Ramblings of a Techno-Viking
This is the rambling (writing) and rambling (traveling) of a Techno-Viking (bearded middle-aged nerd of mixed ancestry, including Norwegian). My self-assigned mission is to go a Viking (exploration and trade), starting in the Western United States and ending up wherever. This is not about someone who danced in Germany to "Techno" music, I came up with the term independently and decided not to let someone else steal it from me just because they used it first. The new URL for the blog is http://techno-viking.com, but the old one of http://blars.us/blog/ will continue to work. You can even tack a www in front of the domains if you want.
My middle-aged crisis was precipitated by being laid off from a place I had worked over 20 years. Rather than going immediately into "I must find a job" mode, I treated it as a sabbatical, living off my savings, traveling and seeing National Parks I had never gone to before, as well as continuing to work on Debian and OpenStreetMap. Unfortunately, by the time my savings was running out the economy had tanked, and my skills were slightly rusty and not a great fit for most of what is available in the job market. Marketing is not one of my skills, and selling myself is not something I enjoy or feel confident doing.
Most of my remaining capital is tied up in my house. Even in todays market, where it is worth half of what it was 5 year ago, I've got quite a bit of equity. But to get access to that equity, I need to have somewhere else to live. After vaguely thinking about an RV for years, I started researching into the possibility of living in one full time in December of 2009. In late October 2010, I purchased one. Currently I'm purging my possessions, getting my house ready to sell, and my RV ready to live in full-time.
While I may not be able to afford to go out on the road full-time looking for odd jobs, I certainly can't afford to stay in my house in Los Angeles without good-paying full-time work. Hopefully I can get enough from the sale of my house to pay off my debt and give me some working capital while continuing to explore. Rather than spending most of my time and energy working for a large corporation, saving for some future retirement, I've decided to live life now and see what happens. Part of my reasoning is that I think the long-term outlook for the American dollar is bad, we've been spending much more than producing and the bill is going to come due. How soon a crisis that makes the current one look puny will happen is something I'm not sure of, it may be put off for many decades, or the current one may just keep deepening. My record of predicting the future is poor, so you shouldn't worry much just on the basis of my rambling.