Here’s the plan. I’m taking two months off from work; August and September. As I’ve mentioned to others for quite awhile I’ve been the poster child for why sabbaticals are a good idea. I’m not likely to convince HP to actually institute a sabbatical program so, since the stars seem to be in relative alignment (there’s never a good time), I’m just giving myself one.
Last spring I gave my boss a heads up. He’s grumpy, but OK with it. That’s way better than having him be thrilled about me being gone, so it’s OK with me, too. During that time I’ll be spending one week in Mexico with my daughter and her boyfriend and four weeks based in Oxford, England. The Mexico vacation was already in the works. The two months off were wrapped around it later. I’ll be spending the remainder of the time doing projects around the house or just enjoying the area where I live.
Putting it together has been interesting. Generally, it’s covered by four weeks of vacation and four weeks of time off without pay. Airfare and lodging were paid last spring and my savings account and credit cards are still in reasonable shape, so funding doesn’t look too bad. Mexico is a timeshare, so the lodging there is just the annual maintenance fee. Airfare I paid cash for. I might have done better there with a little more strategy, but keeping the flights coordinated reduces the flexibility a little. I’m getting to England on frequent flyer miles and staying in student housing in Oxford, so that’s not too bad. There may have been ways to optimize it more, but this was a good balance between excessive research stress and just getting it done (thank you Melody for your help with this).