Venturing into the Blue
One of the most wonderful benefits of working for Blast Radius has been the receipt of a month-long sabbatical leave after three years of service to the company. While employees are free to do whatever their hearts desire with that time – including chilling out on a couch playing Call of Duty – the company intranet always encouraged the undertaking of a task that would expand ones horizons (both mental and physical) and allow you to come back a better, more open-minded version of yourself.
I approached the search with that spirit in mind. I wondered what would be appropriate. I could intern with a set-designer at London’s Noel Coward Theatre for a month and renew my love of the arts, but that wouldn’t take me to a city I had never seen. I could go to Chile for a month and travel around, but then I would be by myself and I still get a little weird being in my own head for a month. I would visit Antarctica, but I wanted warmth after the rain in Amsterdam. I could contribute to a worthwhile cause and volunteer for the CDC for a month, but as my contact quickly informed me, getting the necessary security checks and documentation in place didn’t work with my timeline.
And then I found it. Rather accidentally, mind you, but as soon as I saw it, it made sense to me. Blue Ventures is a company involved in conservation efforts in Madagascar and had an upcoming expedition in July. Warm climate? Check. Beautiful surroundings and valuable cultural experience? Check. Worthwhile cause that will allow my hard-earned money to actually make some impact? Check. Diving? Check. Young, awesome, passionate people? Check. Run by a country that doesn’t roll its proverbial eyes at regulation and maintains a certain quality standard? Check. A country that I was curious about? Check. Could accommodate my timeline? Yup. Friendly, knowledgeable, responsive person to answer the many, many questions that I had before departing? Big shoutout, Sarah Griffin, my shiny star.
Some pictures to showcase the experience can be found here