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This Startup Wants To Send You On A Month-Long Sabbatical At A National Park

By Danielle Dorsey

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Suffering from creative burnout? Crowd-funded start-up Amble is helping artists find inspiration with intimate month-long retreats that pair participants with National Park Service projects.

In an interview with the New York Times, Amble Founder Ilyssa Kyu says she came up with the idea during her own self-funded sabbatical shortly after the birth of her first child. She took five months off to bond with her newborn daughter and exploring America’s expansive National Parks. She also wrote a book called  “Campfire Stories: Tales from America’s National Parks.” Now her startup Amble partners with nonprofits, conservancies, and even small towns to give overworked professionals a break.

For just $1,400, “Amble Creatives” will receive a month of lodging, some meals, and benefits that include guided national park hikes, conservancy events, and an America the Beautiful annual park pass. In return, they’ll be asked to set aside 18 hours per week to support National Park service projects like wildlife protection and trail rehabilitation. Amble believes that by positioning our work environments within nature we’ll create more sustainable habits. In a society where two-thirds of full-time employees claim to experience job burn-out, it’s a revolutionary idea. 

Amble’s next sabbatical is hosted in partnership with the Glacier National Park Conservancy and will take at Glacier National Park from October 7 to November 10. Applications are closed, but you can sign up for their newsletter to stay updated on future programs. Previous programs took place in Yosemite and the Sierra Foothills. Only ten to twelve applicants are accepted each round, making for a one-of-a-kind experience that promises to reinvigorate one’s imagination.

The program’s unique offerings attract a diverse set of applicants. Previous attendees have ranged from architects to web developers to photographers and other artisans.

Kyu affirms that the program is for, “People in a transition point who need to be inspired; people feeling burnt out, looking to recharge, get a new perspective and return a better employee; and the self-employed person looking to take advantage of the flexibility and give back.”


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Danielle Dorsey

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