From the word Sabbath: rest on the Sabbath day, Sasha decided she deserved a well earned break from her life in Europe. She has been working so hard, in contract roles as well as running an Accountancy business and raising a fantastic child, all on her own.
She made sure her child got the best education available to them in their city. He participated in activities of interest to him like football, basketball, ice-hockey, cricket, roller skating, whilst Sasha found time between generating an income to sustain them both adequately, to enjoy her life. They both had a great time.
When Kieran, Sasha’s son was due to finish Primary School and start Secondary School, Sasha decided this was the best time to take time out of their lives and explore another part of world.
The big question was, ‘Where to?’
All Sasha knew then was that she was taking a year out of her life to explore another part of the world.
She thought of going to China, India, South Africa. She ruled out Europe, because it was too close to home. Any little difficulty and she might just return home. She didn’t want it to be easy to come back. She thought of Canada, but wasn’t ready for the cold. She considered the US, but wasn’t ready for the hassle of getting a Visa. Where then?
After racking her brain for months and still not getting close to a decision as to where she wanted to go, one day, she looked up in her kitchen and saw a picture. It was a picture of Marcia. She screamed excitedly, ‘Kieran, I know where we are going’.
Marcia was born in France. She came to England to improve her English. She was staying with an elderly family, who she found boring and pretty strict too.
Sasha needed a Nanny and as chance would have it, Sasha and Marcia were introduced to one another. They hit it off immediately. They were definitely kindred spirits. The day they met was one of the happiest and blessed days in their lives. They knew they would be friends for life.
Marcia introduced Sasha to her Guardians who were happy to let Marcia come to work as a Live-In Nanny for Sasha. Marcia was overjoyed with her new family and loved Kieran, who was under a year old then.
After Marcia’s stint in the U.K., she returned to complete her studies in France. Kieran also started Nursery School and Sasha changed professions to one that accommodated bringing up a child on her own.
Marcia’a Dad moved to Martinique, the French Caribbean. After graduating from university, Marcia took her first trip to Martinique to visit her Dad. She fell in love with the island, the people, the culture, the food, the music, the weather, the sea, the sun, the sand, the life-style, a man and eventually settled on island and had a beautiful child.
Marcia insisted Sasha must visit, but Sasha wasn’t in a position to visit, until ten years later, when Sasha saw Marcia’s picture in her kitchen and screamed, ‘Kieran, I know where we are going’, with such excitement and certainty.
‘Where are we going?’ Kieran asked. ‘Martinique’, Sasha responded. ‘Where is Martinique?’ Kieran asked. ‘I don’t know’, Sasha responded, ‘But Marcia is there’, she smiled, giving him her reassuring smile. A smile that says, ‘Everything would be just fine’ 😄
Sasha pulled out a map and searched for Martinique. She couldn’t find it on the map. She pulled out a bigger map, then she saw this speck of an island in the middle of nowhere.
Sasha didn’t know anything about Martinique. She saw a couple familiar islands like St. Lucia and Jamaica. She also saw that it was not too far from Florida.
Martinique, here we come – Yippppeeeeee!
Sasha was in the process of sourcing visas for herself and Kieran, only to discover that Martinique, being an Overseas Department of France, is classed as being part of the European Union. They didn’t need visas. They could live out there like they lived in the U.K.
Sasha was so happy. She couldn’t believe her luck. It was going to be like living in an European country situated in the Caribbean. The move couldn’t have been easier.
She put her house up for sale. The sale went through within a week. She paid off all her debts. She handed her Accountancy business over to her brother, who was also an Accountant with the Procedures Manual on how to run the business and strict instructions to call her, only if he saw blood. 😊
She packed their bags, picked up her son and jetted off to Martinique, to sun, sea and sand. A change, a break from her current lifestyle and a new adventure.
Sasha and Kieran didn’t speak any French. They knew only Marcia, her child and hubby, in the whole country. It was a start, a great start. A new adventure.
Watch this space for more of Sasha’s escapades on her sabbatical.
Are you considering taking a sabbatical or simply taking time out of your life?
Do it? Once you make that decision and take that first brave step towards your dreams, everything else will start to fall into place.
Have a plan, no matter how simple. Sasha’s original plan was to spend one year in Martinique. She and Kieran ended up spending two and a half glorious years.
Where do you want to go?
Do as much homework about the country you plan to spend your sabbatical in, as you can. However, do not go into ‘Analysis to Paralysis’. Sasha was lucky not have found out that there were mosquitoes in Martinique. If she knew there mosquitoes there, she would most likely have changed her mind about going there. Sasha is scared of mosquitoes. Wuss!
Have some starter funds. Money helps.
Find a way to earn some money.
Sasha had taken a three day course on ‘Teaching English As A Foreign Language’ in the U.K. She took the course for the fun of it, not realising it was going to feed her and her son whilst on a sabbatical. This certificate served her well in Martinique. She got a role as a Teaching Assistant, coaching French Students to speak in English.
Her job as a Teaching Assistant helped her to make so many friends and to imbibe the French Caribbean culture better.
No knowledge is ever lost. It always comes in handy when needed.
Make sure your status is legal for the country.
Obtain the necessary insurances, particularly Health Insurance. Make sure your insurances are up to date and well maintained.
Be receptive to people who are different from you. They will be receptive back and it makes the experience more fun.
Mingle with the locals. You’ll appreciate life better.
Learn the language. Kieran picked up French very quickly and some Creole, the local language. Sasha’s French is now passable. 😊
Let your hair down
Try new things, new food, new dance moves 😄 Sasha and Kieran improved their Salsa moves. Sasha learnt to Zouk. What a blast!
Travel round the country.
Explore neighbouring countries. Sasha and Kieran visited St.Lucia, Guadeloupe, Dominica, Antigua, St. Kitts, Tortolla, Pueto Rico. They stopped over in Jamaica en-route to the US for a two month summer break.
Learn new skills. Sasha learnt to row and participated in inter-island rowing competitions.
Seize the opportunity to get fit.
Explore other religions, spirituality and meditation. You’ll find that the basic glue that holds our world through all these different religions, is ‘Love’.
Watch local programmes. Kieran and Sasha improved their French by watching French Cartoons with sub-titles.
Take time out of your life to explore the world, appreciate life and love yourself more.
Join Sasha here for more laughs on her escapades and her chronicles.
Watch this space for more of Sasha’s escapades on her sabbatical.
Sasha Has Dengue Fever
Sasha, The Basket Ball Queen
Sasha Turns Green
Sasha Learns to Zouk
Sasha Goes To University
Sasha Island Hops
Sasha’s Chronicles ☀️