A Travellerspoint blog

April 2015

A Taste of Things to Come

13 weeks and counting . . . .

It is now only 13 weeks until we go off on our travels. Our first night away will be in a hotel near Heathrow, so that we can be ready to catch our plane with plenty of time to spare the following morning. Our first flight will take us to Singapore. Once there we have splashed out a bit and have gone for a room with a view of the Marina Bay. This is not a cheap option but we wanted to start and end our travels with a liitle bit of luxury. This choice also fits in with my philosophy for city hotels, which is to go for a more expensive room in a mid-range hotel rather than a cheap room in an expensive hotel. This tends to ensure upper floors with good views.

I gave also been doing some research on things to do and places to visit. On the list so far is the Singapore Flyer (a bit like the London Eye), the Marina Sands Observation deck ( for more great views) and at the top is a visit to the Gardens by the Bay with its amazing vegetation and incredible tree like installations. We might also book a tour which includes afternoon tea at Raffles, just to get a feel of Singapore's colonial past.

Just thinking about a first few days away is getting me excited, a feeling that I guess will only increase as the weeks go by.

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Posted by Gill's Travels 15:37 Archived in Singapore Comments (0)

What about work!

Getting the time off

There is a massive difference between booking a couple of weeks leave and being able to get away for over four months. Our work situations are very different and therefore so was our approach to getting time off. For Nigel this meant approaching his line manager and formally applying for unpaid leave. He had to fill in a form saying why he wanted the time off, what the impact might be and how thus could be managed organisationally. The biggest issue was probably the time it took to get the agreement. Responding to this request was understandably not top of their list of priorities given their busy working lives and they had to discuss with him the possible pension implications before granting the leave. It probably took a couple of months to get the agreement and given that you can't really start booking anything until you have this, I guess the moral of the story is put your request in plenty of time. In the end they were very supportive of his plans.

It is very different in terms of my work as I am self employed and in the process of building up my business as a qualified counsellor. Part of the reason that we are taking this once in a lifetime trip now, before my work is fully established, is to minimise the impact of taking so much time out. Part of my budgeting needed to take into account not just my lack of earnings whilst we are away, but also the inevitable wind down time before we go, and to allow for building up the business when I get back. We have timed the trip to coincide with when I am able to start claiming an occupational pension which means that I will have a small income whilst we are away. Although I am self employed I do work for/ out of several organisations so had to at least discuss my plans with them. As a counsellor I have had to explain to clients my timescale for working with them, and naturally this raises some questions and curiosity, which I needed to be prepared for.

Everyone's circumstances will be different and have varying implications for taking time off (unless you are fully retired and in receipt of enough pension to fund the trip). This will determine how easy it will be to get away and for how long. I guess it is a matter of working through these implications and coming up with solutions that work for both you and your employer/ clients.

Once all of this was sorted we could turn our attention to exactly where we were going to go, and enjoying the planning and the anticipation!

Posted by Gill's Travels 01:15 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

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