Left Coast By Design

Page 8 of 48

A Trip for the Soul

When I first introduced the idea of funemployment to all of you, I spoke about my desire to view this sudden change of scenery as an opportunity.  In fact, I believe I said this:

I’m going to take the next few weeks and do things I never thought to do before. I’m going to be going on a short cruise. I’m going to fly somewhere on a lark and simply enjoy the destination. – The Opportunity of Unemployment

So as a man who looks to keep his word, the first trip on this journey of funemployment has been booked. While the original idea was to hop on a short cruise and take a few days to simply recharge my soul, my wife and I decided to make it a little more than that and to create a week of adventure.

Amtrak Cascades

Courtesy of Stephen Rees

The first step on our week long journey will be riding the Amtrak Cascades train line from Vancouver down to Seattle. While the whole concept of a passenger train is not entirely foreign to the two of us – we rode them in when we went to the United Kingdom a while back – we’ve never taken in the ride locally.  And as I am a transportation junkie, this could be one of the most exciting parts of our entire trip.

jetBlue Plane

Courtesy of cclark395

Then there is the second leg of our journey, flying from Seattle down to Los Angeles. Neither of us has ever been to this massive city and figured we’d be good to spend at least a day down there before our cruise home. While we still haven’t figured out what we’ll do, we did decide on flying with jetBlue after hearing from friends of ours that the airline is a pretty solid choice. And it also helped that they fly into Long Beach which is essentially where our ship will leave. Or is it San Pedro? I don’t know – Los Angeles is just that big.

Grand Princess

Courtesy of MA1216

Last, but not least, is our sail on the Grand Princess from Los Angeles back home to Vancouver. This is also a new experience for the wife and me, so we’re viewing it as a practice trip to prepare for our much longer sail to Hawaii later this year (I know, I know. I’m a jetsetter).

While the trip is essentially a repositioning cruise with our only ports of call being Los Angeles and Vancouver, you’ll likely find us either on our balcony watching the ocean or poolside relaxing. I get that the temperatures are likely not what one would expect to experience on a cruise, but this trip is really about helping me find that soul of mine that has gone missing.

This adventure is about something new and untravelled. It’s about fun and excitement. It’s about rest and relaxation. It’s about the experience and that’s pretty darn exciting!

Want to come along?

You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward; how much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done! Rocky Balboa

The Opportunity of Unemployment

Last week, after an eleven year run (eleven years and two days to be exact) I discovered that my services as an adult learning professional were no longer required and that my employment was at an end.

I guess I should have been shocked. Or maybe upset? I’m not entirely sure what emotions I should be experiencing as I lacked experience in being let go – it’s just never happened to me before. Instead, those close to me have described me as being unexpectedly happy and positive.

That’s the thing, why shouldn’t I be happy? While not through choice or by design, I’ve been presented with an opportunity and that excites me.

Paddleboarding at Sunset

Courtesy of Jens Mayer

Now it’s important to understand that I’m not happy that I’m no longer employed. I do find myself worrying about what is next and having worked for the same company for 11 years, I’m also concerned that the skills and knowledge I’ve obtained over that time do not hold as much relevance as they once did.

Then there is the financial side of things. How will I pay my bills? Will I have enough money to tide me by until I find my next job? When do I begin to expand the horizons of a job search and begin looking for that next pay cheque instead of that future career?

So as you can see, it’s not all rainbows and sunshine.

Yet with all of that now resting upon my shoulders, I still don’t find myself worried. I have confidence that I still have much to offer and have established a network that will serve me well when I do decide it’s time to begin looking for that next great opportunity.

A Path through the Trees

Courtesy of Alex Krivec

In the meantime, it occurs to me that I have an opportunity to take some time to recharge my soul. Sure there are lots of thoughts on my mind, but much like a forest path, I need to simply allow myself to continue to move forward. If I reach a fork in the trail? It will happen, but again, I simply need to make a choice and move forward.

To accomplish all of this, I’m going to take the next few weeks and do things I never thought to do before. I’m going to be going on a short cruise. I’m going to fly somewhere on a lark and simply enjoy the destination. I’m going to take a course or two and help exercise my mind. And I may even hit the gym or take up yoga – a little exercise for the rest of my body wouldn’t hurt either.

You see, this opportunity doesn’t present itself too often and it would be a shame if I didn’t see it as such. In fact, it would be a shame to simply see this as unemployment.

From now on, it will be funemployment.

Icebreaker Sold Out?

3,683 Guardians Didn’t Purchase Icebreaker

It would seriously be the end of days if that were remotely true.  Apparently my sense of humour isn’t shared by too many people considering how my post on Reddit is getting “downmoted” to oblivion.

Updating the MacBook

Having used a MacBook Air for the better part of three or four years, I figure it is now time to consider an upgrade.

Now that’s not to say I have to make the switch today, but with $975 kicking around in a Personal Health Spending Account (of which half needs to be spent this year) there is some thought that I could put it to good use sooner than later.  It also makes the thousand dollar investment much more palatable.  On top of that, the company I work for also has an Employee Purchase Plan through Apple which gives me a modest discount to boot.

So here I sit on the Apple Store website with a decision – do I replace my current MacBook Air with a newer version?  Or do I go with a MacBook Pro to rock the world with?

While there are plenty of options available with either choice, I can’t make my mind up whether I want to go with the stock 13in 128GB MBA for $1033+tax or the stock 13in MBP for $1127+tax.  What has me thinking the MBA is the route to go is that I’m all about portability and can’t imagine carrying the larger MBP around.  That said, going Pro means I have a machine that packs a bit more punch and much more storage capacity.

So what do you do in my shoes?  Air or Pro?  Or do you hold off on spending the cash today and wait for Apple to launch better models in the near future?

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