Go Beyond

Written by Teran McKinney
/ About Me / Half-time Remote DevOps/Systems Engineer for $40,000 /

Next Adventure

I'm sitting at a table in the Corner Bakery Cafe, figuring I should give you all an update. There is, after all, a lot that's happened in the past while.

So, where in the world is Teran?

Still in Palo Alto, but not for long.

About a month and a half ago, the thought of finding another lease to stay in California was not appealing. With apartments being exhorbitant and my general lack of interest for California, I was pretty committed to getting out of here. Couple that with my cat (whom has finally found a home!) and the increased difficulty of renting, it was less and less worth it.

So how did I end up in California, anyway? I never wanted to come to California. But, I was offered a job that was challenging and where I could learn much. I also wanted to put some distance between myself and my ex to help move on. So, I took a job in San Francisco. I learned an awful lot, but I wasn't happy at the company (and certainly not in San Francisco). Took a job in the valley and loved it. Learned much, and finally got to a point where my learning was past the extremely-fast rate, and I was pretty decent at my work. While I would have loved to have stayed and worked longer, going remote wasn't an option.

So, I announced that I was leaving after finding out I couldn't go remote. One of the interns who first heard that anouncement took a liking to me, and I eventually to her. There's a big chance she will be a part of my life for quite some time, maybe for the rest of it.

I warned her about my New Country Project, racing fantasies, how I don't want to have kids, and my generally sketchy desires. She wants to follow me along. She must be as crazy as I am.

Anyway, her name is Megha. She will be joining me on my roadtrip/move back to Texas, and will then fly back. She's got about a year to finish her master's in Software Engineering.

The Texas transportation vehicle is a 1987 Toyota 4Runner. It sits just outside the parking lot with a '14 registration sticker. I'm hoping to smog it and get it registered in California before the trip. Otherwise, it may be a slightly paranoid drive until I make it to Arizona, where I'd hopefully be fine until registering it in Texas.

So, it's been almost two years of Bay Area startups. I have no trouble being more than competitive out here. I think it's time to move on to something a bit more low-key and work on some things on the side.

My goals:

  • Never pay income tax again.

  • Own a house, that can at least be a place to store my things for now. This could also be: Never pay rent again.

I've learned that not having a home base is expensive. I acquire things and sell them before the move, taking a notable loss. If I had some property to put the things I have that are worth keeping, I could sell them for better prices being open to longer sell windows, and have some sort of home to come back to. It should give me more flexibility in the long run. I'm considering something like a home without utilities on 10 acres in Presidio, Texas, for $4,000. Not a bad deal, is it? That's less than 2 months of Palo Alto rent for me.

I'm considering buying land out in West Texas, or maybe living on the cheap in San Antonio or Austin. Maybe working part-time at a motorcycle shop, or part-time as a mentor at a startup house.

If you're in the rat race, consider how much you're spending to participate. How much would you need to make if you weren't paying taxes and weren't spending an arm in a leg to live where you are? If you were to move now, would you be taking more or less with you that you actually want to have? Could be things, people, money, and knowledge.

I'm happy that I am walking away with more than just a net-gain on knowledge. I consider myself lucky. Financially, I was still best off when I was 19 and quit work the first time. Or well, maybe a couple years ago if I actually cashed out on my Bitcoins. Oh well.

Life is too short to live it like everyone else. But everyone else usually does things for a reason, so you can't ignore that. And money is important, but it's only a means to bring you more of what you care about.

Possibly, if I get a ranch out in West Texas it can be a start for the New Country Project. We'll see.

Thanks for reading,

Teran




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