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Since more than a year we have prepared for this moment and today is the day. It’s finally time for our sabbatical to be an exciting year of many small adventures and challenges, a year full of getting in touch with people and cultures from different countries, and a year in which we will experience ourselves as a family even more intense.

Today, we are starting with the camper to the south. The first stops will be farewell to family and friends, but then we will be on our own for many months. We do not have an exact plan. The more we set before, the more we take the surprise effect. Our everyday life is often clocked through to the smallest detail; School, work, hobbies, appointments, other commitments … – everything has to happen exactly at a fixed time. It’s good to just let yourself drift without the time pressure of everyday life. That is exactly what we want to do and therefore not determine when we want to be exactly where. We stay where we like it and go, where we do not like it.

“Hartkens on a journey! – Our tips for your big adventure. We wish you an unforgettable time!” Alexander received a travel guide from his colleagues.

We aim for Croatia as a rough direction and want to go there slowly over Austria and Slovenia. In October we will definitely be in Italy, because then, the so far only booked flight of our journey from Rome to Bangkok, will be for us. From there we will get to know Southeast Asia a little closer; Thailand, Myanmar, Philippines and early next year on to Australia and New Zealand. In the last few weeks and months many colleagues and friends have provided us with many great tips. For example, I received a self-made travel guide from my colleagues to say goodbye with personal travel, hotel and sightseeing recommendations for the road. Great – from this we will certainly perceive one or the other tip. The enthusiasm for Southeast Asia is very high for many. We do not know any of these countries yet and are curious about what awaits us.

On how our daughters (5 and 7 years) will fare, we are curious as well. At the moment, they are looking forward to the trip and the time they will spend with Mom and Dad. But we also know that they are also quite challenged with this journey: no regular daily routine, constantly changing places, people, countries, languages, different food or special climate. At the same time, we are convinced that they will learn from it, grow from it, and that they will benefit from this time in their later lives.

We are looking forward to the coming time …

Alexander

I have been working for Continental since 2007 in different function within Human Relations. Today I am as head of Human Relations responsible for the Technology Center Tires in Hannover Stoecken. My job is done, when all talents are qualified for their job and feel motivated to work for Continental.

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