"The Great Wall of China" - 长城

Image by SmokingPermitted - "Cosa sono? La bambina dei no" via Flickr

Angela Petitt has what I would call ‘time freedom’. She woke up one day, twenty years into her corporate career, took stock of where she was versus where she wanted to be, quit her job and went on a one-and-one-half year sabbatical. She reduced her debt to the point that she could comfortably live on her savings while investing in herself.

“I believe we all have deep-rooted desires that we want to accomplish, but we suppress them due to the daily grind of life and responsibilities.  We tend to think ‘One day I will do it’ or that they are pipe dreams and not possible.” She climbed the Great Wall in China, froze in Siberia, escaped the unfortunate earthquake and tsunami in Japan, learned how to fly a small plane and started working on her doctorate.”

Her adventures have been documented on her blog, Sabbatical Scapes. For her, the nineteen months she’s spent discovering the world brought her closer to herself.

Isn’t that what travel is all about? Travel is a stretching experience. Where will your life take you?

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Vacating the premises

May 15, 2009

In a special Work-Life Balance section, CNN reported yesterday about vacation time in the United States.

Are you fearful to take time off because you think you might get axed?

Think again.

It has been proven that rested workers are more productive than those who work 16 hour days. The best thing to do is to communicate with your boss about quarterly goals. Ascertain how you might bring your own talent into the mix. Be clear about his or her expectations. Then exceed them.

That does not mean you have to pull all-nighters or weekend shifts. Be clear about your own limitations. Challenge yourself to apply your strengths, even if the job description does not require it. Always be your best. To do so, you have to unplug, take time off, and rest.

Contributing to the bottom line might mean splashing in the pool for a long weekend. Leisure time is as purposeful as work time.

Live it. Dream it. Be it. It is possible. Besides, you are only human and deserve a time-out.

In fact, everyone does.

Music can soothe the soul, especially when the noise of our lives encases us. I recently tried out Audéo Perfect Fit Earphones by the Swiss hearing aide manufacturer Phonak. While the quality sounded a little audeotinny for my taste, I enjoyed relaxing with the sound-silencing feature of the earphones themselves. I couldn’t hear the peep of my children’s voices (which might not always be a good thing) or my husband’s call to help him recycle the bottles. In a moment of relaxation, I liked how I could shut out the world for a song or two. It helped me regain my equilibrium. Most definitely a good time-out!