Sabbatical Update

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Alex Balme

Vacation days are difficult to make the most of.

You don’t want to spend so much time out of the office that your billing dries up, you want to see new places, spend time with family, and have the chance to recharge your batteries. It can seem impossible to do all of the above with a single allotment of PTO days. And in most years, you have to pick your priorities: adventure vs rest, new places vs the trips to the familiar, etc.  

Most people have to wait until they have quit their job and have some time before their new gig begins to take an extended trip abroad and still have regular vacation days for family and recharging.  Even then, you have to travel while knowing you don’t have an income and have to get lucky that you anticipate the change in jobs soon enough so that you have enough time to plan the trip of a lifetime.  

Thanks to our sabbatical program, I did not have to choose and got to do everything I wanted to.  

In 17 days, I was able to spend time in Rome, Pompeii, Siena, Florence, Pisa, Cinque Terre, Venice, Milan, Zurich, Lucerne, and Bern.  

17 days, 11 cities, and 2 countries!

From the Colosseum and the chaos of Rome to the serenity and cleanliness of the Swiss Alps, I got to experience more of Europe in a single trip while still employed than I could have ever possibly previously imagined.  I came back re-energized by the work ahead.  I had my adventure and saw more of the world than many see in a lifetime. 

In Italy I was awed by the beauty of the art and architecture.  I was mesmerized by the views from the tops of mountains.  But eventually, I was relieved to get back home where they take credit cards at all businesses, where your check arrives promptly at the end of a meal, and where I can enjoy the diverse world cuisine NY has on every corner.

 I was ready to resume my life again and move forward, satisfied that I got to live one of my dreams, and motivated by the company that gave me the opportunity to do so.