Next year I will be taking a 10% pay cut as compared to this year, and I couldn’t be happier. Okay, so a little bit of context might be appropriate. This winter I will be taking a 5-week unpaid leave of absence from work, and with 52 weeks a year, that’s about a tenth of my salary. And why am I doing this you may ask? I am going traveling again! And I can’t wait.
This idea has been in the making for some time now, since I talked about taking mini-retirements back in early November. My manager has green-lighted this plan and I’ve booked flights to Lima, Peru, leaving January 26th, 2014.
The reason that this makes me so happy (other than the anticipation and planning of a trip!) is that this means that my employer and my manager are being flexible and accommodating. I know how lucky I am to be able to take extended leave from work to go traveling, and the fact that my manager is on board with this is very exciting. Most people can’t just suggest to their boss that they take off for the winter and get a quick and easy approval!
On that note, B is one of those people. He can’t take that kind of time off from work, and didn’t even really look into it. He has ongoing projects that need his attention, and therefore I am leaving B at home.
But I found myself another travel buddy: my dad! My dad recently retired and generally goes south for the winter (we call them snowbirds). This year he thought he might want to try something different so he’s joining me on my South American adventure. We’ve traveled together on short vacations before but my dad has never really been on a backpacking travel adventure. This may be the last chance we get to travel together like this! Life seems to get in the way sometimes.
We are thinking of going through Peru, Bolivia and northern Chile, so if anyone has any recommendations, let me know! I’d love to hear from you if you’ve traveled through South America.
Financially, this will set me back a fair amount but with my saving habits throughout the year I’m sure I can make it work. This means that I’m giving up 5 weeks of income, plus the cost of the trip. I haven’t budgeted out what the trip is going to cost me yet, but I’m hoping to keep it within the $4000-$5000 range. I’ll also need to cover my expenses back home, which is not something I’ve really had to do on prior trips.
Career-wise, I don’t think this will really affect my progression, or at least not negatively. Winter is the slow time for my department and they are having a hard time keeping everyone busy as it is. This way my manager has fewer employees to spread the work to and I will come back recharged and ready to work. Win-win!
Anyway, just thought I’d share my news with you, I’m sure I’ll elaborate more on this as plans progress!
Would you take a pay cut for a chance to pursue a passion? How long would you go without any income?