Helping Women Achieve in Academic Science

national-lampoons-vacationTenure – check.

New avenues of science – check.

Sabbatical approved – check.

Ah, sabbatical. One of the truly beautiful perks of being an academic. If you thought the tenure blues were a myth, why is there a programmatic method to try to get you out of them? Sabbatical is a way to lift up your spirits and get your creative juices flowing for another round of reinvention. I am psyched because I get to do this. We are going away. Far away. It is a bit daunting, though, and there are not a lot of online resources to help out. So, much in the tradition of a travel weblog (the birthplace of all blogs), I plan to document what I am doing. I will take you through the steps and point out my missteps, in the hope that you will not be doomed to repeat them.

Also, perhaps in the good old days, when I would have been a white man with a stay-at-home wife who could make a bunch of these preparations for me, this could be easier. But, we are two academics and neither of us has time to deal. So, I am bumbling around, calling my friends who are currently on sabbatical to get tips, and basically trial and erring.

Step 1: Use a project management software. I decided to bite the bullet and just take my planning online. That way, my HusbandOfScience can contribute. We planned our wedding together in a notebook, but we are not always in the same place at the same time nowadays. Luckily, there is technology to the rescue! I plan to use Trello.com. It comes highly recommended by some of my peers.

Within the software, I set up to do lists for things there: housing, schools, status at the new place, transportation to and while there, and visas or other travel documents.  I have to do lists for stuff here including making arrangements for my own home, my pets, my lab and students.

Step 2: Get housing. In my case, I had to get housing before I could do anything else. I couldn’t enroll kids into schools or get do a bunch of other stuff. Again, the internet to the rescue. I don’t know how people did this before the internet. Did they beg people for newspapers from the location to be sent to them, so that they could call for rentals? Anyway, usually the place you are going has an office or secretary who knows which websites are used most for that area. There are some that are used more than others, such as SabbaticalHomes.com. I used an online site and found a place. The reviews were all really great, and the pictures were very clear. But, if I was concerned, I would have asked a friend there to go check it out in person.

OK, so this is as far as I have gotten. What I would love from you, dear readers, is for you to help me. What am I missing? What needs to be included? As I go along, I will fill out more parts and steps to this along the way. I hope to hear from you! To get an email each time I post, push the +Follow button.

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