When I was in high school, I used to debate two big major paths — making a positive impact in the world right now, or going to college and learning a skill that could (after a much longer incubation period) be a multiplier on making the world a better place. At one point, I was really torn about waiting another four years before I could make an impact on the world around me when I knew there were projects and adventures I could start right away. Well, after being in Gainesville for more than 15 years, I’m embarking on an adventure that I’ve been thinking about for a while, that has the potential to make a big impact on my life. Goodbye Gainesville!
After working at the University of Florida for 8 years, and continuing to work at Rackspace Hosting for the last 2 years, I feel like I’ve had a string of really lucky opportunities. But I never thought I’d leave Gainesville or live anywhere else. But after working remotely for two years, I’m taking things to the next level, and with mixed emotions and 74 other participants, I leave on Saturday to spend a year on a program called Remote Year.
There’s a movement making news lately, the Digital Nomad; a lot of people in the group I’ll be traveling with identify with that movement. While I don’t know if I’ll travel the world in perpetuity like them, I’ve lived here longer than anywhere else, and I feel like maybe I’m missing the adventure happening out there in the world.
With the support of my employer, I’ll be leaving in just 6 short days, for a year’s worth of adventure — and this is my itinerary:
February: Montevideo, Uruguay
March: Buenos Aires, Argentina
April: La Paz, Bolivia
May: Cusco, Peru
June: Istanbul, Turkey
July: Prague, Czech Republic
August: Belgrade, Serbia
September: Cavtat, Croatia
October: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
November: Koh Phangan, Thailand
December: Phnom Penh, Cambodia
January: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
One of my goals for this experience is to visit meetups on topics I care about across the world, from topics like personal hobbies to the political and technological. I’m also looking forward to the networking opportunities of working and traveling with other IT professionals, entrepreneurs, creatives, writers, and others (Remote Year curates a very interesting, diverse group of participants). Yes, I’m going to some dangerous places, but even major Western cities like London and Paris can dangerous places these days. No, I am absolutely sure I’ve forgotten something in my packing. Yes, Kenneth will be coming to visit a lot as I move from place to place. I can do anything for a year — right?
“Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all of one’s lifetime.” – Mark Twain
So for the next 12 months, goodbye Gainesville… So long, and thanks for all the fish.