I’m super jet-lagged and awake at 4am in Dublin, so I figured this is obviously the best time to write a blog post to kick off our travels. We’ve spent the past few weeks bouncing between Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta so we kind of feel like we’ve “officially” started our travels as of July 24th.
A lot of people asked us why and how we got the idea for applying for a sabbatical leave. Well, we don’t have kids yet, and sometimes our job can take its toll on us. Plus we love to travel. So who wouldn’t want a little paid time away from work?
Early in our relationship, B and I took a trip to Mexico together. He called it a test – if you can travel with someone for a week and not want to kill them, it’s possible your relationship could be successful. I guess I passed. Since then we’ve traveled around Europe, road-tripped from Calgary to Sydney, Nova Scotia in a heat wave with no air conditioning, drove the PCH from San Fran to San Diego, and taken many weekend trips. We (well, I) created lists of our favourite destinations and it continues to grow. B always envisioned seeing as much of North America as possible, but I always imagined my life looking something like “Eat Pray Love”, except with a strong focus on cheese and baguettes.
When we heard our school district offered paid sabbatical leave opportunities, we knew we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to at least apply – we could further our education AND travel at the same time. We tried to jump on it right away, but turns out I was too naive and inexperienced for it. We’d have to wait 3 freaking years to apply! Finally, the chance came in November, 2016. We filled out lengthy applications and had an interview in December. In January we received letters at our school and we opened them at the same time – we got it! I swear I didn’t sleep for a week with all of the destinations and ideas flowing chaotically through my head. We’d spend the next few months selling stuff, applying to universities, and planning where we’d like to go.
While our story won’t exactly be “Eat Pray Love”, it’s probably going to be a little more like “Eat, Learn, and Don’t Kill Each Other”. We haven’t officially started sabbatical leave (at least our paycheques haven’t shown the pay cut yet…), we have started some classes and have come up with a pretty rad line up of destinations. Our first stop, Ireland, is actually a combo. Later today we start a study abroad course with 23 other students as we tour around Ireland and learn about its history for the next 10 days. I’m pretty pumped and armed with a lot of gravol.
Here are some of the destinations we hope to make it to in the next 13 months:
- Ireland and Scotland (July/August 2017)
- Nova Scotia and Newfounland (August 2017)
- Driving the Pacific Coast Highway from Canada to San Diego (September, 2017)
- Living in Mission Beach, San Diego (October/November 2017)
- Costa Rica, Cuba, and Panama (December 2017)
- Curacao, Grenada, St. Lucia, St. Kitts, Montserrat, and Puerto Rico (January/February 2018)
- Maui and Kauai (March, 2018)
- Drive from San Diego – Texas (hitting Joshua Tree, Vegas, Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon, White Sands National Monument on the way – March 2018)
- San Antonio for the NCAA Final Four (applied for tickets, so we will see! April 2018)
- South Padre Island (April 2018)
- Road Trip – Texas to Nova Scotia – New Orleans, Nashville, Washington DC, NYC, Boston, Halifax (April 2018)
- India (April/May 2018)
- Dubai (stopover on the way to India)
- Morocco (May 2018)
- Spain, Italy, Greece (May, June 2018)
- Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Poland, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Russia, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium (June/July 2018)
- Iceland (July 2018)
I’ll be blogging my way through our journey, so be sure to follow along.