We agreed to write up our thoughts about this trip separately. Guess we thought it might be interesting to see what we saw as the highlights and then compare and contrast. I know you lot probably don’t care but having spent six months in each other’s constant company we became adept at thinking of things that might give us something fresh to talk about 😉
Almost 48hours back in London. Second day in the office.
We landed on Monday in a cloud of typical London rain and low hanging grey clouds; we had not seen rain in 5 weeks. When not sleeping on the flight I kept thinking about our trip; the good, the bad and the ugly. Before I forget here’s my attempt to summarise key points.
- The books I read. The time I had to really read them, think about them and fully digest their meaning. The 100 year life weighs heavy on my mind now. If I have to work until I am 70-80 what would I want that life to look like? Where would I live it and who would I want around? If I live to 100 years that 65 more years on this planet. That’s a long time to spend doing something that you kind-of like and surrounding yourself with people that you kind-of get along with. I now know that I am an ambivert (yes that’s a word) and that I need to build safeguards so that my extroverted nature does not take over, that I need to save some of my energy for my weekends and the people I love.
- Sleeping in a small bed and ‘surviving’ on a suitcase’s worth of clothes. I came back to find a box of exercise gear at home. A whole box. I spent 6 months with only a pair of leggings, a pair of shorts, a couple of t-shirts and sports bras. Why do I need all this stuff? I am looking forward to going shopping in my closet and not buying anything for a while (I reserve the right to change my mind the moment I walk past Zara).
- The calmness. Over the last couple of weeks as the return day got closer and closer I got more and more stressed. My list of things to do in London got longer and longer. From minor things (cancelling Sky subscription and going to the dentist) to more complicated stuff (eg how on earth will we fit all of our possessions in NH); the weight of London life at times feels unbearable. Life can be a lot simpler and I need to remember that.
Andy’s excitement for photography, his unbelievable patience (with me and when it comes to waiting for weather conditions to change) and relentless pursuit for deliberate practice when learning something new.
Last 24 hours in London
We are currently in a hotel in Gatwick as our flight tomorrow morning leaves quite early and neither of us fancied waking up at the crack of dawn, packing duvet, pillows etc.
It’s been raining all day; a typical grey and rainy London day. The hotel looks like something that came out of the shinning. Any minute now Jack and the little kid on the bike will show up. This is a sharp contrast to yesterday.
These three things and an overwhelming sense of optimism (light to carry, infinitely applicable, and free) are all you need to deal with life on the road..
The one thing no one really talks when it comes to taking a sabbatical is all the prep that has to happen before you set foot on the plane.
You will find a lot of sites talking about approaching your employer and asking for time off. We found this Forbes article and this very useful. But after that? Are you moving out of your house? Are you renting your house out? If so are you renting via AirBnB or through an agency? In the last couple of months we’ve had to deal with a lot of that. Here’s what we learned