If you ever have wondered about taking a year off, I can just help you and say yes, take it!
It will be the most valuable year of your life. It might also be the year that will completely transform you and the direction of your life change. Whatever you decide to do with those 365 days or more, do not waste it. It might not happen soon again that you will have an opportunity to have so much time off. It is your time and this time will be never returned to you again!
As officially this week I came back to regular job I would like to share 12 things I did during the last 12 months:
1. As passionate traveler I visited 10 countries including my two dream destinations I wanted to visit since many years: New Zealand and Nepal. I also traveled to really far islands paradise: Fiji, what I have never ever dreamt of!
2. I was volunteering in the orphanage in Nepal as English teacher, what was my plan since 3 years and finally during the last year I had time to do it.
3. I did 2 months of voluntary work at the Centro d'Ompio in Italy, where I learned sound mediation and met many wonderful inspiring people.
4. I have read 103 books, which means almost two books per week!
5. First time since 10 years I spent more time with family. As last couple of years I lived abroad and being back home was a rare event. When I came back home for longer time, I noticed how much my family has changed and how much I changed during all those years.
6. I spent huge part of my free time in the nature, either hiking, swimming in the ocean, walking in the forest or picking fruits in the garden. I've got a new perspective on nature and I respect it so much.
7. I learned proper yoga and meditation techniques. Finally after two years of irregular practice I had time for regular yoga and meditation exercises that brought great benefits to my mind and body.
8. I have become vegetarian and I have learned how to cook many delicious vegetarian dishes. When you start being vegetarian you realize that your cooking skills need to be improved. You need to include creativity to your cooking and learn what kind of food includes valuable vitamins and proteins.
9. I painted 10 paintings in acrylic. It means I painted almost one painting per month! Creativity requires silence and peace that I had last year that is why I painted so much.
10. I took part in the Batik workshop in Kuala Lumpur. Batik is technique of wax-resist dyeing applied to whole cloth. So instead of canvas you create your peace of art directly on silk or linen by using first wax and later paints.
11. I wrote 3 poems and read them in front of 20+ people audience.
12. First time in my life I had time really to evaluate what I have done so far and what I want to do in the future and to what and to whom I want to devote my time.
I could easily list 20-40 other things I did last year, including visiting national parks, swimming in the mud pit, watching glow worms, making my own jam first time or playing laser tag:) However, what I listed above had helped me to improve significantly the quality of my life, thoughts and daily life. I found more peace in myself. I know more where I am heading and what is really important for me.
This year would never be the same without all the wonderful people I met on my way. Meeting each of you was a great lesson in itself and I am grateful for every conversation, every smile and positive energy we shared.
I can not say it was easy year, but I have learned a lot about myself and this is the most significant benefit of my year off. And of course without the time I had I would never start writing this blog!