Last update: April 22

What’s a sabbatical?

A sabbatical is an extended period of time without paid work—but it’s more than just a vacation.

The earliest version of idea derives from the Sabbath: taking a break from fieldwork every seventh year to let one’s land heal. College professors have classically taken sabbaticals every seven years. Today, lots of adults take sabbaticals, which they may also call “gap years” or “mini-retirements.” This great article explains the concept and offers advice for planning your own sabbatical.

Why now?

After 15 years of continuous work (2005-2020), the time feels right. Life has been awesome—filled with summer camps, international trips, writing about topics I’m passionate about, speaking for motivated audiences, and lots of personal adventures. I’m neither hyper-stressed nor burnt out. Yet it still feels important to pause, consider what comes next, and say “no” to most little things until I find my next hell yeah.

2021 also feels right because I just wrapped up a few big things—publishing a book, running a microschool—and also because the pandemic continues to keep Unschool Adventures on ice.

I further explain my decision in this 8-minute podcast episode: