The series of cryptic activity on my networks has people wondering, what the heck is this girl up to? For those of you who follow my blog, know that in the past year, I’ve had a personal awakening that has in the least rejuvenated my passion for life and the things associated with it that I’ve always wanted to do in the pursuit of happiness. It is often that with the self imposed constraints on life and societal expectations, we somehow always find a justifiable excuse to momentarily dismiss a want from life or allow the fuel to dissolve. In the essence of my life, I have always strived for achievement, success, wins – until decidedly, I wasn’t sure if they necessarily belonged to me anymore. My success measures soon transpired from yet undetermined qualitative measures to quantitative ones. Yet, I would trade all the assets in my life for stories to tell, because at the end of my time – I won’t have my cars, I won’t have my accounts, I won’t have the things I spent my hard earned money on, but my memories, my experiences, what I did & how I lived in order to earn that dollar.
While I’ve leveraged the header from John Wood’s “Leaving Microsoft to Change the World” – I have yet to discover what the suffix of the title would be that defines the journey in which I am embarking on. All I know is that there is so much we are mentally & physically capable of doing, but whether it is the monotony of life, added expectations or perceived notions of success – we continue our lives established on the grounds of stability and falter against taking the risk to do things that exist beyond our recognized boundaries.
Bill, I am Leaving
I love my job, I love Microsoft, I love my web geeks. For those of you who have interacted with me within the community at events or online, the best part of my job is the flexibility it provides to foster relationships and provide value to the community at a rate that I believe no other company has created the focus to invest in. Leading and giving birth to Make Web Not War was one of the best experiences and opportunities I’ve ever had to create a community uniting web developers alike in creating the one thing we all spend so much of our lives devoted to – the ultimate web experience. So the part that makes this the hardest is leaving behind a group of individuals I’ve met in the last year or so, and the opportunity to learn more. So you’re asking, then why leave? Simple, it’s just too good. If I continued to stay I undoubtedly would have learned more, grown and have the ability to do so much more – to the point where the personal investment in the company would make it harder to give up and leave to gain external exposure, international experience. I recognize that while I have so much opportunity from within the company, much of my experience has been within the company and in order to provide much more value, I have the urge to diversify my skill set in an external and completely unrelated environment to grow as a marketer.
Return to Pura Vida
As a snowboarder, nothing excites me more than being able to conquer a single plank board either on snow or in water to test the limits of what the human body is physically capable of. There is nothing a human body that cannot be done without the determination of the mind. A story I will always remember from one of my favourite books ‘The Peaceful Warrior’ is that Ninjas are not ninjas because they possess some sort of super human capability superior to other humans on earth – it’s because they parallel their mental determination with physical implementation. Young ninjas jump over cornfields every day of their lives scaling the height of the cornfields as they grow until it is no longer a challenge. You’ll never know you can do something until you try it, practice it and succeed.
With that said – I am officially moving to Costa Rica, the place I first discovered a completely different way of life encompassed in the magical saying of “Pura Vida”. Pure life (“pura vida”) is not defined by the success in relation to others as we often succumb to in the natural human interactions leading from game theory, but pure life in the form where your inner peace and internal happiness are by products of your own creation. Not a superficial attainment of an external source. Believing that the things you accomplish are creations of your own, milestones by your definition – and for me, that is being a hell of an awesome board sport athlete from snowboarding to surfing to wakeboarding.
Ultimate Surf Camp – Del Mar Surf Camp
And so, it could not have been a better fit than to return to the camp that made it all happen in November 2009 at Del Mar Surf Camp – that brought the experience of Costa Rica alive. I will be leading the marketing strategy for both their surf locations (Jaco Beach & Nosara) to create visibility to the surf camp from all international markets as the #1 surf camp in Costa Rica. With Del Mar Sur Camp, I am able to do employ all three things I’ve been yearning for – aligning myself with board sports, maintaining an active lifestyle and creating a ground up marketing strategy for the surf camp – which is still in start up phase. This challenge is one that I am excited for that will allow me to foster the skills in a foreign environment, promote a product/experience that I believe everyone who is anyone will ultimately benefit from spiritually and be in an environment that will allow me to cultivate my emotional growth.
Traveling to Costa Rica
In an attempt to make every leg of the transition a journey, I will be driving for most of the trip by car visiting as many local surf towns as possible. Starting with almost 4500 KMs to Vancouver then down the West Coast through Washington, Oregan, California, Arizona, New Mexico, across to Texas and then regrettably flying over most of Central America to Costa Rica. Ideally, I’d love to be driving through Mexico, Guatamala, Honduras, Nicaragua, but have decided to heed the advice of many friends and colleagues who have lovingly cautioned against it heavily; and with the recent news about the sinkhole in Guatamala, I think I can make up the excitement with a few more sky dives and bungees across United States.
I will be officially leaving Microsoft on June 30th, rolling out of Toronto on July 7th (after the Canada Day long weekend) and will be spending the next month planning and mentally preparing for this adventure of a lifetime.
If you know anyone along the route who is willing to give up a couch, looking to sell a slightly used and sturdy vehicle or just want a post card – comment below! I look forward to hearing from you all soon and know that you will have your very own local Costa Rican tour guide when you come for a surf lesson.
Follow me on my next journey: