Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Introduction: Acting on a Dream

Last spring I mentioned to my wife, "How would you like to spend next Fall in Paris?"

At first aggravated that I would dare schedule a trip that interrupted her tennis season (!), she capitulated and eventually got excited about the idea and, well, here we are. (Probably not a good idea to tweak the wife in the second sentence of the blog, but... sometimes I just can't help myself. : ) )

Why are we doing this? Well, why not? Because we can.

I have an internet-based business that I have long thought should allow me to work from anywhere. I have done it for few weeks on trips before... why not a few months. (Actually I DID do it for a few months once before but that is another story!)

I was also inspired last year by Timothy Ferriss' The 4-Hour Work Week. The book did not so much change my business or work habits but instead gave me "permission" to actually DO what I dreamed about doing.

It's so much a matter of just taking the leap and doing it. If I waited until there was a good time, there would never be a good time. After all, how many people dream of living abroad but don't do it for this reason or that. There is always an excuse, usually "practical" and understandable. Granted, my economic and self-employed status give me perhaps more options than some but I have come to believe that these choices, like so many others in life, have more to do with attitude than money. Indeed sometimes MORE money LIMITS your perceived options because of a fear of what might happen if you dare step off the proverbial gerble wheel. Perhaps, you fear, everything you have built will come tumbling down. Money does not always equal freedom. You can be a rich slave!

Now, there certainly ARE logistical excuses.. err.. challenges and I will discuss those in this blog. But in the end, they are just that -- challenges, not excuses.

We chose Paris because it is one of the most beautiful cities in the world (having visited briefly 3 times before) and more than modern enough to be a safe choice to use as our first experiment. We have traveled internationally frequently for up to 3 weeks at a time in the past but always as tourists, not as short-term residents (except for 3 months in Israel in 2002 -- mostly for business).

If this works well, I hope we can repeat every 18 months or so -- different cities of course.

We picked fall because it is the best weather in Paris, consistently in the 70s. It is also conveniently positioned between the heat of summer and the holidays of winter.

And 3 months is long enough to not feel rushed like a tourist. We can relax and read a book in one of the many parks without feeling like we should be at the Eiffel Tour or Louvre!

Why this blog?

I love to share my observations and experiences with others and it provides a documentary of our trip for reminiscing later. A previous blogging experiment was very rewarding. It is also a chance to experiment with some new internet technologies.

A friend (actually several) asked, "What could you possibly do in Paris for 11 weeks?"

I don't know what we will do. That is part of the adventure. You put yourself in a dramatically new situation and unpredictable things occur. That is in some ways the whole point.

I hope you enjoy it along with us.

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