One of the best memories of my childhood is 6 months we spent as a family in Wales. My Dad was on sabbatical, and we all made the trek over from Australia. I got to experience my first taste of high school at a massive Welsh comprehensive, in the heady days of 1994. I bought my first cassette tape (Take That, naturally), and spent two terms dancing to Whigfield at school parties, eating chip butties, and hanging out at WH Smith. It always struck me as one of the enormous advantages of the academic life. Sure, you may doubt your career choice coming marking time, but every now and then there’s an opportunity to work overseas, doing projects that interest you, and take your family along.
So, fast forward 21 years – Tony, my husband, and I are both academics, and he has managed to get OSP (what sabbatical is now called). It’s coincided with my maternity leave with our daughter, and so we are fulfilling the dream: time away, with the family, still getting paid! We’re not going for 6 months, because times have changed, but 101 days it is.
In that 101 days we will be visiting 10 with an option of 11 countries; catching 6 planes; many, many, many trains, and one overnight ship. We are doing all this with an almost 7 year old and a 10 month old (when we leave – she’ll turn 1 in Italy), and Tony will be working along the way. It will be an adventure. And it will be detailed here.