Isn’t life all about choices ?!
I take unpaid time offs:
Corporate jobs in the US usually offer a 2-4 weeks of paid vacation per year. Even though, I had the 4-week vacation for a decade, it was never enough. So, I took many months of unpaid time off. I wouldn’t be surprised if your immediate response is, at least you get unpaid time off, I can’t even get that. But, I find that hard to believe in lot of cases.
I agree that there are situations where one can’t afford to go unpaid but most of the times, it’s a mental block. Fear of hearing NO from manager or losing the job. And these are valid reasons. At the same time, it doesn’t hurt to ask. After all, you already have NO as an answer by not asking !!!
I usually look for slow times at work, such as holiday season, after a big release when I have shown to the management that you have accomplished something.
Again I have been fortunate to have coworkers who appreciated my sincere work and have supported me through my personal goals. And I firmly believe that this can be cultivated no matter what one’s current work situation is.
In the US most of the organizations allow 3-6 month sabbatical for personal reasons. So, go ahead and ask !!
I get this question often. Taking unpaid time off to travel is expensive in a way: Opportunity Cost + Travel Expenses.
Yes, for some the forgone 6-months salary might be a good 50K. But, if you place monetary value on everything, nobody can help 🙂
Here are the ways a lot of us tend to spend money to “enjoy” life and complain not having enough to travel.
– Eating out often
– Going to theater for movies
– Drinking at bars/clubs
– Jewelry / Clothes / expensive shoes
– Fancy car
to name a few…..
And I avoid all of the above. At peak travel seasons, I barely eat out. Not even once a week.
Travel Expense Management:
I try to take 3-6 months at once as opposed to breaking it down for financial purposes. This way I can combine countries in the same region, pick a theme, and package destinations together.
For example going to Ecuador one way from Washington D.C and then travel by bus to Colombia, Peru etc., brings down the flight cost significantly as opposed to flying to these countries separately.
Read this article for tips on how to bring down the travel cost.
If I can do it, so can you !!!