300 Posts and Where Am I Going?

This is my 300th post, which still seems crazy to me. When I started the wordpress.com version of my blog more than three and a half years ago, I’m not sure I really thought much about how long it would last. I know I didn’t think I’d be switching to a self-hosted site just a few months later. Now my life is different in so many ways I never could have imagined back then. But instead of looking back like I did for my 200th post, I thought I’d take a look at where I’m going.

My previous reasons for not pursuing a job

I feel time barreling down on me in a way I haven’t in a long time. I’m feeling frustrated about my next step, what to do with myself and my time. For the past two years, I’ve had a series of things occupying my time. I was planning a five month round the world trip, then I was on that trip, then I was taking an intense German integration course for eight months, then I was sick for a while, then Andy and I were traveling for two months. Now we’re home, and Andy’s back to work with a contract, but I’m feeling a bit lost.

Pompeii Vesuvius Italy

Are you going to get a job soon?

I hear this question a lot lately, and I feel like a slacker when I say no. It’s all too complicated to explain to most people, especially people like my 88 year old neighbor who speaks an almost indecipherable (to me) dialect of German. I do want some source of income, but I’m ok with not making a full time salary like I did when I lived in Atlanta. I just want to do something I enjoy and feel like I’m contributing to our expenses even a little.

Business roadblocks

I’ve had this business idea for a few months, but I keep finding more problems, more roadblocks, more costs. It’s very likely that I won’t be able to start a business, even an online one, in Germany. But starting it in the US has its own complications since I’m not a resident there. There also health insurance complications here since the rules apply differently for self-employed people, which is Andy’s current status. So if I start working, I might have to pay for my own health insurance, whereas now I’m covered on Andy’s. I suddenly see the small amount of money I thought I could make (in dollars) getting paid out in large amounts (in dollars and euros), making my efforts feel futile.

Sorry, I don’t want to be a dishwasher

So if the business idea doesn’t work out, what next? What will I do with my time? How will I earn money? My German isn’t good enough to get hired for most jobs. I don’t want to work in insurance again (my job in the US)  and even if I did, my qualifications from the US wouldn’t be enough to get an equivalent job here. Plus if Andy and I are going to continue traveling the way we want to and living our Beyond Vacation idea, I wouldn’t be able to hold a job for more than a few months at a time anyway. My options for a traditional job are extremely limited, and I don’t want to wash dishes.

Writing?

I don’t want blogging to be my career. I enjoy it, but I have no desire to go on rounds of press trips or travel on someone else’s terms for little to no money. I’m currently enrolled in a two week writing seminar (in English) and it’s making me more and more interested in writing outside of my two sites. But I don’t know if that’s a new career path for me, or just an extension of a hobby. Freelance writing isn’t grabbing me at the moment because most of it feels uninspiring and only pays about $25 an article.

Freiburg, Germany photos

Exhausted yet? I’m worn out just trying to write this post. So where am I going? Who knows. I just reread a post I wrote a little over a year ago called Thoughts on One Year of Unemployment, and that, plus the wonderful comments everyone left me, helped me get a little more perspective. I think for now I’ll just keep blogging, keep working on my writing outside of the blogs, and poke at a few ideas to see if any of them will spring to life. And maybe I’ll just start telling my neighbor my job is top secret.

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