Six Months Off: A Book Review

March 20, 2008

When we started doing research for Escape 101, the book I kept stumbling across over and over again was Six Months Off. It eventually found its way into our book as recommended reading, and it deserves the good reviews it’s received.

Billed as “The Sabbatical Book”, Six Months Off is indeed a comprehensive guide to getting away. The book attempts to cover the whole range of sabbatical planning and experience, from overcoming doubts to choosing a destination and negotiating with your employer, and does a pretty good job of it. The authors also interviewed a number of people who have successfully escaped on sabbaticals of their own.

What’s Great:
The case studies are inspiring and broad, and do the job they should: make you believe you really can get away from it all. The section on “Big Buts”, is terrific, and tackles the toughest of the “I could never do that because” scenarios with ease. If you only bought the book for this section, it’d be worth it.

The chapter on negotiating with your employer is also excellent. For most people, this is a significant hurdle, large enough to stop most people from even considering a sabbatical. The book even includes scripted responses to the big questions that an employer will throw at a would-be sabbatical-taker. It’s a thorough, and best of all, it’s not focused on “quitting and walking away” – there’s a pervasive attitude of get-paid-while-you-do-it that’s quite refreshing.

What’s Not as Great:

The book’s a bit older. Published in 1996, it’s extensive resource sections have no website listings. Don’t let that stop you, though. The book’s just as helpful and inspiring today, and in this day and age, printed resource materials go out of date quickly anyway – most of the resources can be found online quite easily.

Six Months Off: How To Plan, Negotiate, & Take The Break You Need Without Burning Bridges Or Going Broke

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2 Responses to “Six Months Off: A Book Review”

  1. How to Deal With Sabbatical Resistance: Reluctant Partners » Escape 101: Sabbaticals and Career Breaks on July 10th, 2009 2:50 pm

    […] The Sabbatical About Them It might be hard to convince your partner to take six months off to do what YOU want to do, but the story can change if you shift your focus. What does she want to […]

  2. G. Michael Schneider on January 26th, 2011 10:29 pm

    I have just completed a book that addresses much the same issue as Six Months Off. It is entitled “On The Other Guy’s Dime: A Professional’s Guide to Traveling Without Paying.” My wife and I have lived overseas 15 times, for periods ranging from 1 to 6 months–never once reaching into our own wallet and never once having to give up my regular “day job.” In the book I share my adventures as well as give advice on how you can locate and pull off these working vacations for yourself. I invite you to check it out on

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