Reflections on a Sabbatical

Jun 24, 2019
An initial reflection of my time away from work, and why I decided to finally start blogging.
Reflections on a Sabbatical

As I look back on the last 12 months, it is tempting to romanticize the trip that Olivia and I have embarked on: Sailboats, Manta Rays, Surf Breaks, Horses, and a year-long summer. The reality is that between false starts and extraordinary adventures, unmet expectations and #MemoryMakingMoves, it has been a mixed bag and a rollercoaster of emotions.

But without a doubt, it has changed us. We are no closer to knowing what the right answers are, but we know what questions to ask. It’s still as hard to make choices, but we are better at communicating each others’ expectations and finding ways to compromise. Our fears and desires are still there, even accentuated in some cases, but we are better at keeping them in check.

There are many things that I wish I did differently during our trip. The main one is to take more notes. I spent a lot of time introspecting yet most of it stayed in my head. I’ve gotten better about it the last three months with a slew of diary entries and I’m hoping to get better at that. So in the spirit of trying to build habits, I’ve decided to start ‘blogging’. Not because what I have to say is witty, super insightful, or groundbreaking, rather in the hope that knowing I might have an audience would make me accountable thus building out the habit of writing down my thoughts.

I’ll aim to do one post/month. Some things I might write about in the upcoming weeks:

  • The economics of a Sabbatical - or where did all my savings go?
  • Keeping busy - or how I worked with a web-designer to build a data visualization website for sightings of Marine Megafauna

  • Lessons learned from searching for a job in Singapore
  • Lessons learned from turning down opportunities in Singapore

  • Office dynamics on a sailboat - or what happens when your roommate is both your landlord and boss
  • How a non-profit is not too unlike a startup

  • The Zen Art of Shoveling Horse Sh * t
  • The (not so) Zen Art of Sailboat Maintenance

Oh, and now that I’ve finally ordered a new phone, I’ll get back to posting personal musings/pictures on my @zoohayr Instagram.

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