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The final week in Thailand wrapped up nicely with a few days in Bangkok and a weekend trip to Kuala Lumpur on a visa run. It was great to catch up with a friend there who I hadn’t seen in too many years but had kept in touch with via the internet. The last few days were inspiring in a number of ways and helped to start thinking about what’s next for me. Now I’m back in the states and the fact that it’s not just for a few days or weeks has yet to sink in. But it will. So, what is next?

I write this from California where I spend a long weekend visiting family. Monday I go to Reno for a couple days with mom and to unpack my Thailand travel gear replacing it with items more suitable for colder weather. Thursday I fly to Denver for a three night music fest of sorts during which I will celebrate my last few days of unemployment. The following Monday morning I will wake up, walk across the parking lot from my hotel to my office and start my new job in a new city. I am extremely excited about all of these things.

Over the second half of last year I wrote about the decision to stay in Amsterdam or move back to the states. At the same time and behind the scenes I was also exploring the options of what I might do professionally in the US should I return. This turned into conversations with a number of different people regarding a number of different opportunities. On top of the stress of deciding where to locate was now the decision of what to do with myself. In the end, I chose the opportunity I felt offered the most variety, the most challenge and the most growth potential. Funnily enough, that meant going back to the company I left to move to Europe. Fortunately we parted on good terms and they initiated the conversation to come back. I am extremely excited to work with former colleagues again and to bring back the lessons I’ve learned the last two years. I have a feeling it’s going to be a great role at a very exciting time.

And where might this work be taking place, you ask? The list of places I had considered living was relatively short. The main requirement was that it had to be in the western US as most of my family is located there. Beyond that somewhere with an outdoorsy lifestyle, water and/or mountains nearby, an international airport, a vibrant local culture, music/museums/events, and some decent public transportation. I thought about moving back to California where many of my family are, maybe San Diego or the Bay Area, Seattle, Portland (though I’ve never been) and Denver. I figured the decision would be dictated at least in part to where I’d be working and I guess that was the case at least a little.

Though I lived and worked for this company in Reno previously they also have an office in Denver where a few key people sit. Though the new job is location independent I could see it would be good to join them at least to start. As it was already one of my top two choices, I picked Denver. From what I’ve seen it has just about everything I was looking for and a handful of friends who already live there and love it. Bonus! February is full of travel so in March when there’s not too much snow between Reno and Denver, I’ll drive my car and a few boxes the 1,000 miles (1,600km) to give the mile high city a shot.

As I said, I am extremely excited about all of the new adventures that lie ahead. A new job, a new city, new challenges, new people. I have a great feeling about it all and can’t wait to see what 2013 has in store. I am also looking forward to settling down, at least a little. Finding a place, making a home and having some kind of regular schedule in my life. After two years of constant travel (which I loved, don’t get me wrong) I’m feeling like it’s time to just be for a while. Of course, put me in one place for any number of weeks in a row and we’ll see how long that feeling lasts.