Two and a half years ago I left my home in Rochester and moved to San Diego, California on a whim, in search of new experiences. In that time, I've gotten to know so many wonderful people and really fell in love with the city. As a good friend here likes to say, "San Diego isn't outstanding at any one thing, but is above average at almost all things", and I completely agree. San Diego really is a great city, and one I will never hesitate to come back to frequently.
But during the past few years, I've gotten bitten hard by wanderlust and began doing a lot more traveling. I've had the opportunity to visit many great cities, but usually only for a few days at a time. When leaving each one, I can't help but feel that I should spend more time there.
And so that's what I'll be doing. Starting June 1st, I'm leaving my apartment in San Diego, getting rid of the few belongings I do have, and set out with my car to become a nomad for the next seven months. While my plans aren't entirely certain, and I don't really want them to be, I hope to spend at least a few weeks each in: San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Denver/Boulder, Chicago, Rochester/Buffalo, Sydney/Melbourne, Hong Kong, and Austin. In the midst of driving around the country I'll also spend a few days in some smaller cities like Boise, and I've also got some international trips planned to finally make use of the airline miles I've been accumulating.
I'll be working during the day doing consulting for remote clients just as I do now, hopefully exploring new coworking spaces in these cities and getting involved as much as possible in the local developer community. I plan to stay mostly in shared Airbnb apartments with the occasional staying-with-friends mixed in when possible. I'll also be driving a lot from place to place, and probably flying quite a bit (including back to San Diego with some frequency).
While embarking on this new adventure is exciting, it's also scary. Settling into these new cities with no friends will be hard, and constantly moving will strain any real relationships I do make there. But I ultimately hope to meet a lot of great people, have some interesting experiences, feel what living in some of these cities is like, and hopefully choose a place to settle down more permanently once the nomading is over.
I'll deeply miss my friends in San Diego, but know that I'll be back often and this isn't goodbye for long. Moving to San Diego over two years ago was one of the best decisions I made, and I was scared then - but I went for it. I think now's the time in my life to get out there and see the world, and I'm not turning back.
If you want to follow my travels, I'll be photo blogging at http://travel.benhughes.name.