Hottest Destinations for 2020

The 7 Best Destinations For A Modern Sabbatical

What is a modern sabbatical? The traditional sabbatical meaning was when a worker was granted leave for a year to explore other work, study, or travel. They’d galavant off to somewhere like Egypt or France and to learn, immerse, and recharge.

Now, it’s a term widely used by many professionals to say “I need a break.” Most people use a sabbatical as a way to reflect on their accomplishments and decide how they want to prioritize their life and career going forward. For millennials facing higher rates of burnout, this is becoming increasingly more important and, honestly, pretty necessary. 

Here are our top picks for the best seven travel destinations you can visit for a quality, modern sabbatical, whether you’re looking to focus on personal, professional, or even spiritual development.

Best Destinations For A Modern SabbaticalHow do these rankings work?

1. Yoga & Wellness in Bali, Indonesia

If you’ve read Eat, Pray, Love then you’ll definitely know and understand just how many people make their way out to Bali each year to relive Elizabeth Gilbert’s famous pilgrimage to the mecca of health and wellness. Bali is our top pick for a spiritual sabbatical, as it’s filled with lots of great yoga studios, temples, and spots for quiet retreats.

Best Destination for Modern Sabbatical


2. Surf Camp in Guanacaste, Costa Rica

As they say, saltwater cures everything, and there’s nothing quite as relaxing as spending some time by the sea. Wash all your worries away, reconnect with nature, and learn a new skill that will help you tone your mind and body. Where? Costa Rica is a surfer’s paradise, and taking a personal sabbatical here is extremely cheap compared to other destinations.

Surfing Sabbatical in Costa Rica

3. Teach English in Bangkok, Thailand

A modern sabbatical is all about reconnecting with yourself and evaluating your life decisions, but there are few better ways to really change your perspective than by helping others. Teaching English in Thailand for a year is a great way to immerse yourself in another culture while also reflecting on your own. Giving back feels good.

4. Work on an Organic Farm in New Zealand

If you can’t focus on your professional career goals because you’re too worried about what we’re doing to the environment, then take a year off to work on an organic farm in New Zealand. The farmers there are pretty progressive, which is why they invite people to work through the program World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms.

New Zealand Farm for Modern Sabbatical

5. Learn to Tango in Buenos Aires, Argentina

This one really works for any hobby or passion you have. But, learning to dance is a great way to train your mind and body to learn a new skill. You’ll be listening to new music, moving your body, and meeting new people. What more could you ask for out of a modern sabbatical?

6. Volunteer in South Africa

A professional sabbatical is all about learning new skills to help you further your career. A personal or spiritual sabbatical allows you to work on yourself. A modern sabbatical mixes both. Try spending a few months volunteering somewhere like South Africa to help you learn new skills in both life and your career. It’s rewarding for you and the community you’re giving back to.

Volunteer During Sabbatical


7. Lay on the Beach in Palawan, Phillippines

If you need a modern sabbatical, it’s likely because you’re experiencing burnout. Young professionals are burning out faster and faster, reaching higher levels of stress at earlier ages. If that’s the case, then don’t feel bad about taking a personal sabbatical in order to decompress and rejuvenate. We recommend heading to the beaches of El Nido. It’s the No. 2 best island in the world.


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Elizabeth Thorn
Elizabeth Thorn

Elizabeth has lived and worked in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia, all of which have contributed to her passion for travel writing. When she's not writing, you can find her exploring little hideouts in Colombia or watching photography tutorials on YouTube.

Contact: [email protected]

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