development.
These “time-outs” range from a few weeks to several months, after which, employers say they notice a positive change and an improvement in skills in the employees.

Be informed
A friend of mine recently decided to take three months off from working in the UK and split her time between sun-bathing in Dubai and exploring Cuba.
Her final six weeks saw her living and working at an orphanage in Thailand — an experience, she says, that changed her outlook on life forever.
Of course it took plenty of research and lots of planning, since there are so many sites on the internet that you need to make sure you go with a reputable and trustworthy company.
If it is a group tour, you should try to get information on the other travellers.

Strike the right balance
For example, with one tour group, my friend found that she would have been the only single traveller among three married couples.
She immediately ruled out that option and kept checking until she found the group that suited her better.
Another friend, a Dubai-based headhunter who also escaped the routine for a while. For him also, it proved a to be life-changing experience.
“After ten years working in executive recruitment, I decided to take a break; luckily, my employer Talent2 International agreed to allow me a six-month sabbatical, so I set off for South America by myself — without a plan, mobile phone or knowledge of Spanish and Portuguese!”
One of his favourite places was Colombia, despite all the warnings and reports of threats to tourists.
Croft says being there and experiencing the culture and kindness of the people made him want to return someday.

Fresh enthusiasm
“My adventure allowed me to focus on what’s important in life and at the same time made me very determined to rejoin my employer with a new sense of enthusiasm and purpose,” Croft says.
Now, whenever he has a bad day in the office, he recalls those less fortunate to keep things in perspective.
Kristina Roe, communications manager for says those who seek a break from want some time out away from it all, others want to enhance certain skills and their CVs and some are looking for a total career change.

Top Tips
1. Think very carefully about the type of break you want. Do you want to go traveling? Do you want to give something back through volunteer work? If so, do you want to go abroad or do something local?

2. How much time have you got? Be realistic with this time and set yourself goals - don't be too overly ambitious. You want to return feeling as though you achieved something but not more exhausted than when you left!

3. If you want to volunteer abroad, take the time to research the different options. All volunteer projects should be based on a real local need and work in partnership with local people rather than being dreamed up by a travel company’s marketing department.

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1 comment:

I swear said...

This is real story. This man was buidling a centre in Australia and was very busy. He passed the road leading to the centre many times. One day, transport was not available so he walked down the road to get some supplies. Suddenly he noticed how beautiful the road leading to his centre is. It was something that he had not noticed despite having travelled the road for many times. The beautiful view has always been there for him but he was blind to it.

That walk made him realised that there are many beautiful things in this world. He has been so busy with his work that he did not notice the beautiful things in life.

So better slow down a bit and appreciate the beauty of the world before it is too late.