Day 1: Why travel?

To turn down all the great job offers is unthinkable. To spend all 10 years saving in traveling around the world is, well, simply crazy.  So why travel?

Here is a letter I sent to one of the friends explaining this:

Thanks for the offer but I don’t think I should take it.

Besides the salary, I really appreciate the trust you have put into.  I’ve spent lots of time in the past 30 days, talking to people, getting introduced to potential opportunities.  The more I see, the more confused I found myself.  It’s not because there are no super smart people to work with. Just that I am not sure I want to continue with the life as it is.

The work as I see it, starts by understanding the techniques, then spending years and years refining the skills until getting to the master level. This could take a very long time. Until now, my deepest urge for work comes from the interests in the business of software.  I’ve done pretty well in software development, and I have confidence that I could do equally well in product design and marketing side. But deep in my heart, these things no longer excites me anymore.  It could no longer provide the burning passion like it does in the past 10 years.  For now, I can’t accept your job offer since I’m afraid that somewhere in the middle of the venture, I’ll have to choose between upsetting the best friends of mine and pressing myself till implosion.  A tough situation I don’t want to get exposed to.

My wife and I have decided to spend one year to travel around the world.  To begin a luxury long journey for discovery.  To know more about ourselves, To meet people and see what they’re working on.  To start finding something that is challenging enough to provide continuous stream of passion for the rest of my life.

Zephyr and I have had this thought for a long time, but we’re always waiting for a ‘better’ chance to do so, “when we have more money or more time” as we always told ourselves. This job finding process made me realize that now is the best time to start.  Both of us have passed the age of 30.  I could sense a long list of mundane burdens lurking on the landscape: to have a baby or two, to get mortgage for a apartment, to buy a car, to support our beloved parents.  Having a baby just like a little myself will be a lot of fun, bu if it’s at the cost of spending many years treat work only as a work, that’ll be awful.

So our plan is to take one year off to do so. After that, we’ll have to decide what to do and take whatever responsibility we have to shoulder.  This won’t be a retreat from modern society, but a journey to look for a better life, to become a better man and woman.  One year is how long our saving can carry us over. We may take some temporary jobs to get some financial support, but more importantly as a window to get to know other people, or a device to hide the traveler identity in order to stay closer to the local life.  And I’m not expecting this to be an easy trip, budget for food and lodge will be quite limited, but the difficulty of finding that magic stream of passion in one single year is simply much harder.

Right now, Astrology, spaceflight, the Universe, especially the Mars Rovers related projects seems to be quite enchanting.  If our budget allows, I’ll definitely check out more on these areas.  Just in case of whatever place or people you think I should see or meet, please let me know.

We haven’t decided when to start yet, but it shouldn’t take too long. If things go well, that’ll be before the Chinese New Year.

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