Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Ballard Pundit Reveals a Year of Wandering

Virtually every Sunday morning, my family and I head down to the Ballard's Farmers Market. We meander past the stalls and sample the latest organic goodies, while our kids suck on honey sticks and pester us for caps and Pop-Its from the toy store. So last Sunday, on a whim, I decided I'd pay $10 to a fortune teller and see what my future had in store.

The last time I went to a fortune teller was about 15 years ago, so its not something I do every day, nor is it something I take very seriously, but I figured worse case scenario, I was helping our local market economy out. So the fortune teller asked me whether I used to write a lot of fiction. I said well yes I did. She said, "it looks like you stopped about ten years ago for some reason, and I think you are going to start up again in full force." Then she asked, "are you going on a big trip? I see you surrounded by laughing kids and you are a teacher." I said, "well yes, actually we are going on a trip." She said, "I see you in Thailand, is that where you are going?" I said, "well to be honest, we haven't planned that far ahead, but it is certainly a possibility that we wind up in Thailand." So then I went ahead and explained our plans, rough as they were. Then the fortune teller said, "I also see that you were a philosopher working in academia on the French and Belgium border in a past life." I laughed. She then said, "make sure you start writing again, you must return to your writing, it is essential to your soul."

So while I'm not sure whether I wore a beret and a Dali mustache in a past life, I am sure that I am sitting on a plane heading on a year plus long adventure. Turns out the fortune teller did pretty well, I have no idea how. Ever since my wife and I got married, we've tossed around the idea of a long global trip with kids in tote. Even before my wife and I met, we both traveled a fair amount, and it was something we assumed we would continue, even when it was more challenging, i.e. while hauling kids about, paying a mortgage, feeding a dog, and taming the many items of modern life competing for attention.

There have been multiple points in the past decade that Ameen, my wife, and I had thought seriously about leaving. Mostly they were disrupted by my strong desire to see a project I've had the great privilege to be a part of take off. A prior post of mine, titled Evri Exposes the Web that Always Was is perhaps my best attempt to articulate why I've felt so attached to this work for the past 8 and a half years. After much thought, I feel now the time is right to make a change; the company has strong leadership, an amazing team, and committed investors. I have stepped back from my full time role with the company and will be continuing on as an advisor. My time with Evri has been one of the most exciting in my career. It has truly been amazing to see a nascent unformed idea grow into such a wonderful and promising content discovery engine.

So what are our plans? Well the truth is, things are only half baked; we're basically escaping the wet northwest winter, and following the sun through South America, southern Africa, Dubai, then on toward India. Once in India, I'm not too sure on the details, we want to help out a non profit building sewer systems in rural Punjab in some capacity, and of course we have lots of friends and family we'll be visiting. We'll also be homeschooling the kids on route until we can get them enrolled in India where we'll be stopping for a longer duration.

If you're interested in following along with our trip, I'll be blogging here on Chalo Bolo and tweeting as zang0. I'll also be available all the usual means, Skype, Facebook, email, Seattle phone number, etc. First stop: Valparaiso, Chile, home to one of my favorite poets: Pablo Neruda.

1 comment:

Lys said...

What a wonderful trip! I've been surprised, lately, by people saying they couldn't possibly travel with kids in tow. To see the opposite view is really encouraging.

Wishing you happy travels!

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