A Month Away and Leaving Work Behind

I leave for Bali and CA for a month today and plan on doing no work (at least for the Bali portion and minimal work in CA).

 As a new entrepreneur constantly working toward proving the concept of Sat Nam babe and gearing up for our very first holiday season, people may think I’m crazy to leave it all behind while I go hang out among the serene rice fields, watch the sunrise from a volcano and witness stunning beaches for a few weeks. My response? I’d be crazy not to go.

The truth is, travel is at the top of my list of priorities and probably will be for as long as I’m physically able to get on a plane and go (and yes, this certainly includes towing any future kids with me on planes, trains and automobiles!)

We can always find an excuse not to go travel somewhere new and expand our horizons, many times it being tied to money and time. If you’re willing to look past that false concept, then traveling on a semi regular basis is totally doable!

Here are my five travel myths and tips for leaving the work behind and setting off for a new adventure sooner rather than later:

  • You’re going to Bali! Isn’t that really expensive? You tell me, can you afford $15 a night for amazing accommodations and $12 a day for three farm to table organic meals (made to order breakfast is included at most homestays). I thought so. Yeah it’s cheap and beautiful. There’s no worrying about how much you’re spending, you just have to stomach the long plane ride. You can even get deals on flights – roundtrip from NYC < Bali, then Bali < San Fran was $562 on Flight Network! And while you’re at it, find someone to sublet your apartment or house, it’s easier to do than you may think; between friends and friends of friends, I’ve found a subletter for my Brooklyn bedroom for my last three month long adventures!

    Photo: First trip to Bali, Aug 2014, man in rice fields 

  • I can’t possibly leave my job for this long Why not? Everything in life is a choice. I get some employers will not let employees use their vacation all at once like this, but I personally know I would not want to work for an employer who doesn’t let me use my vacation time how I want to (within reason of course). You’ve earned it, right? And it doesn’t hurt to ask, even if you have to ask months in advance of planning your extended magical trip. The work will always be there when you return, promise!

  • How are you leaving your company behind for a month? There’s something really cool called advance scheduling of posts for newsletters, blogs and social media, that has allowed me to write all of my content in advance and schedule it out through when I return to NY. And holiday planning naturally happens this early anyway in the world of retail and kids clothes, so good on that front until I get to CA and will need to do some work in time for our new tee reveal on Thanksgiving (art below!) And I simply don’t ship out items when I’m away, we’ll be back up and ready to ship starting Thanksgiving weekend. Lastly, the neat thing about having Wifi access in most parts of the world, is even if you need to work a bit, you can!

  • Aren’t you scared to leave the U.S.? Traveling definitely takes you out of your comfort zone (language barriers, local cultures, no phone use outside of Wifi zones unless you have an international phone plan, the list goes on), but allowing for this occasional discomfort is where the growth happens. I’d argue that this discomfort makes you qualified to launch a company, because you deal with a lot of growing pains in learning how to oversee a company. Travel makes you fearless and willing to try new things, another key trait that comes in handy in business. When in doubt, just tell people you meet you’re from Canada; everyone loves Canadians!

  • Travel light I’m gone for a month and can fit everything I could possibly need and then some in a carry on suitcase and small bag, without having to think about doing laundry. There’s something about packing light that represents something larger – being able to move effortlessly and living lightly as we go about our adventures. Nothing in life is meant to be taken too seriously (work included) so leave the baggage behind (no pun intended) and enjoy enjoy.

Sat Nam,
Jen/founder, Sat Nam babe and eternal wanderlust 

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