Tari (career break)"As a single mother, my life revolved around my children. As they became successful, happy adults, I saw my work becoming complete and my future path very unclear. I had always had dreams of my own but they had been put on the back burner so I could be a full time parent to my children. I could see nothing in the future that excited me until I found Interim Programs and took the leap to meet personally with Holly Bull. Holly brainstormed with me and helped me to widen my horizons and be confident that I could take time for myself, take control of my life and realize there were exciting choices and opportunities for me!
My Interim time was spent in Europe, South Africa and western USA. With Interim Programs' help, I created a patchwork of volunteer work, working for room and board, and tourism. In South Africa I handfed cockatoos, walked cheetahs, tracked elephants and lions and sat with baboons. I meditated in France, hiked the gorgeous Cinque Terre in Italy, hang glided in Switzerland and fell in love with life again.
My time away has led me to work that I am passionate about and given me the confidence to create a future I am excited about."
Cecily (sabbatical)"When considering a gap year from teaching, I felt overwhelmed by planning what to do during the time away. As teaching is a busy job, I was terrified I would be bored or waste my time. After meeting with the counselors at Interim, rather than being reluctant to make such a change, I was excited to get started with what we had brainstormed. Together, we took my vague ideas and the places I dreamed of going and made an adventure full of riding horses and learning about different cultures."
Lee (mid-career break)
"Many thanks to the folks at Interim who believe in living life by a different set of rules, and offer anyone a chance to live a big, fulfilling life, with endless possibilities."
Dennis (sabbatical)"Working with Interim is a joy. The professionalism and helpfulness of the staff maximized my experiences. Their contacts made the difference between a mediocre immersion in a culture and an outstanding one. Tips for others considering a time of adventure:
1. Allow yourself to think outside the box. Consider things you always wanted to explore, but were stymied by one or another hurdle.
2. Choose guides well. The guide/facilitator is crucial to the success of your adventure, so the experience, contacts, and price are considerations that will make your time most worthwhile whether in the US or overseas.
3. Set realistic goals. Packing multiple adventures into a short timeframe lessens the value of each by imposing a sense of hurriedness. Leave yourself some reflection time to process the adventure. Mine spaced over a year with a bit more than 6 months gone from home and no less than a month home between adventures.
4. Mind your health. An adventure can be a challenging physical experience. Prepare well with preventive health measures and reasonable physical activity. Give yourself permission to try new foods.
5. Keep a diary. People will want to know about your adventure. While photos help, they do not capture the granularity of daily life. I chose to do a daily blog and found that it allowed me to focus the day into a one-page vignette with photos that captured the experience in the moment. Family and co-workers love to stay in contact and live your adventure through your journal.
6. Decide if this is to be a solo adventure or an adventure with a partner. Kathryn and I found the adjustment period of 2 weeks on each end of each adventure required some patience. She decided to visit for the last week of two of the adventures and that was a grand time to show off my new knowledge of the country.
7. Let each adventure create its own opportunities for mental challenge. Each person who comes brings something different, and a more mature person brings the compendium of their life to date. People you visit will be interested to hear your story. Let the adventure show a new way of telling that story."
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