About

Hello and welcome to 1 Year Sabbatical a site we started to help other families with planning a sabbatical escape.  Whether you just want to escape the rat race for a bit or have always dreamed of exploring some part of the world we offer up advice and insight based on our ongoing sabbatical planning.

The 1 Year Sabbatical FamilyWe just completed a 3 month sabbatical to Indonesia and are already planning our next big adventure.

You might be wondering how this whole sabbatical thing came about.  Let me begin by saying that we have a good life.  In fact we have a great life!  But for the past several years there has been this nagging voice in the back of my head questioning if this is as good as it gets.  The daily routine of life was starting to get to us.

As the days rolled into weeks which rolled into months I realized something; despite having a typical life that many would envy I just wasn’t happy.  This led to depression and me questioning whether this was how I was destined to live the rest of my life.  What my purpose was on this planet.  Would I ever find the thing I was truly passionate about and then be able to turn that passion into a life quest?

Revelation!

Then one day I read something that lit a fire inside of me and changed my life.  It was Chris Guillebeau’s manifesto entitled ‘A Brief Guide to World Domination’.  It started out with an Alan Keightley quote:

“Once in a while it really hits people that they don’t have to experience the world in the way they have been told to.”

This blew me away! Here someone was saying that I didn’t have to live my life the way other people expected me to.  As I read through this manifesto the beginnings of the idea to take a 1 year sabbatical were formed.  I realized I didn’t need to defer the things I wanted to do and experience to sometime in the future.  It was possible to do them now in the present.

So that is when we made the decision to take a break from all that we knew and see what life is like on the other side of the ocean.  It affords us a chance to take some time to explore a different aspect of life and also to allow our kids to experience the other half of their cultural heritage.  No matter where you are in life I hope that this 1 year sabbatical journey of ours will offer up some ideas and insight on how each of us can conquer our fears, make changes for the better and live a great life making a difference throughout the world.

Meet The 1 Year Sabbatical Crew

Matt

Matt, chief sabbatical plannerI’m Matt and I’m the chief planner of this 1 year sabbatical operation (just don’t tell my wife that).  But I’m first and foremost a father and husband.  I love family life and spending as much time with my wife and kids as possible.  I’m a technology nerd and an aspiring photographer (check out my work at Matt Koenig Photography).  I’m currently working on a 3 series ebook on Images of Indonesia from my previous Indonesian adventure in 2005.  In the past I’ve worked as a Wildlife Biologist but currently I am a network analyst for one of the largest hospitals in the Pacific Northwest.  I love the outdoors, hiking, biking, climbing and boating.  My goals for our 1 year sabbatical are to spend more time with my family, learn to speak Indonesian, improve upon my photography business and skills and photograph as much of Indonesia as I can.  Let the adventure begin!

Irene

Irene, chief sabbatical baker and cake decoratorThis is Irene, the professional baker and cake decorator of the family.  She is also the love of my life.  Irene loves to bake and decorate cakes.  She has amazing talent.  She is an Indonesian citizen which is why we are planning to spend all of our time there as it’s the place she calls home.  Her citizenship has also allowed us to get dual citizenship for our two boys.  Irene’s goals for this 1 year sabbatical are to further perfect her cake baking and decorating skills and open up her own pastry store in Indonesia.  She also wants to reconnect with friends and family in her home Country.  It’s been 6 years since she has been back home.

Zachary

Zachary, Chief Sabbatical Adventure Leader

Zachary is 10 years old and the older of our two sons.  He’s had the benefit of spending 2 months in Indonesia back in 2005 where he got to see sites like Tangkubban Perahu, an active volcano and eat lots of fresh mangos.  He really connected with his Opa (Grandpa) and the two of them traveled everywhere together and spent time washing the car.

He’s a great kid with a voracious appetite for reading books.  Currently he is reading through the entire ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid’ series before moving onto ‘The Hardy Boys’.  He enjoys outdoor activities like hiking, swimming and bike riding.  He’s definitely a leader and likes to boss the rest of us around, especially his younger brother.

When I asked Zachary what he hoped to see during our trip to Indonesia he said he wanted to see real animals so we’ll plan on going to a wildlife park there and maybe pet some tigers.  He also wants to ride on a motorcycle.

Joseph

Joseph, Chief Sabbatical Good Guy

Joseph is the youngest of the clan at age 7 and has the distinct honor of being the only family member to have been in Indonesia and not even realized it (my wife was pregnant when we were in Indonesia in 2005).  He’s about the sweetest boy you could ever meet.  If he’s got two cookies he’ll give you the biggest one without you even asking.  He’s definitely all heart.

Joe loves playing games, especially Wii games like Lego Indiana Jones and Wii Fit.  He loves sports and started riding his bike without training wheels at the age of 3 and just a few days later trying to ‘pop a wheelie’.  Joe has no fear (except at night trying to sleep).

When I asked Joe what he wanted to see and do in Indonesia he said he wanted to hit the beach and ride the waves.  And that is exactly what we are going to do.  And Joseph wanted to say that he is an OSU Beaver fan.

We would love to connect with you.  Maybe you are a family considering taking a sabbatical or extended travels.  We’d love to hear about your plans.  Use the Contact form to send us a note.  You can also sign up for our Sabbatical 101 weekly email series (starting in March) over on the right-hand side in the sidebar.  We’ll be offering up tips and advice we’ve learned from our own sabbatical planning.

If you’d like to know even more about us here are a few posts you should check out:

Love Conquers Fear
How Our Kids Got Dual Citizenship
A Moment of Culture Shock

We look forward to sharing our adventure with you and hope that you are on an adventure of your own.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Kuade December 5, 2012 at 12:33 pm

I’m very excited (and envious) of your family sabbatical! You have a fan here routing for everyone to get exactly what they want out of this adventure.

My wife and I have a 1yr old son, and I’m seriously considering doing the annual sabbatical as well. Right now, I’m between Indonesia, Thailand, Phillipines, or some other domestic options.

I’ll be following along and trying to learn along the way. The Internet is sharing stories from all walks of life, and letting us know that no matter how confined and alone we feel, there are plenty more out there that feel the exact same way, and a few of those people are actually doing something about it.

Congrats on actively trying to live the best life possible.

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Matt | 1 Year Sabbatical December 5, 2012 at 11:14 pm

Hi Kuade! Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment. We are having an incredible time and this sabbatical is living up to expectations. Everything from experiencing the culture, people, food and all the fun activities has made us appreciate the need we had for taking this time together as a family. It’s also opened our eyes to realize the importance of having fun and experiencing new things. We are out of the rut for now but we have some big decision in front of us in terms of what the future will look like. Do we return to our same life and fall back into the rut? Or do we strike out on a different path and see where it my lead? Some big decisions and conversations lie ahead.

If there is one piece of advice I can offer up it would be to never give up on your dream. We had many false starts and problems along the way that caused us much grief and made us want to just give up. But we regrouped and persevered and here we are now in Indonesia living it up.

Looking forward to hearing more about your own plans and adventures. Cheers!

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Travel Junkie Indonesia March 6, 2013 at 4:28 am

nice blog and family. Cheers!

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Matt | 1 Year Sabbatical March 6, 2013 at 2:04 pm

Thanks so much! We are looking forward to new adventures in Indonesia.

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