A month to reflect... to explore the uncharted?

This year I have the extraordinary opportunity to have four weeks of sabbatical from my job - paid.  I have worked for a wonderful company for the past five years and - as a way of honoring that milestone - employees are giving four weeks of paid leave to be used at one time.  Additionally, I have my regular four weeks of vacation this year.  What to do... what to do?

I've been contemplating what to do during this time off.  I'm not in a financial position to 'tour the world' right now or probably would go to Italy (I've never been) and then to Greece (nor have I been there) and then spend ten days in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia at their Celtic music festival in October. 

But the world is my oyster, so to speak, as I can chose anything I want to do.  The question is:  what DO I want to do?  A friend suggested I take a class and learn something I've always wanted to learn...  I immediately thought "like how to play the mandolin" (I have one in my closet just waiting for me...) and then "you could finally take quilting lessons!".  But... I don't know... is this what I want to do for four weeks when this is such a rare occurrence?  I don't think so.

How about volunteering?  How about volunteering somewhere exotic that would be new to me and exciting?  But where... and how do I find out about those opportunities?  I just happened upon an interesting site in Cape Breton called Shushan... they seem to have a community of Christians, Celtic inspired, that volunteer in return for housing, and in the summer months hold wilderness camp for troubled teens.  Fate to have found the site?  I'm unsure...

I love Ireland.  And when I say I *love* Ireland I mean it moves me to the very depths of my soul to be in Ireland.  It feels like home.  It makes me believe in reincarnation because I am sure I have walked those paths and breathed in that air long before my first visit there.  But... but... but... I've been to Ireland... I *know* Ireland.  Granted I do love it...  but is that what my sabbatical should be? Revisiting the known... or exploring the uncharted... both geographically and maybe spiritually... maybe I need to just be on my own, solo, self-searching and self-centering for a month?

Maybe I need a challenge.  Something like... hiking a mountain or volunteering in Appalachia AND hiking the Appalachian trail. 

Or maybe it is time I reward myself... for raising my son on my own and working for 30 years and for challenging myself to lose 100 lbs and doing it.  Maybe I should take all the books I want to read and all the tapes I want to listen to and my exercise gear and my paints and my camera and rent a cottage on a lake and just veg.  No schedules. No one to answer to.  Just *be*.

I need your suggestions, friends, because I really DON'T have a clue what I'll do.  If you had a month to do anything you wanted to do - by yourself - what would you do?  What would you attempt to get from that month?  If you could go anywhere in the world... where would it be and why and what would you do there?

I'm soooo looking forward to your comments and help with this exciting decision!  THANK YOU in advance!

Dream. Believe. Achieve.
: )
HealthyLoserGal ~ Jan