1 Year Sabbatical – The Beginning

by Matt | 1 Year Sabbatical on September 6, 2010

Indonesian FlagWelcome to the Beginning

Welcome to the beginning of 1yearsabbatical!  This is day 1 of the journey.  Here is how it all came about.  One day after turning 40 I read Chris Guillebeau’s “A Brief Guide to World Domination” and like a light-bulb turning on I came to the realization that there is more to life than the daily grind of working in an unfulfilling job day after day.  There was a lot of world to be explored and dreams to be attempted and I felt that time was running out.  The beginning of a mid-life crisis?  Maybe.  But I’d also spent years giving in to my fears and denying myself my own dreams all for the sake of comfort and security. So I decided to take a 1 year sabbatical and try and figure it all out.

With the added complexity of having a family I decided to put together this site to chronicle and detail all the steps (and missteps) we take to prepare for and execute our 1 year sabbatical in Indonesia.  I don’t know where this will lead to or what will happen.  I don’t have all the answers.  I just know that if I don’t try this now I will wake up 20 years from now and regret not doing something.  Is this extreme?  Possibly; but then I think sitting in a cubicle all day long toiling away is also an extreme way to live.

My hope for this site is that our bold adventure will encourage others out there who are looking to live an extraordinary and unconventional life to break through the wall of fear and reservation and take that leap of faith.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

If you are curious or just want to connect more you can do so with email, Twitter or Facebook.  I look forward to hearing from you.

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Sean September 7, 2010 at 12:34 pm

Way to go Matt! Stoked to see the tangible progress on the big change. Let me know how I can help and lets chat soon!


matt September 7, 2010 at 1:58 pm

Sean, this is the first step of what will be an awesome journey. I owe so much of this to you and your inspirational blog Location 180. I don’t pretend to think that this is going to be an easy transition. It will be a challenge to overcome all the preconceived notions of unconventional living that I’ve believed over the years but thanks to friends like you I can see what is possible when you put your mind to it and a lot of hard work. I’m counting on you to keep me on task when the going gets tough.


Joel September 7, 2010 at 8:26 pm

Stoked for you Matt!
Can’t wait to see what the future holds!


matt September 7, 2010 at 9:38 pm

Thanks Joel! The future is going to hold some really exciting things. I can feel it!


Mark Powers September 9, 2010 at 7:15 pm

Way to go, Matt! I’m super excited for you and am looking forward to hearing more about the sabbatical plans! Congrats on the launch- Mark


matt September 9, 2010 at 7:41 pm

Thanks Mark! I really appreciate that. It’s exciting and terrifying all at the same time. It’s all good though and a necessary step for me to take. Looking forward to sharing the adventure.


John Stepleton September 26, 2010 at 8:49 pm

Matt, I think this will be a source of inspiration for thousands, if not millions, of people. I’m looking forward to reading more and I would love to help you any way I can. Let’s talk the next time we are together.
John Stepleton recently posted..Words of Wisdom to Help Entrepreneurs Everywhere


matt September 26, 2010 at 9:02 pm

Thanks John! If by taking this sabbatical I will inspire even one person to step outside their zone of comfort and take a step toward their dreams or a new way of living, then maintaining this blog and writing about my experiences and how I got through the tough times, the fears and insecurities, it will be worth it. I know we’ve talked briefly before about me wanting to do something “crazy” like this and now we’re doing it. Look forward to talking with you soon about this and some other plans in the works.


Heather October 12, 2010 at 1:01 pm

Hi Matt, found you through your “the middle finger project” post, I’m excited to follow your journey! My husband and I are wanting to become more location independent and get out of our “safe” zone, and I love finding inspiring blogs like yours.
BTW, that Mark Twain quote has been one of my favorites forever!
Heather recently posted..So Who the Heck Am I


matt October 12, 2010 at 11:40 pm

Thanks for making the leap over here Heather. Getting out of the safe zone is exactly what we are wanting to do here. It’s outside of that zone where life is truly lived. It’s definitely going to be an adventure! BTW…I read that Mark Twain quote every morning. 🙂


Diane H. January 27, 2011 at 7:36 am

I’ve been reading your adventure with great interest. EXCELLENT idea to put a date out there. It’s too easy to say “next year” or “next month” if you don’t have a deadline. We did that for years before finally taking our year in France, which we’re half-way through now and has been intense but amazing. Good luck and looking forward to reading more.


matt January 28, 2011 at 1:32 pm

Hi Diane! The date is helpful for a number of reasons. First it’s a constant reminder of the goal and secondly it acts as a measure of accountability. Like you said it’s so easy to keep putting it off and delaying for any number of reasons that we create. It looks like you are having an incredible adventure there in France.


Andrew May 5, 2011 at 10:21 pm

Hey Matt!

Just found your site this week, do you have a regular update on your mission?

Has anyone asked you out on to the dance floor yet? Learn to bust out the worm, that’s a solo pursuit!

Interested in you and your families progress on the journey.


Andrew recently posted..On the Eighth Day of Christmas – US Options Trading Part 2


Matt | 1 Year Sabbatical May 7, 2011 at 11:48 am

Hi Andrew! Thanks for reminding me that I should really write an update on where things are at with our mission. In brief, we have mostly decided to take the 4 months offered by my employer and then go from there. Maybe things won’t work out and we’ll be back in 4 or maybe we’ll get it all figured out and things will be so golden there that we decide to stick it out for a year or longer. In my own mind I really feel that this needs to be a full year (I didn’t name the site 4 Month Sabbatical) so really that is what we continue to plan for. Right now we are looking for the best deal on tickets. I found a few that looked really good (as in cheap) but it turned out the taxes were more than the actual fare! But we really want to lock in a date by purchasing tickets as that makes this adventure much more real. We’re also working hard to continue to payoff debt and save for the adventure. It hasn’t been easy with 2 kids. It’s probably the area we’ve struggled with the most. And finally we are starting the huge task of selling off our things. Step 1 has been eliminating none saleable junk. Thanks for your interst Andrew and I look forward to connecting with you more.


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