There's a big old world out there (we would know) and if you've decided to take the plunge and go on a sabbatical, deciding on where you want to visit with your precious (and well deserved) time off can be daunting. Our advice: decide what you want to achieve and let that drive the destination choices. Want to reconnect with family? Nature? Yourself? Not sure? Read on to find out our best sabbatical destinations, which should provide you with plenty of inspiration...
Spending time in nature, particularly green spaces, is scientifically proven to be beneficial to one's mental health and it certainly beats the usual grim and grey commute. Swap high rise buildings for tall trees, the Underground for some time under the canopy of the rainforest, and city slickers in Canary Wharf for sloths in Costa Rica. There's also the added bonus of going somewhere with minimal phone signal - so you can fully switch off and immerse yourself in the wondrous nature around you.
For a hit of nature on your sabbatical, we suggest exploring the 130 million-year-old Danum Valley Conservation Area in Malaysian Borneo. Here, you can see everything from orangutans to slow lorises (and not another commuter in sight) and is definitely one our best sabbatical destinations.
Culturally Immersive Sabbaticals
Sure, you can get a feel for a country's culture on holiday, but nothing quite beats taking the time to truly get under the skin of a place and experience what it's like to live as the locals do. Get unparalleled insight into the lifestyles, traditions and practices of other cultures by spending an extended amount of time with people native to the region. Not forgetting our clued-up Concierges who will introduce to the local communities and open otherwise inaccessible doors, ensuring you have a truly authentic experience.
Our top culturally immersive sabbatical destination is Ethiopia's Omo Valley. Here, you can meet with the local tribespeople as an honoured guest and we can also arrange for you to hike between traditional rural communities which are dotted around the stunning landscapes in the Indian Himalayas.
Learning New Skills Sabbaticals
A sabbatical could give you the time and freedom to dedicate yourself to a skill you've always wanted to learn - and there is no skill too obscure or unusual for us at Original Travel. Inspired by Strictly? We can arrange dance lessons to teach you tango in Argentina, salsa in Cuba or samba in Brazil. Feeling frustrated? Work-off all that anger with some Muay Thai boxing, taught by a famed boxer in Thailand. A personal favourite of ours is learning photography in Botswana, where a professional photographer will teach you how to capture the perfect wildlife shots.
Over the last few years, society's focus on wellbeing and mental health has led to a surge in 'wellness' experiences. Taking a sabbatical and some well-deserved time away from the nine-to-five will allow you to come back feeling refreshed, rejuvenated and ready to take on your next chapter. Sure you could pop to a spa for a long weekend, but nothing really compares to taking a prolonged period of time off to reflect, de-stress and, quite justifiably, be a little bit selfish.
Pining for some time to yourself? Head to Bhutan for a healing dose of mountains and meditation, where we can arrange for you to spend time with a group of devout Vajrayana Buddhists or go all out on our uber-indulgent Luxury Wellness Sabbatical in Asia.
Upping sticks and going travelling can seem like a selfish thing to do when you've got a family to consider, especially when it's already so difficult to make time to spend with your nearest and dearest. What if we told you that you could have the best of both worlds, and travel with your family in tow? A family sabbatical will give not only you, but your partner and children the experiences of a lifetime as well as oodles of quality time together. Read our blog to discover how we handle all the practicalities of a family sabbatical.
When it comes to family fun, there's nothing more classic that a California road trip, stopping off at a number of national parks and cosmopolitan cities. For a European option, a few weeks sailing around the Ionian Islands and teaching the kiddos how to master their ports and starboards should do the trick.
Want to know more about the best sabbatical destinations? Get in touch and we'll be happy to help!