I've been running a game for almost 50 sessions now, over the course of about 2 years. The game has been going well, the players enjoy it, and I enjoy DMing it as well.
However, due to life circumstances that are going to be changing soon, I need to put the game on hiatus.
The issue is that the game is currently in a state where the plot is moving and about to start moving in a new direction - and the characters do not have the opportunity to idle by while the game itself is put on pause.
How do I go about pausing the game in a graceful manner?
For more specific narrative information, the party has been investigating the existence of a set of ancient forges that long ago produced all life on the planet - though they currently only have knowledge of the one being responsible for the creation of the Warforged, they have a map of where the other ones are located. They also have gotten confirmation that this is the purpose of those forges by a goddess with information on the subject. They traveled to another goddess's realm and resolved a dispute of nobility therein, and are currently planning to travel to another goddess's domain, both as part of the paladin's quest to rekindle the connection between these sister goddesses, and also to get more information on the nature of these forges.
They also believe that the Spider Goddess is responsible for trying to unearth and seize the power of these forges - and are hesitant to confront her right away until they have more power and knowledge on how they could stop her. Which is why they are instead seeking out the domain of the most powerful goddess in terms of pure warcraft that they know of.
Their journey there will take them across some unfamiliar land, but will also largely take them across a path they have trodden before, and also up to a city that is one character in particular's homeland, where a subplot is waiting for them to encounter.
All in all, while they have recently solved a major plot point, they are also preparing to set out for the next one right away - so the idea that they would have any kind of downtime at this juncture really doesn't make sense.
The system is DND 5e, using a setting I made up myself partly based off of the initial Lost Mines of Phandelver module they started with.