What would happen if you pressed ‘Pause’?

Paradise

Have you ever contemplated taking time out from general daily life and putting that time into some extended time away with your family unit?  

If the time away won’t create long-term financial stress and in terms of your work is somehow doable, then rather than going over and over it in your mind, just stop.

If the window is even slightly ajar, then please do what you can to make it happen.  

Press Pause on what can be the daily grind.

What would I know?

Well, we were fortunate enough to have the stars align last year, taking advantage of a specific period of time and headed away for an early OE (Overseas Experience, if you’re not from New Zealand) for the kids, whilst they’re still kids.  

The end result: time out for a really good number of weeks, experiencing what some term a ‘mini-retirement’.

It certainly felt like what I suspect ‘retirement’ feels like and for the most part, personally it was a quite surreal experience.    

The simple fact is that you’re older now than when you started reading this.  Time as we all know is ticking.  We might not be able to slow it down but we can create great memories to help make the most of the time that we have.

For us, some friends who’d experienced a big trip, were a key catalyst for us saying Yes.  I’m hoping that with the A-Z below, that I can help move you from thinking about something like this to making some time out happen also, if it’s at all possible.  

Action
Excuses are easy to make aren’t they?  How many great things have happened in our lives from doing nothing & not acting on our dreams?  Not too many I suspect.

Busy Lives
It’s everyone’s reality these days it seems isn’t it?  We’re all busy living and doing our best for our families. What would happen if you pressed Pause?  Would home still be there as it is today?  Would life continue on as per normal once you’re back?  Do you want for life to just continue as per normal when you get back or do you need a break to reassess where your current chapter in life is going?  

Calm
Such a great word!  Imagine being with your family, somewhere other than your home country environment, having no one to really answer to, no office emails and the decision-making ability to plan & fill every day with what you all decide is going to get you guys the most from that day.

Experiences
I’ve increasingly come to this way of thinking and the time out convinced me.  When faced with Opportunity A – Buying more stuff that based on history, ultimately lies around and then potentially becomes obsolete or Opportunity B – Having an experience, creating happy memories that last forever. It’s B for me!

Family
With the juggle of life, when do you really get extended quality time with the ones that you care about the most?  Now that we’ve had this time out, I truly believe that it’s one of the best things to bring you all together.

Gratitude
From the families that I’ve spoken with, especially those that took their now adult children overseas when they were much younger, it seems that a gratitude is born and maintained, from seeing other parts of the world and having that family time. Evidently decades later, the children still bring up their memories of the trip, when they all get together. 

Health & Wellbeing
Body, Mind & Soul via the sights, smells, tastes and sounds of somewhere different.

Interesting
Who doesn’t like to have interesting conversation starters and stories to tell?  Each day you’re guaranteed to add to your library.

Joy
It’s not a word that we tend to use often but watching your children mature before your eyes and enthusiastically saying Yes to doing new things, seeing new things, tasting new things, speaking a different language and watching a different world go by, creates Joy.

Kick Groundhog Day into touch
One way to create an end to any sense of life monotony, is the anticipation of something new that can create a happy hiccup in life.  Change it up.  Book it in. Get away.

Laughter
As we age and life gets busier with the juggle, it’s seem to be the norm that we sometimes reflect on the fact that we should have more fun!  All I can say is that despite the stressful moments driving, negotiating toll booths, making train connections, sorting out accommodation bookings, trying to speak the language, whatever – we had so many classic times and laughs. Even if they were mostly at my expense, it was serious good times!

Moments
You never get them back, so make them count.

No regrets
There will always be apprehension before taking off for an extended period of time.  All I can say is that if I was sitting here now having not gone, I’d be regretting that.  No question.

Our place in the world
Travel seems to open up your eyes in all sorts of ways, without having to immerse yourself fully and extract yourself long term from your daily life. It really is the best of both worlds.

Perspective
Maybe you just need some time out? Getting away will certainly deliver that.  Whether it’s people, places, events, even things that don’t quite go to plan during the trip.  It’s all learning and it all helps create a sense of where you’re at personally, where you’re heading and where you’d like to be for both yourself and the family.

Questions
Your kids will no doubt ask plenty of these during the journey.  Good ones too! Life questions.   In retrospect, it was so enjoyable to have these conversations without a sense of rushing and getting frustrated that you’re late for this or that.  The only job at hand when you’re away really, is making the most of the time together. 

Reconnect
With your family. With your other half.  With yourself.  Remember the old adage that on your deathbed, you will never wish that you’d worked longer hours.

School (& maybe Sacrifices)
Your kids will be exposed to all sorts of things that could never be learned in a classroom.  At the same time it is a sacrifice in some ways as they will miss out on certain events that they might have wanted to take part in.  Likewise, it’s a huge financial sacrifice for anyone and this shouldn’t be underestimated, however hopefully there is a way.

Time
You can’t get it back. The kids won’t be kids for long.  Simple.

Unique
It’s your life, your family, your time on the planet.  No one can have exactly the same moments and memories as the ones that you create.  Put the life back into life.

Versatile
It’s a great opportunity to try new things, step out of the comfort zone, say Yes and immerse yourself in something different.  After all it’s only temporary and you can really just be you without fear of peer pressure, judgement, fear of failure etc that you might have when at home in daily life.

Work
Instead of thinking about your office work whilst away, you get to think about what you’d like your work to be and mean.  The ability to think and plan your next chapter without the everyday noise and stress, is gold.  Who knows what you might discover. It might be more of the same but it also might not be.

X marks the spot
Grab a world map, imagine it, discuss it, plot it, budget for it, book it.

You
You admire.  You watch.  You think. You wonder.  You observe.  You consider. You breath.  You taste. You savour.  You discover.  You rediscover.  You reflect. You recharge. You learn about you. You are present for your family.

Zest for Life
If you’ve lost it, then this could be the ticket to reclaiming it.

Thanks for reading through until the end.  And Yes, I left out the ‘D’.

Do it!
Honestly, just Do it.  Picture yourself there, ask yourself what would happen if you pressed Pause and then make it happen.

Thanks.

Disclaimer: ultimately it’s your decision and your life. I’m just an advocate for creating memories if they’re somehow affordable and you can all make it work vs buying more stuff that sits around in the garage.