Thursday, April 7, 2011

Five Year Plan

My awesome friends Mike and Helen Shyu (Emma too) made a five year plan, like, six years ago. Then last year, they made another. I've never given much thought to my future. The future generally happens to me, and when it does, i adapt. The move to China certainly happened to me. Not more than 3 months before, i was plugging along, working at Trimble, living in Colorado, blissfully unaware that my life would soon drastically change.

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.

Highlights/Rough itinerary-
  • 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?"



Anonymous said...

WOW! Where to visit you next? Mom

kevinreitz said...

Well, i would say there's a good chance you could visit me in Indonesia at some point. Or South America?