We’re Heading West

Coming soon to a city near you!

Our sabbatical adventures will begin in sunny San Diego, California. We have our first place booked for one week (a little Airbnb), but beyond that, we have absolutely no plans… and it’s pretty exhilarating.

We might get another Airbnb the second week, or we might stay with you. Or maybe we decide to go to Los Angeles… or maybe we meet some people going to Yosemite—who knows!

Think of this “itinerary” as more of a guideline. Nothing is set in stone, and we don’t HAVE to follow any specific plans, but this is what we’re thinking right now. We’re guessing we’ll stay in each place something like 2 weeks on average. If we love hanging out in a particular city, and want to stay longer, cool. If we feel like moving on, cool. That’s the beauty of not having any obligations.

If you want to host us, we’d love for you to get in touch on our Host Us page. It doesn’t have to be one of the cities listed—we’re open to other locations!

Upcoming meetups:

I also want to host meetups in each city we visit so we have a chance to hang out with you. Meetups will most likely be on Saturdays.

Please reach out to me if you know any good free venues or places that would work well for hosting a meetup.

P.S., We’ll be in Dallas visiting family the last few days of January before heading to the west coast. We could host a meetup in Dallas on Tuesday evening, January 28th. Worth doing?

We’re gonna be nomads! (Can we stay with you?)

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I’m excited to announce our official move out date: January 26th! I’m so happy to finally begin our sabbatical year of nomadic world travel, and hopefully get to hang out with you in person.

We won’t have a house or car, and we’ve sold a lot of our other possessions as well. Everything we’ll use for the next year will fit in a backpack.

While we have some specific places in mind we’d like to visit, we also want to connect with people. I’ll keep you posted on any meetups in a city near you.

But beyond meetups, a number of people have reached out to actually offer us a place to stay—which is incredible!

The only problem is, I’ve had a hard time keeping track of the various comments and messages from people offering us a place to stay in various cities. So I came up with a solution: Continue reading “We’re gonna be nomads! (Can we stay with you?)”

Goodbye to the Studio

It’s time to say goodbye to my favorite room. We will move out of our house later this month and begin the 2020 sabbatical year of nomadic travel. No house, no car, just a backpack.

I wrote my first book in this room and recorded hundreds of podcasts and live streams here. There are a lot of good memories.

The studio is optimized for production. I can walk in and everything is ready for me to create. Whether I want to record a video, podcast, or write, everything is ready to go. I will miss that.

Continue reading “Goodbye to the Studio”

How to Close Your Apple Watch Rings Every Day for a Year

Apple Watch - Perfect Year - Close Rings 365 Days in a Row

Today is Day 403 in a row of closing all three of my Apple Watch rings. I’ve worn an Apple Watch since they launched in 2015, but I never closed my rings more than 2 days in a row for the first several years.

James Clear, author of Atomic Habits, poses a question worth considering:

My current habits were not carrying me to my desired future.

Most of my months looked like this:

June 2016 Apple Watch Rings Incomplete

It wasn’t until 2018 that I decided to start taking my health seriously. Continue reading “How to Close Your Apple Watch Rings Every Day for a Year”

Kauai, Hawaii Cinematic Short Film

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I was born in Hawaii, and ever since I left at the age of six, I’ve been longing to go back.

I’d hoped to go last year, but it didn’t work out.

This year, I was determined to make our trip to Hawaii happen.

We visited Kauai, known as “The Garden Island”, earlier this month and had an unforgettable trip packed with unbelievable sights.

Part of the trip involved camping and a tough hike. The hike didn’t go quite according to plan. I talk more about what happened in an episode 447 of the seanwes podcast, titled Sean’s Adventures in Hawaii).

But we did get to go on an epic helicopter tour around the island, and words simply cannot describe the beauty.

I look forward to sharing more of my photos soon.

In the mean time, I put together a cinematic short film to share some of the experience.

P.S.
This video is published on a brand new YouTube channel.

I created this new YouTube channel to document my sabbatical year. If you want to join me on my travels in 2020, be sure to subscribe to the new YouTube channel to follow the journey.

Hiking the Na Pali Coast Trail to Kalalau Beach in Kauai, Hawaii

Photo: Frugal Frolicker (used with permission).

We are traveling to Hawaii in September, 2019 during one of my Seventh Week Sabbaticals. I work six weeks and take off every seventh week as a sabbatical. Sabbaticals have completely revolutionized my life.

I don’t always travel when I’m on a sabbatical. Usually, I stay home and rest or pursue side projects. This is a rare occasion where we’re taking a full blown vacation over a sabbatical week—our first vacation since 2016!

I chose the island of Kauai for our vacation because it is home to some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. It’s known as the garden island. Parts of Indiana Jones and Jurassic Park were filmed on Kauai.

