Reaching Milestones

As a project manager in IT, there’s a satisfaction and sometime joy to reaching milestones. You realize you have crossed over a task and left it at 100% of completion. There’s no doubt when it happens because all the requirements and prerequisites are hit and the plan shows that each subtask or predecessor is marked all the way. It happens in my projects on occasion and it happens in my personal life too.

I’ve been exceedingly lucky with work and having a final job which is rewarding at so many levels. Its let me look at the milestones I’ve reached or am close to reaching.

Financial Milestone. By February next year I will have reached a financial milestone which will free me from “having” to work. There is still wanting to work and finishing up a large project I have but the having to work part will be done. At that point, I’ll be able to move on the next milestone. To reach this milestone, there are bills which matter which I have already paid off and a single recurring debt I will pay off. Recurring debt blocks this milestone so in every possible I must eliminate recurring debt. I may not reach 100% but I’ll be close. Credit card is a blocker to this milestone. I have no credit cards. Owing money to a thing or things will not let me mark this complete. I owe no money to people or institutions that is not managed. So I am close yet not close but the view into getting there just may become less obtuse and cloudy in June when the annual review and bonus cycle is reached and I may receive an annual bonus. This could be very significant for this milestone.

Travel Milestone. This is a big one for me. I cannot see spending the years left in the United States full time. There’s something about it that seems limiting or repressing. The term nomad crosses a lot of boundaries and people have asked me if I will become some kind of nomad. Just to be clear when I reach this milestone, I am not going to be a nomad. The dictionary says a nomad is,

  1. a member of a people or tribe that has no permanent abode but moves about from place to place, usually seasonally and often following a traditional route or circuit according to the state of the pasturage or food supply.
  2. any wanderer; itinerant.

Source: Dictionary Definition

So that is not me or what I will be when I reach this milestone. There is a bigger thing than wandering and being itinerant or joining some roving hunter-gatherer or other band and moving from place to place. Here is what I think this milestone is for me. I think my travel milestone is finding certain places that I can settle in for longer. I have this list of places which are appealing to me:

  1. India. I would settle just about anywhere but the milestone is to spend time in Chennai and venture forth to places I have not been.
  2. Laos and Cambodia. Both of these interest me from a few perspectives.
  3. Vietnam and Malaysia. I’ve been to both and I want to spend more time in each.
  4. Thailand. I have a number of places to reach in Thailand

One of the constants to all this is the idea of not being a nomad but settling down. Each country offers very flexible entry visas and the ability to extend them.

Roaming Milestone. I want to roam. I want to not have a home but a place where a hat can be placed. I want to see the roads and the rails and the airports and have no real schedule. This milestone is ever evolving. Its the moving without a destination in mind. Touching the foot in many ways in different places but leaving no real mark behind.

Minimal Possession Milestone. To achieve most of the milestones above, one needs to minimize their possessions to a point where all can fit in a single bag. The beds and TVs and electronics and rugs and chairs all are left behind and donated. Clothing is pared down to a few significant things. Material possessions are for the most part left behind but there are the things that are needed or wanted. I do not get rid of everything but the things that remain are valued at both the physical and meta-physical levels. I read a few blogs on this and one that is interesting all the time is A Small Wardrobe that I follow and read. I like to find what others view are their purposes to minimizing their lives but I vary a bit in this milestone. To reach the milestone of minimal possessions, I must,

  1. retain possessions that matter to me or have value either at a physical level or mental.
  2. divest possessions which are duplicates of things I already have. I don’t need three laptops or 7 type C USB plugs any longer.
  3. remove clothing that does not matter. I got rid of so many shirts, a dress jacket, docker trousers, a white dress shirt, ties.
  4. retain enjoyment and do not divest so much that the small enjoyments of life are missed. I do not find that life is more enjoyable with having no vices. Just like being completely virtuous would be quite boring. I need my vices. Good coffee made in a chemex, good coffee beans, beer on Fridays.

Creative Milestone. I feel like I would like to try creating something like a book or story while on the road. A saga or a boring journal of things done and seen. Perhaps its this blog which takes that on. It was meant for that. Writing a blog was always meant to be an exploration of my places and the traces I leave behind or not. I mentioned not leaving a mark but a digital mark is something I still want to do. Someone used to tell me,

Talk is cheap. It takes money to buy a car.

So true. But there is the cheap talking and then there is the digital footprint that may end up being so much less than a car but is no less of a vehicle of a voyage.

There are many more milestones that others have which affect my milestones. My daughter driving and finding someone to have a relationship with that matters. Its very important that she have both to me. She cannot live at home much like I could not. Its too much and too little there.

I have a few other things to accomplish. Don’t we all? We all have milestones left. I find little victories and defeats on a daily basis. I do march toward a goal though next year. Each day I work is a day less to work but a day I still really like. I finally like work each day. That has been evolving for so many years doing IT. I could write about a work milestone but its been a means to an end and not the end. Now I’ve reached a thing I admire and enjoy and really am fortunate to have found.

I’ll leave it behind too because my fortunes are on the road. Perhaps I am a nomad.