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[Plans and Dreams]

Mik's Plans and Dreams

... and hopes and goals

Some Good Advice

"Always Create Your Own Dreams and Live Life to the Fullest
Dreams can come true if you take the time to think about what you want in life.
Get to know yourself.
Find out who you are.
Choose your goals carefully.
Be honest with yourself.
Always believe in yourself.
Find many interests and pursue them.
Find out what is important to you.
Find out what you are good at.
Don't be afraid to make mistakes.
Work hard to achieve successes.
When things are not going right, don't give up—just try harder.
Give yourself freedom to try out new things.
Laugh and have a good time.
Open yourself up to love.
Take part in the beauty of nature.
Be appreciative of all that you have.
Help those less fortunate than you.
Work towards peace in the world.
Live life to the fullest.
Create your own dreams and follow them until they are a reality!!"

— Unknown

(The only thing I'd change is that when things aren't going right, it's worth thinking again about whether it's something you really want, and if so, then try harder.)

Plans in Progress

Living in Amsterdam and Travelling Europe

In the middle of July, 2002, I leave the Bay Area and start travelling. I'll be visiting friends and lovers in LA and Austin, and doing some long overdue desert driving. I like driving in the desert, and I love hiking in the desert too, so I'll be sure to do some of that along the way.

At the beginning of August, I'll arrive in the Netherlands, and I plan to seek my fortune in Amsterdam. I currently do not have any jobs or interviews lined up, but I do have lots of family in Holland, and they seem eager to help me get settled. It would be wonderful if I managed to pick up a programming contract while I'm there, but I'd also be happy if I ended up doing something more grassroots. I want to experience living in Holland—I can make big bucks some other time.

I went to Europe a few times as a kid, but I haven't been there as an adult—my last time there was 1987. I'll be there at the wrong time of year to enjoy it fully, but I still intend to do some travelling. I spent one night in Switzerland as a kid, and I'm dying to check that country out properly. Everything I've seen and heard about Spain intrigues me, especially since Christine has been there a few times, so I've arranged to fly out from there. I spent quite a bit of time in Italy when I was a kid and since I enjoyed it, I'll probably go there with Hope when she comes and visits. I'll probably pop over to London a few times to visit Reverend D and check out the night life, and it's been too long since I've been on the German autobahn as well. But above all, I want to meet Europeans, and get a better understanding of European lifestyle and attitude.

Goals and Dreams

Returning to Australia

Not long after visiting Europe, I plan to go back to Australia for at least a few months. I miss home, I miss many people there, and I miss the land and nature there. Also, my parents are getting on a bit, so I want to spend a bit more time with them.

This is much more of a plan than a dream, really. I'm quite set on being back home before the end of 2002, one way or another. I'd rather not use them, but I do have cash reserves to make it happen. It would be more ideal to save up money for it while I'm in Europe, though, or even when I get back to the U.S.

Returning to Australia is also a step towards some of my other goals...

BiContinental Lifestyle and the Endless Summer!!

Although I've learnt not to hate winter, I still love summer. I thrive when the days are long, and love the heat. I therefore want to experience as much summer as I can.

For the next few years, I plan to be in Australia from about November to February, and the U.S. from about May to August. I'll probably stay in the U.S. until the end of October most years, because I really like Halloween, and they don't celebrate it in Australia. =) You can be pretty sure that I'll be in Sydney for Mardi Gras most years, too, and this will probably be the only year that I won't go to Burning Man. So as you can see, it's not just the weather that makes me want this bi-continental lifestyle!

In some ways, this will be the Mik version of "settling down". I've found what I hope to be at least a medium-term home in the U.S. in the Bay Area with Hope, Sinboy and Rose, and next year, the four of us will be looking for a house to turn into that home. Back on the other side of the Pacific, my plans are less settled. I might enjoy living a more bachelor-style lifestyle in Sydney for a while, because I never really got a chance to do that before I left there in 1995. I can see myself in a warm, sunny, breezy apartment in Newtown or Glebe , with organic and hemp fiber bed sheets and decorated with earth tones. Maybe I'll eventually find family there too.

Does all this sound impossible to you? I might have thought that too once, but now I've found enough like-minded, poly/travelling folk in the Bay Area to make the U.S. side happen, so there's no reason to rule out finding the same in Sydney or some other cool Australian city. It's amazing what's possible if you follow your dreams!

Restoring the Kombi

I grew up driving a Kombi Van, or VW Bus as the Americans call them. The poor old dak dak got quite a beating as my adolescent self drove it around, but it was still my pride and joy. But as I was frantically preparing to move to the U.S, I let that go a bit, so it's quite in need of restoration now.

And restoration is what I'll do. It needs a lot of work, not just to take the dents out and to make the interior look nice, but to keep it running and registerable. It's become really tough to register a vehicle in New South Wales—there are lots of new standards and they don't always make a whole lot of sense—but I'm committed to doing it anyhow.

One of the things I want to do most is convert it so it runs on something nicer than petrol. I think the most viable option would be gas—real gas, not that liquid they call gas in the U.S. =) I need to work out a way to make the tanks as large as possible, so I can go driving for really long distances between L.P. refueling stations, but not compromise too much storage space. That's one of the things I miss most about the Kombi: there's plenty of places to store stuff. There were a couple of summers that I practically lived in the thing because of it—the bed in the back helped out for that, too.

There are a lot of things I haven't worked out yet, especially considering I'm only going to be in the country part time. Where am I going to store it where I'm gone? My parents have been looking after it up until now, but I think they'd be reluctant to do that again. How easy is it to convert a VW engine? They do it all the time in the U.S, but registration requirements are a lot more relaxed there. Am I really going to be able to afford that and travelling between continents twice a year? Well, there are always frequent flyer programmes...

Going Back to Uni

This is another thing I haven't quite fit into my plan yet, but it's something I really want to do. I really, really miss academic life. I'm reminded of this every time I go to a lecture at a programming conference, and even a sci-fi conference.

I also feel like my programming career isn't quite going where I want it to. I keep ending up with jobs doing maintenance programming, while what I really like doing is designing graphic user interfaces. Maybe if I get a grad. dip. and specialise in that, it will be easier to get the kind of job I want. On the other hand, I've also always been really interested in accessibility programming, and interfacing with all the cool gadgets that my disabled friends have.

I suppose I just need to save up some money, and look long and hard at what kind of courses are available in various parts of Australia and the U.S.

Making all these goals fit together is going to be a challenge, but it keeps life interesting and fulfilling.

 

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Mik Scheper, 21 May 2002
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