I’m taking a sabbatical. Here’s why and what that means for my work.

I originally posted this on my web design portfolio but I feel like it has a place here too.

From the 11th October 2017 I will be on sabbatical for seven or more months. I’ve booked my flights out of the country and I’m not set to return until May 2018.

For those of you who have found me via a Google search, here’s a bit of background information on who I am for context. At the time of writing I’m a 30 year old web designer with over ten years experience designing and building websites. Seven of those years were spent in the same agency in Liverpool, followed by eight months working freelance. Before that I was building websites for myself while studying how to build websites at college and university. It’s time for things to change.

Now I’m pretty certain that I’ll be following the same career path for a long time because I’m good at what I do and it’s a really useful skill to have. Having said that, I also feel like I need to take some time to not do it in order to get a broader perspective on things and keep myself creatively fuelled. I’m not sure if that seems like madness to some people but I think that if you spend your whole life in the same bubble, sooner or later you’re just recycling stale air.

I’m currently at a time in my life when all of my peers seem to be settling down, buying houses, getting married and having children. While that’s a fine plan, it’s not something I’m ready for yet and so I’ve decided to get rid of the savings on something totally different. For seven months I’ll be travelling between India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Malaysia, Japan, South Korea, The Philippines, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, LA, Peru and Chile. If that doesn’t change my perspective on things, at least I’ll know who I am and what I enjoy doing.

So what does that mean for my freelance?

Although I am taking a laptop on the trip with me, I haven’t made any promises to anyone that I’ll start new work. The reason for this is because I don’t like promising to deliver things I know I won’t be able to devote my full attention to. As time goes by I might be able to find a week here and there where I can stop and design or build a new site, but not for the first month or two while I’m settling into the hectic areas of India or the culture of Vietnam. Later on in the trip I’ll be spending three weeks in Japan and 30 days in Australia and New Zealand respectively, but that’s not until the end of the year leading into 2018.

I pride myself on the work I do and when you hire me I’m very committed to doing a good job, which is not something I can guarantee I’ll do with so many unknown elements in my path. In a few months I may get accustomed to the road, in which case I’ll write a completely different post about this. In the meantime though if you want to work with me it may just have to wait.

Should you need someone right now to help you out I can recommend a few people, though a number of them will appear in your search if you look for “freelance web designer Liverpool” in Google. Feel free to ask me for recommendations though.

I’d like to say a huge thanks to everyone who has worked with me for the past few months as I’ve begun my freelance career, especially those who knew I’m about to skip town and stuck with me anyway. I look forward to catching up with you when I return.

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