But i finally see some opportunities to define my future and outline some goals. Thus, i present to the world, in the hopes that putting it out there will make it happen, my Five Year Plan.
Year One: 2011
- Remain in Beijing for a fourth year, continue working for US/Grant 80% time.
- Enjoy a few vacations to SE Asia to keep my wanderlust at bay.
- Continue studying Chinese.
Year Two: 2012
- Finish up my stay in Beijing for the foreseeable future. If i can extend my current lease 6 months, i'd stay through fall, making it 4 1/2 years total. I had originally planned on 2-3.
Year Three: 2013
Sabbatical. I'm fascinated by the Kiwi's, Aussie's, and (maybe less frequently) Europeans i meet who are on a year-long, post-college trek around the world. This is normal to them, and they are doing it right. They must feel sorry for all the United Statesians who settle for a measly month of backpacking Europe. And they must feel downright saddened for the millions who have never left the USA, and millions more if Cancun/Canada don't count. I intend to travel while i am young(-ish) and have the energy to do so.
- 3 months working my way from China, south through Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam. No planes allowed.
- 1 month in Thailand
- 2 months in Philippines
- Instead of Thailand/Philippines, work my way west through Nepal and Tibet, into India.
- 3-4 months in Indonesia
- 3 weeks of divemaster training and 1+ month of working in a dive shop. Location probably Indonesia, maybe Komodo?
That plan is about 8 months, leaving me an ample 4 more to settle down in places i really like.
Year Four: 2014 (and, really, year Five too)
Who am I kidding? At this point, my future will have happened to me, again. I can't possibly plan that far ahead. But during my travels, i'll be thinking about my career, and where i want to be. Maybe i'll return to Beijing and resume work at US/G. Maybe i'll settle in Indonesia and work as a contractor for off-shore manufacturing quality control in SE Asia. Maybe i'll settle in a Spanish speaking country to relearn my second mother-tongue. Maybe i'll open a dive shop.
Of course, maybe i'll return to the States. But, right now, i feel those 29 years were probably long enough to say "USA? Check. I figured that one out, and it's pretty ok. Let's see what else is out there, shall we?"