Synthesis : Scott Becker

Working to Live, Traveling Slow

When I last wrote, it was the beginning of February and I’d just finished my January challenge of dietary restrictions. It’s now mid May, and of course, much has changed!

On February 10th, I left my full time job at Jive Software to start a new company, Olio Apps, a software development and consulting firm, with a focus on mobile, social, and web apps. There are many challenges that go along with starting a new company – getting all of the paperwork in place, setting up systems for accounting and time tracking, getting booked up with work, and generally getting acclimated with juggling many more balls at once than an employee at a mid-size firm has to deal with. It’s been challenging, and I love it.

Along with that, my girlfriend and I have been achieving our goal of traveling slowly – living and working in one place for a month at a time. In late February we travelled to Oahu Hawaii and lived there for a month, staying with some family/friends who recently moved there, working on our laptops during the weekdays, and exploring Oahu on the nights and weekends. A month is a long time, and it’s quite a different experience than a shorter trip. It’s not quite like a vacation, since we’re still working. We’re also cooking meals, doing laundry, paying bills, visiting friends, and doing all of the other things you do over the course of a month. There is enough time to explore most of an area, and even go back and revisit favorites.

After Hawaii, we came back to Portland, travelled to Scottsdale Arizona for a few days to attend a conference (JSConf), came back to Portland for a couple weeks, and then flew to Florida for a month, where we are now. Why Florida? For one it’s where I grew up, and much of my family still resides here. Living in Portland, I don’t get much chance to see family and old friends that much, except electronically through email and Facebook, and that doesn’t always cut it. Secondly, being a native of Florida, I start to go a little nuts in the spring time in Portland, when it generally stays cold and rainy a bit longer than the rest of the country. All that has made me wonder over the past couple years – “wouldn’t it be nice to go live in Florida for a bit in the spring?” So, this year I managed to do it.

Has it been worth it? Absolutely. When I lived in Florida permanently, I lived about 45 minutes from the beach. For this trip we got a place a couple minutes from the beach. It’s quite a different experience, and we have a routine of having a nightly evening walk or run on the beach at sunset, which does wonders for decompressing from a day of work. We’ve also managed to squeeze in a lot of time with friends and family, checked out a lot of new places to eat, drink, and get coffee that didn’t exist before, and even attended a couple great concerts – Beach House in Orlando, and a reunion show for a local band I used to look up to and admire, Spiller.

We’re here for a few more days, and I’m excited to get back to Portland, be in my own space, see Portland friends, start playing music again, be closer to work colleagues, and generally enjoy all that Portland has to offer. So yeah, travel works. Energy renewed.

I have more to say, but lets not blow it all in one giant post eh? Stay tuned for the next post, “Just Ship It”, about writing, recording, and mixing a new song in one day.


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