Blowing out Candles

February 12, 2010 15 Comments »

Graffiti in Saigon

They’re leaving…I can’t stop em. No matter how much I beg and plead for them to stay, I can’t change their mind. The memories are vivid now, but they’ll be a distant soon. I’ll look at the pictures and try to relive those times, but it’ll never be the same.


I’m sad to see my 30’s go.

However, I’ve decided that I can wallow and be sad, or I can embrace. And if there’s one thing I learned in my 30’s – it’s that I’m an embracer!

As I’ve been reacquainted with my family and friends over the last 2 months in America, there’s one question that I’m ALWAYS asked, “What’s your plan?”

I’ve been taking a my time to determine that plan, and finally I got so sick of having to sidestep the question, so I thought I better finally have an answer. I figured that a milestone birthday is a good time to make a plan so here ya go…

I’m entering my 40’s in a vastly different situation than entering my 30’s. I’m doing what I want; and that’s damn empowering. I’ve tasted the sweet nector of being my own boss, simplifying, and living for today and I’m not ready to give that up.

Me and my bags

I realized that I didn’t give up all of my possessions in order to just turn around 2 years later to start nesting again. So first and foremost, I’ve decided that I will continue to be nomadic for a while. Sure, living out of a suitcase (actually 2 suitcases, a backpack, and lovely CAMENAE bag) isn’t easy – but I love the freedom that comes along with it.

“You don’t have to live your life the way other people expect you to.” —Chris Guillebeau, Art of Nonconformity

Taking a leap...yes - that's me

I spent the last 3 ½ years challenging myself thru my travels and living abroad. However, there’s one thing yet that eludes me. I haven’t really went out on a limb with my entrepreneur skills. Like most people, I have a million ideas, but seldom follow through on any of them. I’ve started down the creative, entrepreneurial path with Briefcase to Backpack and Ottsworld but I’ve just been dipping a toe in. It’s time to jump in. I’m working on (with the help of my business partners) making Briefcase to Backpack profitable.

“If you never begin, you’ll never know what could have happened if you tried.” –Chris Guillebeau

When it comes to travel, there are so many places I want to go – Bolivia, Antarctica, Sweden, Ireland, Russia, Poland, and so many more! However in order to pursue my goals for Ottsworld and Briefcase to Backpack, I need to spend some time in the US working on developing them. For those of you in the US, that means you may see me as I show up with my 2 suitcases and a backpack hoping for a place to sleep! I’ll take this time to do some travel thru the US, couch surf and explore my own culture. However I will also cross the border a bit later in the year no doubt. After all, I will need to have a postponed 40th birthday celebration somewhere fabulous in the world!

“Traveling in many ways is walking inside of you and finding yourself, but on the flipside it is also running away from a number of things. So we need to balance it out and stay put once in a while.” –my dear friend Veronique

What motivates me is remembering that when I entered my 30’s, I didn’t even have a passport. I had never really traveled. I’ve done a lot of amazing things I never thought were possible in the last decade, and I will also do a lot in this decade.

My personal Fan Club in India

If you want to wish me a happy birthday – then I can think of no better birthday gift than supporting my ventures. It will cost you…

absolutely nothing.

Read my writing on Ottsworld, sign up for the newsletter or email RSS feed. More importantly, follow Briefcase to Backpack and become a fan of us on Facebook or sign up for the RSS feed. If you’ve already done this, then be a disciple and tell a friend! I know you have friends that would love to learn more about career breaks!

After all, “A small, devoted army is far better than a large, uncommitted mob.” –Chris Guillebeau

But I don’t want you to think it’s all about me.

The world awaits your help

Give me this gift – Make this the year you get a passport if you don’t have one, volunteer in your community or somewhere and turn around and tell me about it! That would be the best gift of all.

“The world is desperately, impatiently waiting for you to figure out what you can give it.” — Chris Guillebeau

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