There comes a time for experiments. Welcome to one of mine. I like it when there are several good reasons behind making a change. This blog is about to go through a transition. If all goes well, you won’t notice the difference unless you’re a cyber geek (though you may have to update your RSS feed). The blog is moving to a new home over on WordPress (trimbathcreative.wordpress.com). Hopefully, just like moving to a new house, everything will get unboxed unbroken and life will return to normal.
I’m taking a vacation. Some would say that I’ve been on vacation since I retired twelve years ago. They’re right from a paycheck point of view. They are also right from the liberation point of view. When I retired, I liberated myself from corporate obligations and could live according to my internal motivations. But I’ve noticed that me, like many of the other early retirees I know, am self-motivated to the point that I don’t take time off. It can be so liberating to be able to work on what I want, instead of working to someone else’s agenda, that I get caught up chasing this task, that cause, today’s new idea. I took longer vacations when I had a paycheck, because it was a contractual obligation. It was a good idea. Left to my own schedule, I can sprinkle enough events around to interrupt any lengthy trip. Time to return to that good idea of time off. Time to get out of my self-defined rut, even if it means jumping into another one by setting a goal like walking across a country.
The idea of the vacation comes from corporate America. The idea of crossing a country is from my past. As I recently blogged about, this is the ten year anniversary of my bicycle ride across America: an experiment in losing weight that failed. The trip did succeed though. I learned a lot about myself, people, and America. Like I said in the book, “I can’t say that it was fun but I am definitely glad that I did it.” (The now more experienced writer in me automatically started editing that line.) The ride, like most such journeys, changed my life for the better. I want to celebrate the ride with another journey. So, to celebrate a self-powered diagonal trip across a country, I am going to do it again, but different. The goal is to walk across Scotland from the southwest to the northeast. It is an experiment in finding a new way to relax and enjoy. I suspect there are more pubs along a walking route in Scotland than there were hotels for a bicyclist traveling American highways.
So, I am taking a vacation, but not from the blog. I like blogging. Evidently, someone else out there likes the fact that I blog. Traffic is climbing fast enough to double every few months. I don’t know if that will continue, but it suggests that the blog may need a home with more room. Something I’m saying must be useful, or entertaining, or both, and that’s a good feeling. I’ll keep blogging as I walk, but I don’t want to take along my laptop and the old way of doing my blog required lugging the machine along. All of my stuff will have to fit in my pack and survive Scotland’s fall weather. I’m fairly sure that my Mac would rather stay home, despite the Scottish origins of the name. Moving to WordPress lets that happen. I can blog from anywhere I can find a computer and a connection.
WordPress is also an experiment for me. I’m old enough that, at some level, I have a habit of following corporate loyalties. I like Apple, its products and its services. I write from a Mac using iWeb, a bit of Apple software. I stopped shy of using some of their online services, because of the habit I have using Earthlink for web hosting. Remember earthlink? I’m surprised they are still around. WordPress is new; and is free just like Facebook, Google, Wikipedia, and others that are in my bookmark list. Open source services have challenged corporations by experimenting with a new revenue model. They give away their services for free. Even the old adage, “you get what you pay for”, becomes irrelevant. Free services can provide whatever they want, if they have volunteers or alternative funding. Working with WordPress, the free blog service, was easier than working with Earthlink, the service I’ve paid for every month for the last decade or so. This is worth a try.
Experiments involve risk. They are attempts that are accepted as risky. Doing anything different is a risk. Trying a different lifestyle is a risk. Traveling to a foreign country is a risk. Starting a business is a risk. Each of us were a risk. Babies are not guaranteed. Without taking on the risks of childbirth there would be no humans. Without taking on the risk of businesses our current civilization wouldn’t exist (and some would argue that it is a failed experiment, though I don’t think the experiment is complete). Without taking on the risks of trying something different there’d be no way to a better life.
So, next week, the blog will have a new home and I should be in Scotland. Hopefully you won’t notice the difference, except perhaps in my tone; and I’ll be pleasantly wandering the land of scotch whiskey, kilts, pubs, lochs, history and fine people. They’re frugal I hear. I wonder if I’ll fit in.
(What am I thinking? It’s Scotland in the fall! It can be cold and wet and it’s farther north than Seattle. Oh well, like I said, this vacation’s an experiment.)