Sunday, March 8, 2009
My thinking on the bike tour business is to develop it organically from the local tours. I have a bit more patience for the local routes and could see running 2-4 local day trips a week, depending on how that jibes with my family responsibilities.
After trying to market Tread Lightly, I'm of the mind it's best to have the market come to you rather than to go out and create a market. I think the Posada touirist traffic should generate enough business to get us started and once we have consistent trips running, it will just naturally grow. If we're running regular local trips, we'll get some of our local trip clients interested in the longer, more adventurous trips, and we'll generate word of mouth marketing.
One quick question-- are you set on the name Andean Bicycle or are you open to other ideas?
I have my second build-a-bike class tomorrow night at West Town. We'll be dissassemblying and reassembling bottom brackets. Looking forward to getting my hands dirty.
Are you in town this week? If so, it would be great to grab a beer with you.
I think you did a good job of listing fears and risks associated with the project. For Miguel, I don't think the transitions will be difficult. I was impressed by how enthusiastic he was during our month-long trip and that he didn't seem homesick. But who knows, in another year, he might feel different.
I also deeply share the fear of not being able to find a job upon returning (and --eek--perhaps aging out of the workforce?!?). But, I also have faith enough in both our versatility and smarts to believe that we'll be fine.
Travel has always played a role in my job transitions, usually because switching jobs provides a unique opportunity to get some time off. I think, the trip along with career counseling, may be a healthy way for me to think about what's next.
On the flip side of fears of doing the sabbatical are the fears/ risks/ opportunity costs of not doing it. Here are a couple of thoughts:
-- Miguel will be a linguistic sponge for the next year or two. Ecuador will allow us to make good use of this time for him to learn Spanish.
-- Once Miguel gets to be of school age, it would be much more complicated to take an extended trip. I think if we're going to do a trip like this, the clock is ticking. . .
-- If we don't take this risk, will we become risk adverse at other interesting junctions in our lives?
I'll have to confess, lately, I've felt more excitement about the trip than fear, but doubts do creep in-- it's a big decision!
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Of course the minute I type those words, I am flooded with fears--mostly about Miguel. What will it be like to pull him away from the familiar: people, places, routines. Then, once we have established new familiars, what will it be like to uproot him again?
If we return in the spring of '11, he will be 4 1/2. He won't be old enough to enter CPS kindergarten that fall, but he could go to pre-school. I think that the whole, "what will we do for school" question is going to be stressful. I want Miguel to have positive experiences with school and peers (hmm, and what parent doesn't want that???) and I wonder what, if any, implications a significant move will have on our school options when we return.
What are some of my others fears?
The obvious ones:
- $$$--Once we return, will we have enough of a cushion if it takes awhile for us to find jobs? How much of our savings are we willing to spend and risk? What do we need in place for retirement and for Miguel's education? (and the education of #2, if we go that route.)
- jobs--will we earn any income while gone and will we find jobs when we get back? For me, will I have a better sense of possible career directions? Will this move help, impede or just pause whatever I need to do in order to do whatever it is I want to do. Damn I hate this uncertainty!
- community--will we make new friends? will we keep old ones?
- our home--I am so attached to this building (and those princess countertops). Will I be able to detach and let others take care of it? (I have been thinking that this will be a good exercise for me!)
Other nagging, interrelated questions:
- How will this affect our family's dynamic?
- Should we adopt another child?
- Will I be able to have enough quiet/alone time?
- What will the language immersion be like us? for Miguel?
- How will we set up a new household?
- What will our routines be like?
- What health/safety considerations should we be thinking about? We can't plan to drink aqua purificado for a year. .. . can we?
Just when I think I am full on for it, I get a little quaky. But, on some deep level, I know that I am willing to take the risk. Then again, one of my fears is that, despite the fact that I appear to overthink things, I am not sure I always make the most informed decisions (such as the princess countertops.)
Speaking of the rehab, I am going to work on the taxes and confront all the $ we poured into this building last year. Grrrr.