Hello, Hola and Jambo: My OG Sabbatical

When you work for Octopus Group, you are pretty familiar with the idea of an office perk – whether its beer o clock on a Friday, wellbeing days, free lunches or superstar awards – they are a regular occurrence for us Octopedes. But, by far, the best, is the long awaiting sabbatical.

Four words – TWO MONTHS PAID LEAVE. It’s a biggy and I was lucky enough to have made the five-year mark last year.

Fast forward to this Summer and I have just returned from six weeks of non-work-related bliss! (missed you all really). Starting in Spain with a very relaxing break, a quick two-day turnaround back in the UK (which included an epic Guns N Roses gig!) and then onto Kenya for three weeks of safari, sunshine and far too many Tusker beers and Dawa cocktails. Finally, some time at home – a rare luxury in my holiday obsessed world!

Highlights are too many to mention but I am absolutely going to try:

  • Eating Paella for dinner three nights in a row – bring on the carbs!
  • Finding a pack of lions that had just demolished a wildebeest – they were in such a food coma, we could get close enough to almost touch them
  • Having dinner on the edge of a watering hole and a family of elephants coming along for a midnight drink
  • Having breakfast near the Tanzania border with Mount Kilamanjaro in the distance
  • Fighting off the endless stream of monkeys trying to steal our food and drinks in Mombasa!

Needless to say, it was a brilliant time. Being able to take such a long period off work is a rarity – having the opportunity to take six weeks to completely switch off, spend precious time with friends and family and just generally love life is an amazing thing.

And coming into work on my first day back to a balloon celebrating my return and the smiling, interested faces of my colleagues all eager to see me and hear how I have been almost made up for the 5,000 emails waiting for me!

Thank you Octopus Group – my sabbatical was an experience I will never forget!