The Gift of a Sabbatical

Fallon Benefits Group awards sabbaticals to our employees after completing a specific amount of tenure with the firm. They are designed to say thank you for years of service and give us the ability to focus on ourselves and our families. I recently returned from my time away, and it was exactly as intended. My sabbatical consisted of two phases: time in Europe with my husband, Mike, and time in the Georgia mountains with myself.

Before leaving, my brother gave me some great advice – see more through your eyes than through the lens of your camera. The cruise Mike and I enjoyed stopped in Barcelona, Provence, Monte Carlo and Cinque Terre. Each destination provided the ability to get out of our comfort zones and experience new things. Between the hikes and the sightseeing (ok, and the pizza, wine and gelato), we fully indulged in all the ports had to offer. With bellies full and cameras less so, we headed back to the USA.

It was then time to unpack and repack for the second leg. My days began at 5:30 am and followed the same pattern: wake, meditate, work out, eat breakfast, walk, eat lunch, nap, read, walk, eat dinner, get a good night’s rest. The slow pace of the days replenished me greatly, and the time to reflect following the vacation of a lifetime was a gift.

Perhaps not every vacation in my future will be as grand or as long as this trip was, but I realized vacations have a way of energizing and exhausting us. We want to see everything in a short period of time, often arriving home after a long flight completely and utterly spent, only to return to work a day or two later. Scheduling a few extra days to come back to life, care for self and move from pizza and gelato to avocados and grilled chicken felt good from the inside out. I am thankful to work for a company that gave me the opportunity to take a dream trip and encouraged me to fully unplug while I was away. My team’s support made it possible, and I look forward to returning the favor as colleagues schedule their own sabbaticals.

As the season for summer travel begins, I wish you beautiful adventures, the opportunity to see them fully through your eyes, and time with those you love most.