About ten years ago, there used to be a show that came on television called ‘Radical Sabbatical.’ The premise was: “Human-interest stories focusing on successful people changing lifestyles and taking risks in pursuit of spiritual fulfillment and bygone dreams.” Hubby and I couldn’t get enough of the show. There was everything from single individuals, to couples, to families with small children make the brave decision to leave the security of the known and – in the family’s case – sail around the globe for an entire year. Given that I was in the think of life as a junior associate at the law firm at that time, this show was like watching the ultimate fantasy. As kinds and life piled on in the subsequent years, the show ended, but our memory of it didn’t! We’d always joke when we saw a cool destination or awesome-sounding business venture that we should quit it all and go on our Radical Sabbatical.
My desire to do this was heightened after I read “How to Eat a Small Country” and seeing friends like Jennifer James and Gabrielle Blair pick up and move their families for life experience. Sheila Dowd has been my latest inspiration – she and her family have been traveling the world for a year (check out their hashtag #Dowd) and I’ve been living vicariously through her postings.
My idea of the perfect Radical Sabbatical would be on the island of Barbados – my maternal grandmother’s place of birth. Not having the Caribbean experience that I had growing up in Montreal (if you can believe it) or Miami, I desperately miss the fact that my kids are so far removed from their roots and would looove them to have the opportunity to connect with the islands. [I mean, Giggles asked for a ‘curry sandwich’ on the weekend. I was like: ‘you mean roti!?’ *facepalm*] That my husband family is from The Bahamas (he is first-generation American-born), just sweetens the case. Interestingly enough, my aunt just moved to Barbados after spending her entire life in Montreal. She’s already reconnected with distant relatives and family friends and is feeling right at home – while doing yoga on the beach in the mornings.
Hubby’s been pushing for New York City – he’s got a serious crush on it – for some time. Having lived there for a summer, I know that it’s not the place for me. But, somehow, someway, the chance arose for us to getaway for a month this summer. And, we’re headed to…Miami! Of course it makes sense – all three sets of grandparents and a zillion aunts, uncles and cousins are there. Not to mention, this winter was BRU.TAL. and both Hubby and I are craving the sunshine. So, after the kids are done school in a couple of weeks, off we go! It’s not Barbados or a sailboat around the world, but it’s a start. And there will be palm trees.