Last night I was sitting in the kitchen trying to write an article for my business website on my laptop. I glanced down at the clock, it was 9:11 PM. Maybe it was time for a break, a little inspiration. I got up to walk around a bit. I walked upstairs to where I normally write on my stand up workstation in my home office. Instead of the LED lights from electronic devices, I saw light from outside reflecting from the bare floor. As I walked in I could hear the sound of my soft footsteps echo off the walls, a light breeze was blowing through the open window. The entire room was completely empty and it was beautifully simple. I then walked down the hall to my son’s room, normally a quick glance in the door at the hour would reveal a sleeping young lad. Instead, I saw an empty room and as if my mind didn’t believe it, I scoured the room with my eyes looking for something that may have been forgotten by the movers. Not a thing, not even a piece of Lego. Then it hits me:
The adventure is about to begin.
I’ve been feeling restless for a long time, last year we were supposed to take a month-long family trip. I had dreamed of spending a month in the French countryside with them. Something completely foreign sans the imagery I’ve seen on some international real estate shows on TV. Running an IT business that I believed required me to be local for close to two decades has given me a lot of freedom and also made me feel tethered in many ways to a small geographic area. It was my choice, I have no regrets.
Breaking the Mental Tether
Last year I wrote how I was shifting focus, I did not abandon the IT business but I stopped growing it to emphasize a growing segment of my business. The emphasis would pave the way for more flexibility in my schedule. This effort coupled with the amazing advances in technology that allow me to do more of my job from anywhere have largely cut that psychological tether I had hung on to for so many years.
Leaving Something for the Next Person
I eluded to movers having cleared out our possessions, that’s kind of a big deal and it involves the sale of our home. Part of our logic to do this now is to lock in gains in real estate while the conditions are good but not feeling like we were right at the top of the market. As a wise adviser once told me, leave something for the next person. What that means is don’t try to sell at the top of the market, sell when the market is strong and a buyer can feel confident that they will also get a return. That sounds smart to me, so we are selling our house and rental now and we’ll have some time on the road to enjoy a special experience as a family. We can then return with a fresh plan derived in an appropriate environment. In the meantime, we have a safety valve, a fallback plan, but I think we’ll do far better than that.
That Liberating Feeling
Imagine if next month you wouldn’t have a mortgage, utilities and other household bills. I am not taking a real vacation, I will be seeing customers along the way, but I am taking a mental vacation from the responsibilities of a homeowner and I am almost as excited about that as anything else.
Several of my friends have encouraged me to blog about the trip and I’ve gotten some great suggestions about it. I’ve also not had a chance to tell many friends and family the full details because we’ve been juggling a lot of responsibilities to put everything together and run a business. I’ll be writing as long as I feel inspired and taking pictures to share along the way. Thanks for the encouragement and for taking the time to get caught up with our impending adventure!
Next up: Saying Goodbye to Danville, for Now