Exactly one week ago, I arrived in Porto, Portugal to start a ten week stint with Hacker Paradise.
I came to Porto from San Francisco, one of the most compelling cities in the world. It's the beating heart of innovation in tech, the mecca for adventure seekers, and now the city with the highest rent prices in the US. It's also now my home. I can't imagine another place I'd like to call home right now.
At the same time, SF has changed over the last five years. Opportunities still abound, but challenges seem more familiar. The economic climate is changing. Companies are hiring too fast and as a result, having to lay people off. Startups aren't getting funding as easily as they used to. We are due for a bit of an inflection, maybe not the "bubble burst" that everyone is talking about, but things will change.
Me, however - I recognized that I was at my own inflection point. I had stopped growing, for whatever reason. Maybe it was my job, maybe it was my lifestyle, maybe I was looking for something I couldn't find. But regardless of the reason, I knew I had to change in order to keep growing. I started seeking out new hobbies and behaviors, including but not limited to:
- Planning a vacation to Italy with my sister
- Taking hip-hop dance classes
- Enrolling in French classes to strengthen the foundation I had built throughout my teenage years, with the goal of becoming conversational and/or fluent
- Working on more professional side projects - including an iOS app that I had an idea for a while back
The last one is a big one. Though I studied CS in college, I hadn't actually coded anything real in a very long time. But once I started, I couldn't stop. I was able to get back to the feeling I had been missing so much the last couple years. Passion!
After all of that, I decided to leave SF for a bit to work on the app full time. Around the same time, I stumbled upon a blog post about The User Is Drunk, in which Hacker Paradise was mentioned. Everything came together at that moment. And now I'm in Porto with a group of lovely people doing lovely things. Stay tuned for my musings and updates here.
"Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute experience." - Paulo Coelho