Drawn from Ryan's recent two-month sojourn in the charming locales of Portugal and Spain, this episode focuses on navigating the intriguing concept of sabbaticals. Amy and Ryan focus on the profound transformative power of time-off, a narrative rich with insights that will inspire you to contemplate your own venture. They also scrutinize the diverse programs on offer and brainstorm on ways to seamlessly incorporate them into our business models.
Vividly painting the essence of familial connection and the luxurious joy of time spent unwinding, Amy and Ryan also discuss how immersion in foreign cultures and the slower European pace of life can catalyze innovation and provide fresh perspectives. Particularly for those in demanding professions such as law, sabbaticals can act as a rejuvenating elixir and stave off burnout.
What is Divorce at Altitude?
Ryan Kalamaya and Amy Goscha provide tips and recommendations on issues related to divorce, separation, and co-parenting in Colorado. Ryan and Amy are the founding partners of an innovative and ambitious law firm, Kalamaya | Goscha, that pushes the boundaries to discover new frontiers in family law, personal injuries, and criminal defense in Colorado.
To subscribe to Divorce at Altitude, click here and select your favorite podcast player. To subscribe to Kalamaya | Goscha's YouTube channel where many of the episodes will be posted as videos, click here. If you have additional questions or would like to speak to one of our attorneys, give us a call at 970-429-5784 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
DISCLAIMER: THE COMMENTARY AND OPINIONS ON THIS PODCAST IS FOR ENTERTAINMENT AND INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES AND NOT FOR THE PURPOSE OF PROVIDING LEGAL ADVICE. CONTACT AN ATTORNEY IN YOUR STATE OR AREA TO OBTAIN LEGAL ADVICE ON ANY OF THESE ISSUES.
Hey everyone. I'm Ryan Kalamaya. And I'm Amy Goscha. Welcome to the Divorce at Altittude, a podcast on Colorado family law. Divorce is not easy. It really sucks. Trust me, I know. Besides being an experienced Divorce attorney, I'm also a Divorce client. Whether you or someone considering Divorce or a fellow family law attorney, listen in for weekly tips and insight into topics related to Divorce co-parenting. And separation in Colorado.Ryan Kalamaya:
Welcome back to another episode of Divorce Altittude. This is your co-host, Ryan Kalamaya, and I am joined by my lovely co-host, Amy. What are we gonna be talking about today, Amy?Amy Goscha:
I'm very happy that you're back, but I'm very excited to hear about your sabbatical. So that's what we're gonna be diving into today is just. How you can do that, what you gain from it and just how important it is, not just Divorce attorneys, but as professionals. To do this, to take time away and what that can bringRyan Kalamaya:
to you. Yeah. Well, in essence, we're gonna be talking about me and I love talking about me, I'm my favorite topic. So, but no, we all king aside, we're yeah, we're gonna talk about I took two months away. And I went to Spain and Portugal. And some of the lessons that I've learned we're gonna get into that because I have been frequently approached, especially since I've been back, which has only been a week or so from other attorneys from other professionals about, saying they'd like to do. Something similar and we've talked about kind of, within our firm about, how can we benefit from this and with our other attorneys. And so yeah, really just talking about the different aspects of a sabbatical.Amy Goscha:
Yeah. So tell me, for listeners that don't know where you went to Portugal and Spain and you were gone for two months. Thinking back when did you start thinking about taking a sabbatical?Ryan Kalamaya:
Well, we're coming up on 15 years of practice and so it, I had been. Thinking about it for a little bit, and so my kids at the now are nine and seven, and so my wife and I had been looking at, spending some time away and I figured, I see clients that have teenagers and, they. Don't necessarily spend a lot of time with them. And, I figured, okay, my kids still want to spend time with me and I've, put in my, my time and it's kind of in In line with taking a break and really one of the lessons I've learned was about perspective and so we can talk about that. But it had been in the works for a. Quite some time. You and I had discussed it over the last year, and so I'd been preparing and talked with clients and really stopped taking active cases earlier this year and had to do some check-ins on work. But really it had been, something in the works for over a year. Maybe I'llAmy Goscha:
talk about this later in some of your lessons learned. And you're right, we're gonna talk about perspective, but I'm sure a lot of our listeners are wondering, like when you think about the top three things that you did to make this happen and to do it successfully, what are some of those things that you did in preparation?Ryan Kalamaya:
Well, first is that financially, I mean, I had to kind of prepare and save, money and the second thing was to make sure that you, my, my partner and all my team members that they were. Were ready and in a position where they could step up. And so, and then the third thing was obviously planning the trip and really figuring out where I wanted to go and making sure that my family was on board. But those were kind of the three elements. And I'm really grateful for. What you Amy your support as well as everyone at Cal Me Goscha. I mean I did not lose sleep over the work that was being done, but we had to prepare and getting our internal systems in place and making sure that we had all the team members rowing kind of in the same direction to, so to speak. And that was probably the biggest. Piece that really had to kind of fit into place. Did youAmy Goscha:
feel like two months was enough time?Ryan Kalamaya:
Yes and no. I mean, we so we flew into to London and like I said, I've got two young kids. We, we spent a week in London. I had spent a year after college teaching at an English boarding school. And so I'd some, I'd spent a lot of time in London. It was a great. Jumping off point.'cause it was, I was able to, as English speaking it was different, but, really kind of going through some World War ii history with my, my son in particular was just, really into the London bombings and those sorts of things. And then we moved on to Spain and kind of spent a week. In each place and the kids I was able to sign them up for various camps and other things and then moved on to Portugal. I would say that a week a left, we were ready to come home. And so it wasn't because of the. Anything. I think it was just kind of a natural progression of being on a trip that long. But it was a, I think it was a good amount. We've certainly, considered, far off, for maybe taking a year off. That is something that, certainly would be a much bigger undertaking. But, when people talk about sabbaticals, it can be, I know Hutchinson Black and Cook one of the oldest law firms or the oldest law firm in, in, in Colorado, they're in Boulder. And, I have some good friends over there, and they have a, an a sabbatical program where partners take off, and I think it's six weeks. I know the Fifth Judicial district, the judges they will pull their vacation time and Tom Morehead, who's. Close with Amy Yu and me. He went to Florence and studied Italian. And so it is, fairly common. I think it, hopefully it becomes more common.'cause I think it really was beneficial for me. We don't yet, as of yet, for listeners that are curious. We don't have an official sabbatical program within our firm, but, two months was a good amount and it's something that, we can certainly discuss and consider for, the future. Yeah. So nowAmy Goscha:
that you're back and you've had some time to reflect what what your number one lesson that we're gonna talk about is perspective. Can you talk to us about. What you learned about perspective?Ryan Kalamaya:
Yeah, so I think when we talk about perspective, it's gaining clarity from, a distance and when you are in a case or you're in the business and you're just like every day throttled, I think it's, you can sometimes lose the forest from the trees and that. Ability for me to step away. And, subconsciously thinking about our business and our strengths and growth areas and future direction I then, because I'm not, having Daily phone calls with clients. I'm not talking with, you or associates. I'm able to kind of look at it a little bit more objectively and have some clarity, which I and perspective. And I think that is really, I. Valuable. We've done a fair amount of strategic planning within our firm and, we are on a growth trajectory. And, we've certainly identified some target markets. And I think that, listeners it's not a surprise. I mean, Boulder is certainly somewhere that we have, identified in the front range. I mean, we've done very well in, in the mountains. I think that has been an area that. It's certainly a strength. Some of the other mountain towns, I mean, we have an associate that is gonna be moving to Telluride and, those areas and personal injury, we've had some really strong results and personal injuries. So, without getting too far into the details, the perspective that, for me as managing partner of our firm, that has been very beneficial. I think that people. Whether they're a lawyer or a doctor or some other, professional or some other worker, you gain perspective both professionally and on, your life in general. Like, where am I at? Why am I spending the time or money or doing, putting in energy in this particular area and that it was really valuable for me, and I think it's. Critical for legal practitioners to have perspective on their practice and what they're doing and why they're doing it. Right,Amy Goscha:
exactly. So. When you were on your sabbatical, did you take time deliberately to journal, or is this just something that you gained over that two months and you've just been reflecting on it?Ryan Kalamaya:
Yeah, I mean, I think that the second aspect that I. I gained was the rejuvenation and you said about journaling and I read a fair amount. I read some fiction, which I generally really focus on non-fiction, but I read some great books. I went on some fantastic bike rides, but the power of rest and, the mental fatigue in our, in our industry. I mean, we Amy, you and I deal with some very. Personal emotional issues and that takes its toll. And for me to revitalize and I've told people, that I am now I'm well rested. I was able to really sleep. I. Well and connect with my family, which we'll talk about next, but the rest and the ability to sharpen, my focus and creativity. I think that going forward is gonna be, a huge benefit. That was the product of, my, my sabbatical. I've talked in the past about, the. Skiing and the time I have on my bike, that for me is the rejuvenating, aspect of my daily life. But it was, I magnified that 10 x by, by taking some time, away is really kind of to rest up.Amy Goscha:
Yeah. So with Rust like you were there with your family and your two children. So what did you gained a lot of connection with them. Can you talk to us about the connection and the importance of doing that?Ryan Kalamaya:
Yeah, I mean, spending we did, I mentioned, summer camps. I think we, I learned, that I mean, you can have too much family time. I mean there was periods of time where we were in a small, like little, Airbnb and we're around each other, and so people can kind of get chippy. And so having that space, but also there were just some amazing memories, watching my kids surf or, walking into a church or a museum and having, my little. Seven year old ask questions that just were mind blowing or trying different foods with with my nine-year-old, my daughter and, the connection to the family law practice, I mean, we, I. Inherently are dealing with people that, where those bonds kind of have eroded. And, I mean, I was able to really reflect and connect with my family. And I think that I. Knowing the dynamics that exist in a family and having that connection, it really kind of highlights the role that we have as family law professionals. I think empathy and understanding, hey, everyone gets upset and angry. I certainly did. And the highs were high and the lows were low. It's just parenting in general. But when you. Kind of put the stress of travel like having a naive seven year old who doesn't understand that cars when you are playing on in a street you know that there's some repercussions for that and like, getting, upset and dealing with that. I mean, we're all human, none of us are perfect. And I think that personal experience. Will strengthen my ability to relate to my clients. I know Amy, you've talked about your Divorce and how that makes you a better family law professional. So, that has been an amazing takeaway is the connection and the value of that connection through, time vacationing and time, traveling.Amy Goscha:
Yeah. And so kind of, like when you're looking at the connection, you're rested you have perspective. Let's talk about innovation and inspiration. What are some of the takeaways that you were able to think about regarding innovation and inspiration?Ryan Kalamaya:
Yeah, the. Spain in particular people move at a slower pace. They don't work as hard. I mean, one could certainly criticize, Europeans for not, I mean, they just don't work as much as as people in the US and Americans. I mean their Divorce rates, their rates of alcoholism, depression, they are generally lower. And, there's something to be said for that. Does that mean that, I'm gonna spend my afternoon at a cafe, drinking espresso shots with my little beret or other, and my Capri pants? No. But I think that learning the value of those connections, and so for me, can we have conversations? And going back to the old school, I mean the Europeans have had a lengthy history and they've figured out what works and what doesn't in terms of, how they relate to one another. And so I think that. Integrating those ideas into the legal practice, at Cal mea Goscha and like also seeing the pressure points and the frustrations. For example, like most of the Airbnbs had these washing machines that just, I had no idea why Europeans have washing machines with it causes you to kind of step back. And look at your own like technology. And one thing that we're really big on at, the firm right now is AI and implementing. How can we become more efficient and the time away really allowed me to think about that and get inspiration for how, can we use AI that