I love beaches, and I love mountains, and Kauai is everything in one package. Continue reading “Hiking the Na Pali Coast Trail to Kalalau Beach in Kauai, Hawaii”

Dealing With Burnout

What are some strategies to avoid and deal with burnout?

Sabbaticals prevent burnout. But if you’re already burned out, what do you do? Recently the World Health Organization classified burnout as one of its diseases. That’s not great news.

Sabbaticals prevent burnout. But if you’re already burned out, what do you do? Recently the World Health Organization classified burnout as one of its diseases. That’s not great news.

You have to be patient. You have to be kind to yourself. You have to reset your expectations of what acceptable output is for you.

Be okay with expecting less out of yourself. Define what is “enough” right now. What is a successful day today? What is a successful day tomorrow?

Be okay with less during this recovery phase, because it’s hard enough recovering without also beating yourself up for not being able to accomplish more.

Write100K

I attempted to write 100,000 words in a single day with my Write100K project.

You can watch the archived live stream in the two videos parts below (we had technical difficulties part way through and had to create a second video):

Part 1:

Part 2:

The primary goal of the Write100K event was to write the draft of my next book, which is called Sabbatical. I’m excited to get this book into your hands. Continue reading “Write100K”

Should You Schedule Sabbaticals Around Holidays?

I received an email from a reader:

Question: Do you try to schedule sabbaticals around or over other holidays?

Background/context: I have kids and they have certain weeks off, plus I usually take off certain weeks around certain holidays. If I start Seventh Week Sabbaticals right now, that means a sabbatical would fall right before a holiday. Later, another sabbatical would fall during a holiday. I can imagine my wife will say, “Why can’t you take off that week instead?”

We don’t adjust the Seventh Week Sabbatical schedule ever. It’s a calendar event I created in 2014 that is set to repeat every seventh week. It’s not manually adjusted for any holidays. It falls where it falls.

We do, however, still take all normal holidays and weekends. So we work five days per week (Monday–Friday), take off Saturday and Sunday, take off holidays, and take off every seventh week.

A sabbatical is not synonymous with a holiday.

  • A holiday is typically a day of observance.
  • A sabbatical is the absence of everything (including observance, celebration, etc.).

A sabbatical is intended to be margin. It’s the space between everything else. It’s extra. It’s time set aside exclusively for rest and rejuvenation. It’s freedom from obligation.

Sabbaticals are different from holidays because holidays are not inherently restful.

People often schedule events, other work, travel, plans to visit family, etc., during holidays. They fill up their holidays. As a result, if a holiday is ever truly restful, it’s by chance, not by design.

The sole purpose of a sabbatical is rest. The one rule of sabbaticals is: do not schedule anything for your sabbatical. It’s not the absence of an event but the presence of margin. This is what makes a sabbatical rejuvenating.

Yes, sometimes sabbaticals fall on holidays, where you made specific plans for that holiday. It happens, and it’s okay to follow through with your holiday plans.

It’s also okay when your sabbatical week falls the week before (or the week after) a holiday where you have plans. Take your holiday. Follow through with your plans. Visit family. But also take the sabbatical week. It is a different thing designed intentionally for rest. Don’t manually adjust where the sabbatical falls to have it purposefully align with an existing holiday. Let it fall where it falls. This makes more sense when you start to understand the difference between sabbaticals and holidays. One is restful, the other is not.

While you’re more than welcome to continue taking off the certain weeks you take around holidays, when you take more than seven weeks of sabbaticals per year, it completely changes things. You are no longer desperate for the couple of weeks of time off per year. You’re not perpetually burned out anymore. So while it might be a crazy thought to imagine not taking off certain weeks like you used to as a vacation, know that by next year, you will feel quite different (in the best possible way).

Below is what holiday time looked like for me at the end of 2018 with sabbaticals. I let the sabbatical fall where it falls—it simply repeats every seventh week since I created the original event in 2014. I don’t change the sabbatical schedule.

  • November 19th–25th I took a sabbatical week.
  • December 4th–7th I took a business trip.
  • December 24th–26th I took off to visit family for Christmas.
  • January 1st I took off for New Year’s Day.
  • January 7th–13th I took a sabbatical week.

(By the way, you can view my sabbatical calendar on the Schedule page.)

If there’s any work that needs to be done by any certain point, I know exactly what times I have available to work in between my sabbaticals, trips, and holiday commitments.

It’s just like when someone asks on Friday if you have time for a call. When looking at your availability, you ignore the weekend (because you’re not working) and simply say, “Are you available Monday at 8:00 AM?” Similarly with sabbaticals, when there’s work to do, schedule it during times of availability, and account for deadlines accordingly.

Remember, things take as long as the amount of time you give them.