Read in English only
One of the most successful series I’ve ever done on my blog – hell no – THE MOST SUCCESSFUL series I’ve ever done – is my travel series called ‘8 reasons why you should move to my city’. It’s all about that one big move that can (and will if you decide to take the plunge) change your life forever (and the chances are it won’t be for the worse). Be it moving to a different city in your own home country (because you can’t live too far from your mum’s homemade Sunday roast, right?) or taking the plane and flying halfway across the globe to spend a semester at some insanely cool Australian university, living outside of your comfort zone for just a short period of time will be a horizon-broadening experience for you. So far it’s only been my very own experience with living abroad that’s been driving this series forward. Funnily enough, though, Opodo.co.uk have recently conducted a study that underlines these 8 reasons perfectly. This research talks about all the excuses that British people, in particular, have whenever someone mentions a sabbatical to them.
8 EXCUSES THAT ARE HOLDING YOU BACK FROM EXPERIENCING LIFE ABROAD
My employer does not offer the option to take a sabbatical leave
The loudest of all excuses is the ever so typical ‘I’m not allowed to’. Well, have you actually ever asked or even read your contract whether it mentions the option of sabbatical leave? You haven’t, have you? According to the aforementioned study, UK employees have more workplace benefits than other Europeans according to Opodo.co.uk. And one of them is the option to take a large chunk of time off – usually paid, in some instances unpaid or partially unpaid. So there.
I have a cat (or two)
Of course, if you have pets (or children) then packing your bags and leaving for a month at the time can be a little tricky. Yes, you will miss them. And no, they probably won’t miss you (especially when we’re talking about cats). Pet sitters such as Pet Minders from Walsall are a great way to resolve this issue. When it comes to pets, not children, of course. They are a little pricey but they will come to your home (essentially house-sitting too, so here’s your two birds & one stone story) and take care of your cat, play with him, clean up his litter tray, give him a pouch or two. And all’s well.
It will be so hard to get back to work after a sabbatical
An unbelievable amount (13%) of British people believe that taking time off to travel the world or to experience new cultures will actually harm their current work. They think that coming back to work after such a long time of chilling on the beach will make it unbearable for them. And the truth is that it might be a little difficult. If you decide to go backpacking through Malaysia for 3 months, using leaves instead of toilet paper and riding elephants on the way to the waterfall shower, it will be a bit meh to go to that office in the middle of Birmingham every single morning. And getting on that London Midland train that makes you suffocate. But it will in no way affect your job negatively in terms of performance, or the way people look at you. And you’ll get used to the commute again, don’t worry.
I can’t speak any foreign language
It’s 2017. That’s really not a problem anymore. Especially when English is your mother tongue, you’ll be just fine.
Sabbatical makes me unemployable
Why would you even think so?! According to the study, almost two-thirds of people (61%) in Spain believe extended leave will help them in the future in terms of employability and more than half (60%) of the people in Germany said the same, while a further 49% of people working in France also believe sabbaticals can help with employment. Yet British people think that sabbatical leaves make them unemployable. Just imagine the wealth of knowledge and experience you’ll gain when living somewhere new, surrounded by all these new exciting people. eating food you’ve never even heard of and listening to stories of people who have lived their lives in different political regimes, have gone through wars or have just been brought up in a completely different culture. How could all this eye-opening knowledge make you unemployable, you silly bean?!
A week in Benidorm is surely enough
Almost 23% of British people believe that going on a one or two week holiday is enough. It relaxes you just the right amount without disturbing your work routine too much. You come back and go straight into the office, with a list of client meetings waiting for you and every little detail about your work still very much fresh in your mind. The only problem is that a week in a resort can’t ever come close to experiencing a new country and the life there. Resorts are just mini villages full of tourists just like you, who haven’t even switched off yet despite leaving for holiday 5 days ago already. A week in Benidorm ain’t enough. It just ain’t.
I can’t afford to be travelling AND paying my rent at the same time
That is actually a fair point.I do strongly recommend that if you have the option then sign up to Airbnb and rent out your apartment on a short term basis. It’s very easy to set up and you will be able to make some extra income to at least cover your rent whilst travelling. Easy!
There won’t be no Sunday roast
A ridiculous amount of people that I’ve spoken to about moving abroad for some time have said to me that the lack of familiarity with foreign culture is holding them back. There won’t be no Sunday roast, there won’t be no Jezza on the telly, there won’t be no NHS. Well, that is exactly the point. No matter how much I love said things, the point of going on a sabbatical leave is to experience something new. Yes, you will miss those things. But also – YES, they will seem a whole lot better once you’ve come back after a month in France. FACT.
Will you be taking some time off work anytime soon?
💭 This post has been inspired by Opodo’s survey which lends itself absolutely perfectly into this travel series. So don’t be afraid and stop finding excuses. Just pack your suitcase and go!