How to Take a Year Off

by Christopher Paul on September 3, 2013

Men across the country have begun to embrace the notion that stepping out of their day-to-day routines for a year is not only a fantasy worth fulfilling, but an essential part of their professional and personal growth. There's even a growing industry of life coaches, adventure schools, and financial planners all catering to the trend. Major companies, which in boom years offered sabbaticals to retain sought-after employees, are using minimally subsidized break periods as both a kind of temporary layoff during lean years and a way to keep top people during boom times. According to one survey, 18 percent of Generation X employees have either taken an extended break or have one planned in the future.

Although it's becoming more common, a year off is still definitely not for the timid. Men who have had the courage to take an extended break advise that it isn't an introspective retreat from the world. It's a complicated endeavor that, handled badly, can jeopardize your job and your relationships back home.

I've always wanted take extended time off from work. As a child, I thought about building grass bridges in Peru. Later, it was to explore the Galapagos. Now, I think I want to sail somewhere far away – but not the typical places – New York to Iceland or LA to the South Pole.

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