Day 2 & 3: Great friends

You know you’ve got real great friends when you received responses like this:

From Adrian:


… …

I really identify with your feeling of wanting to find that burning passion.
It’s what has driven me in the past 3 years to work on Idapted. At times
it’s at boiling point from the moment I wake to when I collapse in bed (and
then when I’m dreaming) at other times I may even wonder if it has left me
momentarily. No matter how I feel however, deep inside I know that this is
what I want to do and that I’ll have regrets in life if I didn’t give it my
best shot and 300% at trying to make it happen.

Having to make choices is difficult and deciding to put a start up at the
center of my life definitely played a part in us eventually breaking up.
However I believe that was the right choice at that time and it still is
for the stage of life I am in. The important thing was that when it
came to that decision while we were both
upset we didn’t hurt each other in a way that we couldn’t be friends again.

… …

But back on the road to discovering yourself; seeing what the world has to
offer could be one of the most life turning things you can do. I’ve been
fortunate in my life to have had two chances to do this. First when I came
to China in 97 – quite possibly without that experience I would never have
the opportunity to have China be such a great part of my life. Secondly when
I went to do my MBA – meeting so many incredible people, listening to their
stories, getting inspired and helping me decide what to do next.

You have a great deal of drive, tenacity and intellect – which will make you
successful no matter what you put your mind to. However I really look
forward to that time when you find that thing which you are passionate about
because I’ve no doubt then you’ll change an industry be it spaceflight or

While it’s only been recently that I have got to know you better; I hope we
have more opportunities. I’ll be here for a while and so perhaps when you
feel like doing the Beijing marathon we can chat more over long weekend
training runs =p.

Good luck and cheers to that next chapter of life which starts in the 30’s!

From Walter:

Your decision to turn down all job offers and “see the world” with Z is good news for me since that maximizes my chances of seeing you again in the near future. It is praiseworthy that you amassed enough money to be able to fund your “one year luxury journey”. Only a miniscule portion of the world’s people can make that claim. Nothing is 100% predictable but I believe that you and Z will never regret this momentous decision.
… …
How can I help you?

From Marco, I really love this keep-pushing-it-until-it’s-done type of dude:

As always we will continue to look for good artist and strategy
thinkers to join us. And u r certainty welcome whenever u change your
… …
I have decided to keep you updated with this project, in case you change your mind.
… …
you are making us to want u even more now. So, this will be an open offer until you finish your vacation.

From Phil:

Sounds like a great idea! Which countries are you travelling to? And when do you start?

I think we will be able to make this work remotely. As long as you avoid traveling to countries on our side of the Digital Divide for the first few months so you’ll have access to Internet and can communicate daily about the project until we complete it. Who knows, maybe we can finance your entire trip around the world by sending you more work like this if things go well with the insurance project.


2008年12月26日 晴








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.