Dec 09

Andrew from Lousiana

by in Drawing & Writing

When did you know you’d go?
About a year ago I told my boss I was quitting, at which point she said, “OK, well, thanks for telling me, and uh, you know, get back to me at some point when you know exactly when your last day’s gonna be.”

And uh, she came back to me a day later and said, “Well, what if we give you a promotion, so you don’t leave? Why don’t we make a team leader for software engineering for the Canada census?” And at that point I was like, well, I would’ve had another year before I could go. So I actually ended up staying for another year ‘cuz I figured I’d learn quite a bit, doing that job, sort of a leadership position. And at that point I decided – after a year I’d go. And there’s nothing else that would stop me at that point, even if they offered me another promotion, or whatever.

How long?
The plan is to go for about 7 months.

How long have you been going so far?
Uh, 4 days. So I’ve just started.

Booked or spontaneous?
It is… 95% spontaneous. Certainly, if you want to go to countries like India or Vietnam, you gotta have visas. And I just found it easier to do that ahead of time, so you don’t have to do it on the road. But other than that, it’s completely spontaneous. I don’t even know where I’m staying tonight. So yeah, it’s very spontaneous. And I sort of wanted to do it that way.

Where to?
I started in New Zealand and wanted to make my way back around the globe, back home, so I’ve certainly picked out countries along the way that I’ve wanted to see. Thailand is one of them. I guess I’ll go in order.

New Zealand, is first, then I’ll probably go to Australia for a week to see the reef. Then north to Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, that area. Um, then over to India. Then over to Eastern Europe, quite a few countries over there, but probably start in the north and go south, or vice versa. Try to get something in Africa, maybe South Africa or something like Kenya to do a safari or something like that. And then head over to South America and go to Peru, probably hike Machu Picchu. Again that’s pretty far out, so I don’t know exactly what countries I’ll be in over there. But Peru is one that I sort of picked out to do. And then back up to Louisiana, back home, after seven months.

What’d you leave behind?
Friends, family. Everything I know, basically.

I think certainly it’s not just the people and your possessions, though. It’s really your entire lifestyle. Your’e sort of trading comfort and routine for a lot of uncomfortable things, I mean you don’t know anyone, you don’t know the place. You’re trading that for uncomfortableness and spontaneity, and I guess that’s probably the main thing.

Why now?
Why now? Uh, well, and I think it’s a mix of a whole bunch of things. It sort of just came together at this point. One, I just graduated from grad school, at Johns Hopkins. Two, my job, the project I was working on, kind of ended, so at that point I would have had to find a new job somewhere else, within the company of course, but a new job. Um, you know, I don’t have any kids, I don’t – I’m not married, I don’t have a girlfriend. So I think all of those forces combined gave me the opportunity to do it. But it’s something I’ve always wanted to do.

How long had you been working there?
4 years. 4 1/2 years.

Yeah, so, I’ll tell you this. I certainly took a year leave of absence just as sort of a security type thing. Um, I don’t know if I’ll actually go back.

I sort of wanted to take this time to just reassess where I wanted to go… and where I wanted to go from here on out. Certainly I enjoyed the programming I was doing, but the idea of moving to California, doing something in Silicon Valley, where it’s sort of like the center of that, is certainly appealing.

Favorite place you’ve been?
Oh… that’s a tough one. New Zealand.

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One Response to “Andrew from Lousiana”

  1. From Roxy:

    Ooh, this is great! I hope to see more of these!

    Posted on December 9, 2011 at 18:31 #