Why were you inspired to do this?
When I was growing up I was very fortunate as my parents were both teachers and we spent many wonderful summers together. I had been working overseas for the last 12 years and every time I went home I felt I was rushed and never really had an opportunity to spend the quality time I wanted with my family. The last time I was home was 18 months ago and that was for only five days at Christmas, not long enough! With my parents getting older and my niece (7) and nephew (5) it was the right time. I was homesick and really wanted to be back home for a summer with my family.
What were 3 things you did to make this happen?
I needed to save enough money to take time off work. I had budgeted $2,500 just for the summer and thankfully I would be staying with my brother.
I needed to leave my job, while a leave of absence was an option I decided to leave my job. I would be starting a new business in the fall so this was the perfect time to take the summer off.
I had to move from Australia back to North America. Since I was leaving my job I would no longer have a work permit so after three years in Sydney Australia it was time to come home.
How did you feel once you had accomplished this?
When I got home I was pretty excited. It felt so different from my far too quick trips home previously. I spent eight great weeks in the place where I spent much of my youth. What an absolute treat it was to have a five and seven year old wake me up everyday with so much love and affection. I got to teach my niece and nephew swimming and we spent some great days boating on the river. During the week I would go to their soccer games and cheer with the other family members. We did a weekend trip camping in Prince Edward Island and day trips Sea Kayaking and whale watching on the Bay of Fundy. It was so great seeing my brother and sister in law with the kids and being a part of their lives. My brother and I spent some great times together highlighted by an evening quad biking through the woods. As kids we did a lot of things together and it was nice being able to share time together again. It is also wonderful as you get older how you can just enjoy spending time with your parents. The stories from their lives take on a new importance as they age and you recognize time is not limitless. I had been working so hard over the years so being home for such an extended period was very special. When it came time to leave I waited until the first day of school and as the kids got on the bus I was ready to go again. Before I left I made a DVD of all our experiences and I know this will be treasured for all of us for some time to come.
Additional notes and tips:
When you leave work be sure to get health & Travel Insurance for the time you will not be working.