When joining The Sound in 2014, I was immediately attracted to a delightfully unique company perk: after five years with the company, employees are rewarded with a one-month sabbatical, fully paid. The Sound of sabbatical.
I believe my initial, unabridged reaction to this learning was something along the lines of, “for fucking REAL?” and, as it luckily turned out, this perk is very much for fucking real.
The time can be spent however one chooses: rest and relaxation, personal development, side projects, adventure, or some creative combination thereof. My affinity for the natural world inspired me to get out and stretch my legs (both literally and metaphorically) as most of the world’s urbanites, myself included, had been cooped up for the better part of 18 months (some virus or something? I forget.)
So, after spending the first days of my sabbatical enjoying quality time with family, my partner and I (she came along, too!) traveled to Tanzania, hiking to the windswept summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro. We followed that expedition with a five-day safari, observing the amazing breadth of wildlife in the Serengeti region of Africa. Then, after returning to the U.S. (still!) a happy couple, I bid my lady adieu and traveled to Maine with my brother for a four-day camping trip in Acadia National Park, the jewel of America’s northeast coastline.
I wish I could describe every single thrilling, rewarding, and inspirational experience, but life is short and so is this blogpost.
Writing the words I’m grateful doesn’t fully express how fortunate and privileged I am to have this experience. I reflected daily upon that privilege, taking stock of all that I have and the reasons I have them. This gratitude has now evolved into an immense appreciation – not only an increased appreciation for the natural world, but also for The Sound and the remarkable team of people who make this benefit possible. I hope every Sound employee one day reaches their magical five-year anniversary so that they may also have the opportunity to explore the world on their terms and to enjoy the rewards that journey will yield.