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Time Flies When You’re Having Fun: Schwabbie Sabbatical Stories

By Andie T.

One of the many benefits we offer to our employees is the option to take a Sabbatical after reaching 5 years of employment at Schwab. Many people count their time at Schwab by how far away they are from reaching their first sabbatical, or even what number sabbatical they’re on (i.e., they’ve reached their third sabbatical, aka 15 years at Schwab). We asked some of our Schwabbies how they spent their month-long vacation from work and their answers surely did not disappoint!

Read on to find out what fun adventures and exciting times they had using this amazing benefit...

Ryan M., Senior Team Manager, Brokerage Services 

Schwabbie Ryan pictured traveling on his sabbatical.

First of all, it is hard to believe I am halfway to what will be my fifth Sabbatical! I want to share my number one piece of advice – start saving now. My significant other and I live for the sabbaticals, and to make it happen we set aside money every week into a joint account that was originally dedicated to the sabbaticals (now travel in general).  Fast forward, it has allowed us to enjoy three amazing months without the financial worry since they were all prepaid! The following are the trips and time we enjoyed over the years:

  1. Two weeks on a European tour through London, Brussels, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, and Paris followed by camping in Colorado - 2008
  2. Three weeks all over Italy followed by camping in Colorado - 2014
  3. Three weeks all over Barcelona, Seville, Lisbon followed by camping in Colorado - 2019

This is one of Schwab’s most unique benefits and it is one of the many reasons why I have remained a loyal and life-long Schwab employee.”

Jen E., Senior Client Relationship Specialist 

Schwabbie Jenn with her son on her sabbatical.

I have been with Schwab for just under 7 years now and find the culture to be so family-like.  In my time with Schwab I have had several roles and opportunities; currently, I am a Sr. Client Relationship Specialist in the Seattle, WA Branch.  In July of 2020 I decided that it was time to use my sabbatical.  I was feeling unproductive and overwhelmed by what was going on with the Coronavirus and juggling the new normal of being a working single mom, teacher, nurse, all day entertainer…I wanted to make this a time to have one title: Mom.  So, in July of 2020, I took my little guy and we took time with our family to go camping, celebrate birthdays, but our big adventure was a road trip to Mount Rushmore and Yellow Stone National Park. This road trip was a wonderful adventure for us to reconnect and try new things, paddle boarding, and see some parts of our beautiful country.  I had the joy of experiencing these places through the eyes of my 10-year-old and we both came back in August refreshed and ready to jump back into the ‘real world.’ Coming back to work, I was more relaxed, focused, and had a new perspective on balance.  But most importantly I was appreciative of this program, which provided me the opportunity to have this time.”

Kristen O., Senior Relationship Manager, Advisor Services 

Schwabbie Kristen on her sabbatical with her Schwab backpack and pictures of nature.

“2020 marked my seventh year with Schwab, I was looking forward to taking my first sabbatical since joining the firm as I had heard so many terrific stories from my colleagues. The sabbatical benefit is definitely a cause for excitement as Schwabbies enjoy sharing and comparing their experiences with one another.  I had researched and planned a one-month tour of Europe beginning in May but due to COVID-19 related travel restrictions was not able to go, after multiple re-scheduling attempts the trip to Europe in 2020 was just not meant to be.  Not wanting to lose out on the opportunity this benefit provides, we shifted gears and planned a different adventure altogether which would include the mountain ranges and canyons of the Great American West plus the sunny beaches of Aruba.

Traveling via car with motorcycles and camping gear in tow, we logged 4,127 miles through 11 states during our road trip to National Park venues such as Yellowstone, Rocky Mountain National Park, Badlands, Mount Rushmore and the Black Hills of South Dakota.

Our hikes throughout the various National Parks were rewarded with exceptional views and one-of-a-kind experiences that provided the opportunity to recharge.  The motorcycle rides throughout Wyoming, Colorado, Montana etc. were pretty magical as well. After 3 weeks on the road, we flew to Aruba to relax on the beach, snorkel and explore the entire island including areas only accessible via Jeep or UTV. Forging our own path on the dirt roads and trails was an adventure I will always treasure. The total distance we traveled over 28 days was 8,375 miles, it seemed fitting to have my "Own Your Tomorrow” backpack with me the entire time. While my backpack may be showing some signs of wear, I will definitely bring it along on my next trip!

The Schwab sabbatical benefit is unique in the financial services industry, one that demonstrates Schwab’s commitment to fostering personal growth and wellbeing.  Travel allows us to connect with people and cultures in a way that shapes how we view our place in the world as well as the impact we want to make within it.  Schwab’s investment in its employees to provide a paid sabbatical for every 5 years of service reinforces and refreshes our drive to continue to work hard to achieve great results for the firm while feeling appreciated for our efforts. I’m proud to work for such a tremendous company.”

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