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6 mth family sabbatical - destinations unknown

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6 mth family sabbatical - destinations unknown

My husband and I are dreaming of taking a six-month family sabbatical with our daughter (who will be 9yrs old) between November 2010 and end of April 2011 (the dates are so she can go to her school for the first and last 2 months of the school year).

We've never done anything like this (and don't know anyone who has) so we're trying to get as much advice as possible to help make it happen (instead of talking ourselves out of it due to fear and feeling overwhelmed by the idea).

What we know is:

-that we'll be leaving from Vancouver BC Canada

-we'll be on a budget

-we prefer beach, nature, animals, markets, snorkelling, great food, getting a feel for how people really live - vs historic sites, big cities and touristy spots

What we don't know is where to go to get the most of the six months as possible on a budget.

I'm getting my hands on as many guide books as possible but am looking for ideas and tips from people who have done something similar...

thank you...


Belvidere, Illinois
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1. Re: 6 mth family sabbatical - destinations unknown

I have never done this, but I do have a friend who did. She took her 3 kids out of school for 6 months and they moved to Guatemala. They had gone down there a few times before (one daughter adopted from there) and did research on the town they would like to live in, cost of renting a house, cost of living, transportation, etc. Her husband is a Dr. and found volunteer clinics to work in. The kids went to school there even though none of them spoke Spanish. She esentially home schooled them so they would not fall behind their regular class. She said it was harder to do everything - not as many up to date appliances and such in the home. They did make the most of their time there, but were happy to get home.

western WA
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2. Re: 6 mth family sabbatical - destinations unknown

My sister has a great time on the Adriatic and over to southeastern Europe and Turkey. They manage on far less than Western income.

London, United...
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3. Re: 6 mth family sabbatical - destinations unknown

I thought about this for a bit and decided if it was me there'd be two places top of my list

1. South America

2. Africa to Asia

I've been to South America so I'd pick Africa - Asia

My dream (and I don't even know if this is feasible) itinerary would go someting like this

Tanzania - Safari and Zanzibar for beaches

Then down to Madagascar

A hop to Mauritius or the Seychelles for some beach slob time.

I'd probably avoid the Middle East and head for India

Then on to Cambodia/maybe Vietnam maybe both

Head to Hong Kong and then home again.

Oh you've got me dreaming now!

Uden, The...
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4. Re: 6 mth family sabbatical - destinations unknown


To me that would be an easy choice. Australia and New Zealland. You'll have the time to explore both. Many people from my country take a sabbatical or a trip after their graduation and go Down Under and we have already been 7 times ourselves. Hard to beat Australian beaches, wildlife and snorkelling combined with the beauties of NZ mountains and shores.


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5. Re: 6 mth family sabbatical - destinations unknown

Sounds fantastic, and I hope to do the same one day with my 3 kids. If you don't do it you will forever regret it. I read a great book called "One year off" by David Cohen. Highly recommend it for some great insight to this type of trip. I travelled RTW with my husband for 1 year pre kids. If you're on a budget you should avoid Europe and Japan . South East Asia and India are great destinations on a low budget., it fills all your requirements and is very easy to travel around. If you are new to this type of thing I might avoid Africa other than an organised safari. The Mexicans and South Americans love kids and you can't go wrong there. Australia is a great start to get acclimatised, you could go from Van via Fiji or the Cooks and have some R & R on the beach, then continue through SE Asia. Once you are on the travelling route you will find many people doing the same thing and it won't feel so overwhelming to you. We met travelling families in Indonesia, Australia, and elephant trekking in Chang Mai Thailand - highly recommend that with kids. Have fun planning.......

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6. Re: 6 mth family sabbatical - destinations unknown

sounds like your going to have lots of fun. have fun planning,

but somewhere in Asia would be nice. :)


san francisco
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7. Re: 6 mth family sabbatical - destinations unknown

We're starting to look into the same - kids are 11 and 13 now and we wouldn't go for at least another year, so I'm not sure how it would work once they are high school age and school requirements more rigorous.

Anyway, my reason for responding to your post - when they were 5 and 7, we stayed for six weeks one summer in Tepoztlan, Mexico. We rented an apartment above a family's home which we found via a language school; the mom of the family did the cooking and so it was really a vacation for all of us! My partner was in language school, and I mostly explored around the town with the kids... just everyday stuff, markets, went to outlying towns, caught a couple of festivals, hung out in the zocalo. They still talk about it years later and what they remember are the small things - the lady who sold us corn on the cob from her stand, the new foods which got to be our favorites, the friendly dog of the family where we stayed, and the ducks which would come up to our door. I'm fluent in Spanish, so it was an easy place for us to fit in. Also, for us the combination of being a small town, but nearby to 2 large cities (Mexico City and Cuernavaca) as well as easy transportation access to other places made it a good choice. We would take short trips away on the weekends. We were also able to sublease our flat in San Francisco for most of the time we were away, so combined with the comparatively lower prices (for us) in Mexico, it made it very affordable.

Best of luck with this venture! I think it's an absolutely amazing idea, and hope we can arrange something similar ourselves.

Sydney, Australia
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8. Re: 6 mth family sabbatical - destinations unknown

I put in another vote for Australia (but I am a little biased LOL)

Many people hire a campervan and tour around the country for 6 months or so.

In 6 months you could get a real feeling for the country, visit beaches, rainforest, cities and the red centre without feeling rushed.

Edited: 27 November 2009, 15:06
9. Re: 6 mth family sabbatical - destinations unknown

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