frees us and liberates us. Attorneys because of the efficiencies to really connect with our clients and can we be better about having real conversations? Meeting in person and really focusing on those, core elements of relationships. That is something that I think is very helpful. The other aspect is that people are traveling more and more, and the value I think of cross-cultural experiences is, allows me I think, and all of us to connect with different clients. I mean, Aspen in particular, we have people from all over the world. It is a fairly cosmopolitan and being able to talk about, Hey, we have some commonalities here. I think that ability to connect with people from different cultures is really valuable. Yeah.Amy Goscha:
No, that is great. Well, before we wrap up one of your other lessons learned was preventing burnout. How did your sabbatical enable you to doRyan Kalamaya:
that? Yeah, I mean, burnout is a big topic in the legal profession. And I think a lot of people after C O V I D, I mean it, it c o D impacted people, but, being at home. Working or just being on Zoom. And you and I are recording this, via Zoom, but I think, burnout is a real risk. And so for me, I see this sabbatical as, kind of an insurance policy and really kind of a savings account for my future career. And that, I want to be better when I'm practicing in 10 years than, I am now and was in the past. And I think that it really is something that we all have to kind of, be mindful of is how well rested we are. And because if we're rested and we're not, Just, burnt out, then, we're gonna be better for our clients. And I know that Amy, you take some you take time off and it's something that we're, we encourage our our associates and all of our employees. We have a limitless vacation policy for better or for worse at Kalama Goscha. And then really it's to enable and empower our employees to, to take that time off. Because when you're on. It's full on and you it's unrealistic for people to be expected to handle the kinds of disputes that we have at the level that we do it all the time. You, you gotta take time off.Amy Goscha:
Yeah, absolutely. Well, before we wrap up, one question I think I've asked you before what is the highlight? What's the highlight and the lowlight of your sabbatical?Ryan Kalamaya:
Certainly, we, I mean, our hands down, our favorite place was San Sebastian in Northern. Spain, it's in the Basque country. The food was amazing. And, I had some amazing bike rides. And, certainly the low point was my, my son was just really struggling. With, the heat and the time change and everything. So there, there, there was definitely a period where we were, like, is this too much? And questioning whether and, you've got some span Spain 105 degrees and you've kind of extended out and, walking back from a museum and your kid just melts like literally. In the street there. That certainly was a really challenging situation. I think any parent, especially any parent that's traveled can relate with. But we are glad to be back. Glad to, to be I. Back at work and jumping back into things that Divorce at Altittude. And so Amy, thank you for supporting, my family, me and that endeavor and, really am grateful for I. The other people at our firm, but, clients it, there were some clients that, that I had to ask for their patience and understanding, and they've worked with, other people and haven't, missed a beat and, really grateful for the opportunity. Yeah, I think itAmy Goscha:
really has set a positive tone, for our firm, but within our profession. And so thank you Ryan, for sharing your experience.Ryan Kalamaya:
Yeah, and I think hopefully it's an inspiration for others, whether it, it's Spain and Portugal may not be inspirational for. Others, but you know, if there's a value, whether it be, taking time off to learn something or to really, spend time with, a family member or that might be, aging or dealing with a sickness, take that time off because, we're only, we only get one one shot at it. And, the, there, there's there's a lot to life out there. And I think that having that. Perspective is helpful when you're on and doing the work that we do. Agreed. Well, thanks for listening to me drone, on and on. If you have any questions about my Trip or anything, feel free to reach out to me directly and, Amy. Thank you again. And thanks for listening to Divorce at Altittude.
hey everyone. This is Ryan again. Thank you for joining us on Divorce at Altittude. If you found our tips, insight, or discussion helpful, please tell a friend about this podcast. For show notes, additional resources or links mentioned on today's episode, visit Divorce at Altittude dot com. Follow us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen in. Many of our episodes are also posted on YouTube. You can also find Amy and. Law or 9 7 0 3 1 5 2 3 6 5. That's aaa.