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Given our hectic lifestyle these days, the well-known Chinese saying, “Taking a break is meant to recharge you and prepare you for the journey ahead”, could never have been more accurate.

Today, the meaning of taking a break has taken on a whole new meaning with the growing popularity of a sabbatical.

What is a sabbatical and why do people take them?

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If you are feeling overworked or demotivated, a sabbatical could be the ideal option for you, as it essentially refers to a type of long leave where you get to take significant time off from work. While you could have your own reasons for a sabbatical, the most common ones include a desire to travel, making a difference to the society, learning a new skill, spending time with your loved ones, avoiding burnout, and discouragement.

A sabbatical can be a great way for you to gain new ideas, new inspiration and a fresh perspective. It can rejuvenate you and ignite a zest for life and work again.

If travelling is your key purpose, start planning and pack your bags! Whether you’re taking a breather for three months, six months or more, here are some interesting plans that could be of assistance to you, and who knows, you might even end up discovering a new passion.

1. Rejuvenate with Yoga in Bali

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If you are looking to de-stress and recharge, yoga could be your new best friend, since its practice of combining physical postures, breathing techniques, and meditation is the perfect antidote to mental and emotional strain. For those who want to take this seriously, Bali has made its mark as one of the best places for a yoga retreat. It is the globally acclaimed ‘well-being destination’ where you get to practice yoga in a calming natural setting.

So, if you are depressed, have anxiety, or are feeling stressed, the Harvard Medical School recommends yoga to improve your mental well-being. Simultaneously, it also boosts your social well-being as you interact with a variety of people in your class. If that was not enough, did we also mention that Bali was voted the world’s favourite travel destination in TripAdvisor’s Traveller’s Choice Awards in 2017?


2. Enjoy the trip of a lifetime on the Trans-Siberian Railway

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The Trans-Siberian Railway is the longest railway in the world. It spans across 9,258 km from Moscow in the West of Russia to Vladivostok in the East of Russia. The journey across Russia on the Trans-Siberian Railway is one that captures the imagination and stands out as the ultimate rail trip. The sheer scale of it makes it even more exciting for anyone to embark on this journey for a sabbatical.

With Russia spanning across three different time zones, each Russian city is bound to be unique and the best way to experience this beauty is through the journey on the ‘The Trans-Siberian Railway’. Obviously, don’t just coop yourself in the cabin of the train, but make sure you get to admire the Kremlin and Red Square, Lake Baikal, the old town of St. Petersburg and Yaroslavl. If you are up for more train travel, you can even hop onto the ‘Trans-Mongolian Railway’ and explore Russia’s neighbour Mongolia. It would be a treat to see the fearless displays of bareback horse riding, traditional Ger homes, and the breath-taking landscape of the Gobi desert.


3. Scale the highest peak in the world: Mount Everest

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At 8,848m above sea level, Mount Everest stands tall as the highest mountain above sea level. It is almost at the cruising height of a jet airliner. Every year, thousands of people travel to Tibet and Nepal to see this natural wonder. Since its discovery in 1856, many have attempted to conquer the deadliest mountain in the world, yet only some have succeeded.

Nevertheless, many continue to be drawn to it and despite the risks involved, the reward of conquering the tallest peak in the world must be satisfying. This could stem from the immense gratification that comes from mastering something that is so enormous, not to mention the intense adrenaline rush that makes you feel so alive.

Need we say more?


4. Explore Eastern Europe on a bike

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Do you have an undying love for bike rides and adventure? If covering a distance of some 5,000 km on two-wheels sounds like a challenge you are up for, then exploring Eastern Europe on a bike is definitely something that would thrill you. You could consider covering the 10 countries of Eastern Europe that include Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovakia, Belarus, Moldova, and Ukraine.

Amongst these, you should also opt for a cycling tour around Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Poland. At Czech Republic, make sure you visit the old town of Prague and the historic centre of Český Krumlov. At Croatia, don’t miss the Dalmatian Coast for its gorgeous shoreline and the stunningly intact walled city of Dubrovnik. The Auschwitz concentration camp in southern Poland is a chilling look at the horrors of the Holocaust, while the Danube Delta in Romania, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a pristine wild area. Rich in history and culture, these are not to be missed. Consider bringing a drone along to capture all the beautiful biking trails that you have accomplished and an action camera (such as GoPro) to get a first-person view of your journey. You’ll have memories to last a lifetime.


5. Conquer every National Park in the USA

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Having lived in a garden city for your entire life is one thing, but visiting the national parks in the United States is another. Each national park amongst the 59 parks there offers an astonishing perspective of nature that is beyond the comprehension of a city dweller.

National parks are the unaltered part of the world that is free from human exploitation or occupation and are a feast for the eyes. From volcanoes to glaciers, to mysterious caves and snow-topped mountains, you will see the wonders of nature on display. Moreover, if you are an adrenaline junkie, they also offer plenty of adventure activities, from scaling the Half Dome in Yosemite to climbing the craggy heights of Devils Tower National Monument in Wyoming to scuba diving, snorkelling, and many other water sports. What a treat.

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