Our re-entry into the real world has required a bit of planning. The first decision, was “pick a country”. Australia, New Zealand, or the United States of America?
Decision made. We are returning to the San Francisco bay area to live and work. One-way flights from Sydney to SFO on 17 January 2009.
Once we made that decision, we then needed three parallel project plans with tasks and contingencies…
First there is the sell the boat (or ship it back) plan. We are still trying to sell Whisper here in Australia. The exchange rate has dropped precipitously in the last quarter, so finding an Aussie buyer becomes less likely each day, but we are still hoping. If it does not sell, we will put it on a freighter back to Ensenada sometime in the next year and figure out what to do then.
Next is the “find interesting work” plan. Yes, we know it will not be as easy to find work as in the boom years, but we are fairly confident we’ll find something interesting, challenging, and fun to do. We are both actually looking forward to getting back to work. Go figure? We have decent professional networks and we have been watching the short list of companies that interest us. We’ll at least have focus for our initial search.
Finally, there is the find a place to live, start-over, and find transportation plan.
We will jump into a week of furnished corporate housing when we return, with the intent to find a short term place to rent for a while during that first week. Then, as we ascertain where we will be working, we’ll find a better long-term rental that optimally reduces both of our commutes. If one person needs to compromise on a commute, we’ll look for a place near mass transit! We’ll likely wait a while before we jump into any home purchase. For now, we have an Earth Class Mail address and a couple of Skype phone numbers to hold us over during the transition to a long-term rental.
Although we’ll ship back a few boxes of household goods, we are basically starting over. I hope we’ve shed some of our previous hyper-consumptive ways, but we’ll see how we do. There is a bit of pent up demand for things we miss from civilization (no offense New Zealand and Australia), but we’ll approach these with moderation. Fast Internet and a reliable cell phone are top priority.
Transportation? For the first month back, we’ll be renting a car. Hopefully, we’ll quickly ascertain where we will be working and assess our commutes. We’re pretty sure we’ll still need at least one car, and we’ll go as tiny and green as we can handle. I think a Tesla Roadster would be nice, but I don’t think I’ll get budget approval. Maybe a Smart for Two?
It’s all very exciting and we are looking forward to returning. I know the bay area won’t be exactly like it was six years ago when we left, but I’m sure it will still be fun — and we always find it refreshing to start-up again.