Dear friends, family, colleagues, world:
When I graduated from college in 2000, a good friend's uncle told me: "You guys should really take a year off after getting your degree and go see the world; later in life you might have the money to do it, but not the opportunity." I didn't, and of course he was right.
I actually was excited to start a real job after school. And it has been good. I've benefited from many opportunities, learned, and grown a lot. And my work led me to places in life that allowed me to find out about and appreciate non-work things, as well - caving, climbing, vertical work, mountaineering, the outdoors, ... I have had the chance to gain new experiences - moving to Texas, having awesome co-workers and a rewarding job, making new friends, moving in with somebody I love, …
And while I don't have house payments or parental responsibilities holding me back, it's still hard to throw aside a career and well-paying job and go travel for a year. But here goes. Come October, after twelve years of full-time employment, I have decided to take a year off and travel the world, think about what I want to do next, and enjoy life while I can. Climb a mountain, explore a cave - things I may not be fit or healthy enough to do once I grow older.
Practically, this means quitting my job. atsec has been, and continues to be, a great place to work and make a difference. Weighing the benefits of a gratifying work environment against my personal urge to go out and turn my spare-time hobbies into a full-time endeavor for a while was not, by any means, an easy decision. To the extent that I don't have any concrete plans yet on what will be next. I might return to the same or a similar field in information security, or find something new or completely different. I plan to maintain my professional certifications for now and stay in touch with the industry -- after all, I'm still fascinated with security. But there are new things to be learned as well.
In the meantime, if you know of any interesting trips or expeditions coming up and want to invite me along, don't hesitate! :-)
*Rückenwind = tail wind, as in http://www.thomasd.net/cms/front_content.php?idart=93