Wednesday Reads

Wednesday Reads: Start of the Sabbatical

A round up of interesting or cool stuff I’ve read.

Image by Quang Le from Pixabay



I woke up one morning last week and, for the first time in years, had nowhere to be, nothing to do, no one to answer to.

It was a few weeks later than I initially expected, but my contract had finally come to an end and suddenly all my time was my own.

I cast back, trying to think of the last time I was in this situation, but I think this is a first.

Up until now, as one chapter has ended, I have always known what the next would look like.

As the end of compulsory education approached, I already had a place at university lined up. Likewise, with six months left before graduation, I had secured a PhD, and when I finally reached the end of that, the next job, on the other side of the world, was ready and waiting.

Admittedly, when I returned to the UK I didn’t know exactly what was next. But I had begun applying for jobs a few months before, and ended up with a position a few weeks after arriving at my parents’ house. What I had assumed would be a several month stay ended up being much shorter! So I packed up all my belongings once again and headed off.

For better or worse, I’ve always been looking to the next step, the next position. It’s only now, as this current chapter closes, that I look ahead and have no idea what to expect!

I’ve detailed previously (1, 2, 3) that I’m planning a career change, and that I want to take the next few months off, partly to relax, and partly to retrain.

The first few days of this newfound free time were to decompress, do some chores around the flat, etc. Truthfully, what with the shift to home working over the past year, the change isn’t as drastic as it might have been otherwise. But it is pretty nice not having to keep an eye on my email or prepare for another meeting.

After those first few days, I’m slowly getting back into the habit of studying. I might use some of these blog posts to keep myself accountable, otherwise I may well find that a few months pass and all I have to show for it is a pile of completed books and video games…

I’m not sure where I’ll be in 6-12 months time, but I’m intrigued to find out.


Interesting links that caught my eye this week:


Post-FIRE day update: three months in – Monevator
The Accumulator writes how he is finding the initial days of early retirement.

One year of semi-FIRE, how’s it been going? – The FIRE Starter
TFS recaps his experiences since quitting his job last year.

For me, it’s the RE – Done by 40
“If financial independence is about freedom then it’s okay for that freedom to be the choice to cut out the bad. You don’t always need to know what is going to replace it.”



Invest now, or wait? – Aussie Doc Freedom
“You only know in retrospect whether an investing decision was the right one, at the right time. Rather than trying to time the market, consider your personal circumstances carefully and invest when you are ready personally. It never seems like the right time.”

7 Tips On Dealing With The Ups And Downs Of Crypto – FI Scribbles
As time continues to march forward and the asset continues to play a part in the financial realm, I believe the need for investors to start thinking about introducing some part of it into their portfolios is growing – despite the risks and volatility.”

Fairy tales – Indeedably
Indeedably recounts his experiences trying to sell a property in the current market.

Nintendo – Asian Century Stocks
A deep dive into a titan of the video game industry. I’m not usually interested in reading about individual stocks, seeing as I mostly stick to index funds, but this one grabbed my attention.

Making $10,000 Per Hour – Banker on FIRE
“A couple of deft tax manoeuvres can easily juice the value of your “pot” by five, six, or even seven figures, depending on how much you start with. But they will never move the needle as much as $10,000/hour work. Which, when it comes to investing, is doing nothing.”



The Awkward Beginner Phase – 12 Minute Athlete
“Feeling a sense of competency or mastery is one of the greatest feelings we can have as human beings. But without putting ourselves in those awkward beginner stages to begin with, we will never know just how far we can push ourselves. To continue to grow, to reach even a portion of our potential, we have to allow ourselves to try in the first place.”

What does financial security mean to you? – Wealth and Risk
“I don’t think you need to be “financially independent” – whether that be “LeanFI” or “FatFI” or anything in between – in order to feel financially secure. In fact, I think pinning any psychological sense of security on a number like this is similar to chasing the pot at the end of the rainbow. You won’t get there.”

Relax for the same result – Sivers
“When I notice that I’m all stressed out about something or driving myself to exhaustion, I remember that bike ride and try dialing back my effort by 50 percent. It’s been amazing how often everything gets done just as well and just as fast, with what feels like half the effort.”

Can I stop paying ongoing fees to my financial advisor? – This Is Money
“In short, I think there is a good case for ongoing advice because ‘you don’t know what you don’t know’. But you are quite right to ensure you are getting value for money and it may well be that you could get similar ongoing advice for less than you are currently paying.”

Our unhealthy attachment to numbers – Quiet FI
This post speaks to me, as I find myself entering a period of unemployment and uncertainty (even if it is, currently, completely self-imposed).


Thanks for reading. Hope you’re all having a great week!

2 replies on “Wednesday Reads: Start of the Sabbatical”

Hi Doc, I must admit that I envy you a little bit after reading your update ;). It’s also good timing to stop as you still got summer weeks ahead.

I’ve been myself thinking (again) about having a work break these last few days. I feel I’ve worked so hard since covid started last year, and I have barely had any proper break. (the last one was to move to Spain which was stressful! We are also unsure about where to move next. We are between back to the UK (Bournemouth) or Spain (Valencia), so I wouldn’t mind spending a few sabbatical months to better ponder about it, hehe.

Looking forward to reading your updates and reflections during your sabbatical time.

Hi Tony, sorry for the late reply. I usually receive an email when someone comments, not sure why I didn’t this time!

I hear you, dealing with covid on top of normal working life is more stressful than most of us might realise. It has been nice to have these last two weeks completely off of work – there isn’t even that impending sense of dread as you realise that the holiday is coming to an end! I could get a little too used to this, haha. (And as you say, it helps that it has happened to coincide perfectly with a UK heatwave!)

Interesting to hear that you’re considering a move back to the UK already. I’d ask why, but I imagine you’ll go into detail on your blog in the future :). Obviously I’m biased, but I think taking a short break is well worth considering. Why save all this money if you can’t use it to support yourself / give yourself more options? Plus, giving yourself a break from work really frees up a lot of mental energy, which might make it easier for you to decide on your next steps.

Thanks, as always, for stopping by. Good luck with the impending decision!

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