If you told me two years ago that I would spend weeks hiking through Alaska for my sabbatical and love it, I probably would have responded with ‘no way.’
But that’s exactly what this city lover did this summer. And the trip honestly changed my life.
One of the best benefits Corporate Ink offers (which is saying a lot because there are so many perks of being an Inker) is a paid three-week sabbatical. After working for the agency for five years, you’re encouraged to step away from the day-to-day and go experience something new. The only rules are to not do something related to marketing or PR and to have fun.
When the opportunity presented itself to explore the great outdoors and follow it up with a road trip through the Pacific Northwest, I knew the adventure would make for a great sabbatical. It was perfect for pushing me out of my comfort zone and giving me a new perspective.
Here are five things I reflected on during my time in the wilderness.
My trip was filled with thrills, from white water rafting and kayaking to challenging hikes and more. But the most fulfilling experience was one I didn’t expect. My travel buddy (who planned to drive) lost her license at our first stop. I was incredibly nervous to become our pilot. I hadn’t driven for five years and have experienced a couple intense road accidents. But I bit the bullet and I’m glad I did. The confidence gained from facing fears is invaluable.
After spending most of my days in nature, I was reminded of the importance of being active, moving your body, and spending time outdoors. Go for that walk during your lunch break. Do that Peloton workout. Finally take that hiking trip in Vermont. It’s so easy to put these activities off, but they’ll invigorate you for your work and personal life.
As a marketer, I’m always on – and love – my devices. I felt re-charged going mostly tech free during my travels. I explored some very small towns accustomed to a slower pace of life with no cell service or reliable Wi-Fi. Consider planning a weekend away from social media and technology. A quick break to be present, slow down, and focus on connections with the people around you might be just what you need.
My biggest concern planning for my trip (outside of finding bear spray) was, ‘what am I going to eat?’. As someone who eats gluten free and plant based, I anticipated not having a ton of meal options. Surprisingly, Alaska had some of the best allergen friendly food I’ve tasted. If you are planning a trip and need recommendations, hit me up!
Carving out time to explore and discover, whatever that looks like for you, is so important. It can be inspiring for your work life and boost energy and creativity. The adventure doesn’t have to be a trip to beautiful and majestic Alaska. It just needs to be about you. What are you curious about? Where do your personal interests lie? Picking up a passion project or new hobby on the weekends can serve a similar purpose.
I am so grateful to work for a company that offers a sabbatical. I can’t wait to hear what my coworkers do on their own adventures!