I am a lucky lad, my employer runs a long service reward scheme that sees those doing twenty five consecutive years get awarded a six month period of paid leave from work. I have done just over thirty one years. So why did I delay taking it? Well outdoorsy stuff often involves traveling or indeed nights away, and deferring the taking of it has meant that my kids are that bit older and therefore if I'm later back it's not a biggie (I just bark at them to do their school work later in the day).
I'm actually off for about seven months as I've tagged some holiday onto the front so that this week sees my first official 'man of leisure' week. Well I've already started/ done some stuff beforehand as it was stuff that was happening just outside of my period.
The first thing I did in the new year was to do the early bird sign up to Paul Kirtley's Tree and Plant masterclass, it starts before the sabbatical would as it runs through the seasons and the idea id that I can use the time off to do it justice. I also attended the Bushcraft Magazine May Meet for the first time, attended a John Rhyder bark workshop at the Weald and Downland museum and went to Wiltshire for a forage with Joe O'Leary in some gorgeous woodland.
That's not a shabby start for sure, but I am going to attend a 1-2-1 forage with John Rentsen, a World of Bushcraft workshop, see Tristan Gooley at the National Maritime museum before rounding off with a visit to the Bushcraft Show and the chance to see a talk by Ray Mears...and that's just the first official week!
I have other stuff lined up, plenty of family holiday and some 'spontaneous' time spare, even a walk in the country will be a new experience without the kids shouting 'hurry up'. I know I'm lucky and I'll be striving to use every minute wisely.