01 Sep 2013 Purple Clover: Our Sabbatical Adventure

purple clover sabbatical aug 2013Thank you to Purple Clover for publishing my story about Our Sabbatical Adventure.

Five years ago, Apple’s App store opened, Kindle was brand-new, Skype was not yet a verb, and my then-boyfriend/now-husband George and I flew to Tahiti to start a one-year sabbatical adventure.

I chose to leap for love and was unsure how a year on the road would play out. George and I met online and had an instant connection, in no small part due to a mutual passion for exotic travel. George said very early on in an email exchange, “We will at least be friends,” knowing that he had found a kindred spirit of wanderlust.

After several months of dating, we traveled for three weeks to Fiji and Vanuatu during summer holidays. Visiting a local village on Espiritu Santo meant this Princess (yes, I worked for Princess Cruises) had her first bucket bath. I liked it so much, I told George, “I am going to buy a bucket for my shower in Los Angeles. All the soap came right out of my hair.” Later that week, the former Peace Corps worker asked me to join him on this dream to travel for a year in Asia. Thank goodness, I had really liked the bucket!

During the next school year, many of our friends continually asked us, “How can you leave for so long?” Others said, “Just go for the summer and come back to teach in the fall.” They couldn’t imagine being uprooted for a full year. But, I had to ask myself, “If George goes on this year-long adventure without me, how will I feel?” I knew the answer in my heart. I had to go with him.

Under the moonlight in Fiji, when I had first agreed to join George’s dream trip, we had been together for six months. My 40th birthday was fast approaching and I missed the time when I traveled full-time.

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Lisa Niver

After exploring 99 countries and sailing for seven years on the high seas, Lisa Niver is ready for more active adventures! Find her We Said Go Travel videos with over 1.25 million views on Roku, Amazon Fire TV and YouTube. Her stories include Dutch designer villas for Luxury Magazine, interviewing Fabien Cousteau for Delta Sky, skiing with the blind for Sierra and WWII for Saturday Evening Post and Smithsonian. She is verified on both Twitter and Facebook and is the Adventure Correspondent for The Jet Set TV. Her latest projects are 50 new things before she is 50 and Facebook Live for USA Today 10best. She has run 13 Travel Writing Awards publishing nearly 2000 writers from 75 countries and this summer is the first We Said Go Travel Photo Competition. She was a winner in the 59th annual 2016 Southern California Journalism Awards for her print column in The Jewish Journal. She was invited to the United Nations as a Champions of Humanity ambassador, to the red carpet at the Oscars with United Airlines and to New Orleans with American Express and Starwood Hotels. She also contributes to USA Today, Wharton Business Magazine, the Jewish Journal and was a 2012 nominee for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching, a 2014 nominee for the Charles Bronfman Prize and a finalist in two categories for the 59th annual Southern California Journalism Awards.

1Comment
  • Ewelina
    Posted at 08:14h, 02 November Reply

    I love your post about your sabbatical journey, its so inspiring! I had no idea u guys met online! such a romantic story. I read it to my mum who is pressuring me all the time to settle down, find a husband blabla, and all those things about traveling cheap are so true. Its super hard for me now to be back in Europe after one year living in Thailand and traveling and start living normal life but posts like this give me energy.

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