Your initial steps sound very similar to my own late last year and early this year. I was working at a small start-up company of six or seven people and my role involved a lot of different things. The transition took several months, but I kept my eye on the end goal (traveling the world as a nomad for at least six months) and work towards it day by day.
Because I took the time to ensure it was a smooth transition, I maintained the good friendship with everyone there and now that I’m back, they’ve given me a small project to work on. Even though I’m just a contractor, I feel like I’m part of the team again even after having been gone for six months.
I think it’s important to take the time necessary for such transitions and not just jump the gun and leave a big mess behind, so I’m really happy that it sounds like you’re doing the same thing!
I love the idea of more art and music. I think there’s a lot of room for more of both in society and I think they can both help loosen everybody up and add some color and joy to what is now a seemingly stressful life in a sterile environment.