how to turn a long weekend into a mini sabbatical

Shinkansen bullet train in Kyoto, Japan

Sometimes you just need a break. Whether you've got a million things going on and you're pulled in too many different directions or the monotony of the cubicle is just getting to you, taking a little breather is always a good thing. It can recharge your battery and get you back out there with more motivation, clarity, and focus. If those are the things that you're seeking, then you can start by turning a long weekend into a revitalizing respite. Here's how:

1. Figure out what you need a break from.

Is it work that's getting you down? Is it daily life in the same old town? Do you need a break to actually work on something you've been meaning to achieve? Sit down and think to yourself what is really behind the need to get away and what feeling you're actually searching for instead. When we are lacking some of our primary desires like freedom, happiness, and success, then the overwhelm may start to creep in on us. Deciding what's actually driving you will help you make a better decision on how to use your time.

2. Be realistic with what you have to work with.

I get it. You're pining for a foodie excursion to France and can't stand another minute living in mediocre-ville. The thing is that's a much bigger bite to chew than starting small by finding your local boulangerie and spending a soothing morning at a sidewalk table eating croissants.

With a limited time frame, you can live big on a small scale. 

If you only have three days and access to the city-wide train system, then don't expect to take a weekend trip to Paris. You need to be honest with yourself about how you can stretch your resources and make them work in the time you have. Take inventory of how much you're willing to spend, how far you can travel, and most importantly what activities would fulfill your goal within those constraints. Find the intersection of your main goal and the inventory of your resources to ensure you can actually have a fulfilling escape.

Japanese high speed train headed to Hiroshima, Japan

3. Give yourself some breathing room.

You may be tempted to pack a ton of activities into your long weekend to make the most of it. Don't do it! It's important to give yourself some flexibility in planning to allow for spontaneity.

Be prepared, but also know when to let go.

If you don't allow yourself the ability to see where the moment takes you now and then, you may end up missing out on an amazing experience. Plan some cushioning into your itinerary just in case you find something you'd rather be doing or decide you want to spend more time where you are at the moment. Remember, that this time is meant to give you a small dose of what you're craving. If that means ditching the plan, then so be it!

Bottom line: Know what you're looking for and use this little break as a way to bring a bit more of what you thirst for into your life. Who knows, you might just be inspired to live a little bigger the next time!

Kristen at Bountiful Pursuits

Kristen writes about living locally and thinking globally at Bountiful Abode where food and travel are inspiration for big ideas. She also helps people to think bigger about life and plan their dream sabbaticals or expat experiences at Bountiful Pursuits. Join her as she experiences what the world has to offer.