Sabbatical or a sabbatical (from Hebrew: shabbat (שבת) (i.e., Sabbath), in Latin: sabbaticus, in Greek: sabbatikos (σαββατικός), literally a "ceasing") is a rest from work, or a break, often lasting from one month to a year. The concept of sabbatical has a source in shmita, described in several places in the Bible. For example, in Leviticus 25, there is a commandment to desist from working the fields during the seventh year. (from Wikipedia)
I left the company I founded and closed up my recording studio in May 2018. I ended nearly all of my running side projects as well (in the end, I didn't give up data science and quant trading ... hacking/coding is my drug-of-choice apparently). Audrey and I sold or donated almost all of our belongings and moved to Portugal with our friends Karly and Trevor (yes, also Trevor).
I've been trying to figure out exactly how to write about it - in fact I still don't know exactly how - but as I'm ready to get back to doing something at the rate that I was working before (e.g. furiously), I think I need to publicly mention this trip. Also it was so awesome. I can't believe I'm leaving.
We've been in Portugal now for 5 months, and I've achieved some of my goals for the trip -- reading a lot (specifically contemplative literature like Meister Eckhart and Chuang Tzu), reflecting & journaling, being outside, learning a foreign language (kinda, turns out European Portuguese is quite hard), surfing, exploring more of Europe, really "living" abroad, thinking about the future, making music (in June i made a track per day on my OP-1 from this spot on the balcony of our house in Eugaria) and being with friends (shout out to all the amazing friends that made the trip to visit us while we were here: Jeff and Allison, Tim, John Michael, Meredith, Robert and Lily, Reyn, Kyli and Tucker, Bobby and DorRae, Justine, Kate and Chris, Meredith and Kyle) .
We lived in a new house each month, with the exception of August and October, where we moved around a bit. Our rough travel timeline/life:
- June: Eugaria, Portugal
- July: Sintra, Portugal
- August: Nantes, France / Antwerp, Belgium / Amsterdam, NE / Copenhagen, DK / Falkenberg, SE / Gothenburg, SE / Gozo, Malta / Barcelona, SP / Porto, PT / Castelo de Paiva, PT
- September: São João do Estoril
- October: Part 1: 1980s Westfalia Vanagon trip; Alentejo/Algarve camping around Carrapateira, Silves/Lagoa, Cacela Velha, Albandeira
Part 2: Morgado do Quintão, Algarve, Portugal
It's hard to encapsulate all (or really any) of this time living abroad right now, but here are some random thoughts and realizations: average grocery store food quality is much better than the US, Portuguese hospitality (especially in the food and wine scene) is amazing, Portugal as a country (from north to south) is very beautiful and very approachable, taking life as it comes and not being super time efficient can be a really good thing, a 2 euro bottle of Portuguese wine is better than most 15 dollar bottles available in the US, smaller European cities (like Nantes, Porto, Antwerp) are where the magic lies, the healthcare system in the US is actually even worse than I thought (by comparison), driving a manual transmission car on small streets makes people more aware and better drivers (hypothesis!), driving a 1980 Volkswagen Vanagon with surfboards tied to the top around the south and southwest of Portugal for a week is just as romantic and fun as it sounds, picnics can happen everywhere when everywhere is safe and made for public enjoyment, and swimming in clean freshwater or saltwater as much as possible is legendary (see my Instagram for more details).
We're ending the month at an incredible vineyard in the Algarve, Morgado do Quintão, where I've been helping out with some business vision casting, building a website / honing brand, and just fun collaborating with the owner, Filipe. I've also been a part of Justin Moen's first BUIDL Bootcamp.
Here are a few film photos from the last part of the trip, and here's a Google Photos album that shows some of the lifestyle!
Now? I'm headed back to the US. I don't know what's next. See you somewhere.
EDIT, UPDATE December 5, 2018: Work - Still don't know what I'm doing, but increasingly unlikely I'll be heading back to Messenger. Still helping out from afar but more as a 'board member' at this point, and I think that will be for the best. Self - I've had a few people I respect tell me that I'm more centered, speaking more clearly, better "vibe" since coming back from this time off. That's cool, and makes the "goal was accomplished" ✌️.