I have recently returned to work this week from travelling around Asia for 4 months, I was in a very lucky position where as my employer kindly gave me a sabbatical. During my time away, I was fortunate enough to visit some amazing countries such as Sri Lanka, The Maldives (which is even better than what you see in the postcards!) Thailand, Singapore and Thailand.
I started my journey in Sri Lanka as one of my friends married her best friend there, it was a magical day and one we won’t forget!
This was my first time in Sri Lanka and I fell in love with the place; the people, the culture, the food and of course the beautiful puppies I adopted along the way! I stayed there a little longer than anticipated (6 weeks in total)!
Sri Lanka is famous for their delicious curries which I ate for pretty much the whole 6 weeks I was there as they were just too tasty, the portions were very generous too.
One of the only things I didn’t enjoy about Sri Lanka was finding this horrible spider in my bathroom and some other exotic insects along the way!
During my 6 weeks in Sri Lanka I took a trip across to The Maldives, it truly was stunning, there isn’t a lot to do whilst there apart from swim and tan! I was staying on a dry island, so no beer was available for me here :-( The sea was so blue, the clearest I have ever seen, I enjoyed many snorkelling & boat trips, this is a place I will most certainly return to.
After leaving Sri Lanka I went on to stay in Thailand for 3 weeks, Thailand has always been my favourite destination and feels like my 2nd home as soon as I land so I was rather excited to get there!
Whilst I was in Thailand I decided to take a spontaneous trip to Singapore as a family member was on holiday there, I was so glad I decided to go as it was amazing! I stayed for a total of 4 nights and I managed to squeeze in lots of fun filled days visiting places such as, Marina Bay Sands, Gardens by the Bay & Universal Studios.
My next point of call would be Cambodia! I will be honest and say this was my least favourite destination, however this could be due to fact I was stricken with food poisoning whilst there…yuk let’s say it wasn’t one of my finest moments!
I visited many tourist spots such as Angkor Wat, the capital city Phnom Penh & the beautiful island of Koh Rong Samlon, Koh Rong is a very small untouched local island where I lay on some of the most beautiful beaches and interacted with many of the locals including the little children which was a great experience!
I then left Cambodia and returned to Thailand where I stayed for the rest of my journey I spent much of my time on the lying on the beach or on a sunbed catching some rays with my only worry wondering if before 12pm was a suitable time to have a cold beer!
Travelling alone was one of the most rewarding experiences I have come across, before leaving I was nervous at the thought of travelling alone but you meet so many new people and are so approachable when travelling solo.
Coming back to work has been a smooth ride for me as I previously mentioned I was lucky enough to have been given a sabbatical by my employer, statistically it is one of the greatest retention tools to offer! Employees who take vacation come back with better focus and mental clarity. Sabbaticals provide that same benefit—exponentially. As such, sabbatical programs demonstrate a firm’s commitment to work-life balance. But it isn’t just new experiences that make a difference, sabbaticals give employees time to step back and clear their heads! Do bear in mind though, that most sabbaticals end up being a positive experience for both the employer and the employee. So bite the bullet, make your application, and enjoy your sabbatical!