Summer Sabbatical

My company, Automattic, has the wonderful perk of a 3-month sabbatical every 5 years. Amazingly enough, I’m already an old-timer and been there over 5-years, so this summer I took my sabbatical. I timed it to be off the same time as the kids for summer, so I didn’t work for June, July, and August.

Unplug: I removed Slack and WordPress apps from my phone, and didn’t log into e-mail which was enough to be disconnected from work. However, I was still online and saw occasional WordPress and Github notifications, but being confident with my teammates to handle that I barely read them, mostly just marked everything as read to clear the dots.

I didn’t really set any large goals or accomplishments for myself, I just wanted to relax, spend time with my family, and enjoy the time off.

Travel

We had two big trips planned with the family, the first was down to San Diego for plenty of fun in the sun. It was the first time for our family at real amusement parks, we enjoyed LEGOLAND, San Diego Safari, and Sea World.

We also enjoyed visiting family, enjoyed the beach, farmer’s market, trying new beers, and ice cream, plenty of ice cream!

Our second large trip was down to Cancun, Mexico which was great. The first stamp in our girl’s passport! Cancun was wonderful, plenty more fun in the sun, amusement parks, and beaches. Plus it was nice for them to be able practice some Spanish over the summer, our daughter’s attend a Spanish Immersion school, but don’t get enough exposure over the summer months.

Other notable events, we went on our first family camping trip at Big Basin in the Santa Cruz Mountains. This was great and were able to bring our pup with us, though she didn’t like the winding road to the campsite, nor the leash laws there; but she was happy to be with her family. Everyone enjoyed the camping trip, except for the mosquitos.

We also went as family to our first Giants Game, the girls went to Petco Park when they were much younger, and even a San Jose Giants game, but this was the first major league game for them.

Technical:

  • My catharsis was writing a P2-clone in React using a markdown editor, far from anything shippable, but a fun project
  • Learned to program in Minecraft a positive, discovered Fortnite a negative
  • Migrated my Linode sites over to Pressable
  • My python utility termgraph was featured on Hacker News, and Import Python Newsletter generating interest and PRs which helped me convert it over to my first official PyPI package.

Other things:

My wife gave me a ukulele for my birthday, so spending some time learning how to to play. I’ve got a ways to go but can now make more pleasant noise than random, still a bit to go before I’d call it music.

  • I read 6 books, see my Goodreads for the list.
  • I tried 18 new beers unlocking numerous Untappd badges, who knew San Diego and beer đŸ˜‰
  • I made my first apricot jam, dried some peppers, made sriracha

It was a good summer.