This is no surprise to those who know me well or follow my writing, but I kind of have the travel bug. And it’s probably no surprise that I’ve decided it’s time for me to go on another global adventure. I have a one way ticket booked for Thailand leaving December 28th and am planning to live out of a backpack (again) for awhile with my high school buddy Dan at BankVibe. As a result, yesterday marked my last day as a full time employee of Virtual Results. Like my decision to leave Zillow in early 2010, this was largely a personal decision stemming from my need for a change in scenery. I’ve worked remotely for the past year, traveled a bit around the US & to the US Virgin Islands for 5 weeks, but I still can’t kick the bug to spend more time exploring scenery and cultures beyond the confines of the US.

I’m still going to need an income to fund my travels abroad, so what’s next career wise?

  1. ESM Exec Designs – Custom (non real estate) WordPress sites, with focus on corporate and executive blogs. I’m going to be implementing an iteration of the One for One movement Toms Shoes has brought to the mainstream. For every custom site we build, ESM will give a laptop/computer to an individual or non profit organization somewhere in the developing world.
  2. Oh Hey World – I’ll be spending a lot of my time building content on the travel blog I’ve had for two years. I’ll be honest — the site looks like garbage right now, but there is a total site redesign in the works that should be done late January or early February (update 1/25: here’s a preview).
  3. Geek Estate – Geek Estate has been my baby since it was launched in 2007, and won’t be forgotten.
  4. SEO/Social Media Consulting/Corporate Branding for Startups and and Small Businesses. If you’re interested in my help in any of these areas, let me know.
  5. I’ll be staying on as a consultant with Virtual Results.

Thank you to Jim and the entire Virtual Results family for everything. Virtual Results is a tight knit group of dedicated individuals pushing the envelope of real estate website design. I’m proud of what we accomplished in 2011, most notably the creation and growth of the Agent Plus (formerly known as Predesigned Websites that Work) and Broker’s Choice offerings. It was a pleasure working with amazing clients like Lori BeeRic DizonGreg DallaireMaya PavezaKris Berg, Doug Heddings, and Dominic at M Squared Real Estate (see Broker’s Choice press release). I couldn’t have asked for a better surrounding cast to learn what it takes to build amazing WordPress sites — and certainly a lot of that learning will go into the ESM sites I end up building. 2012 is going to be a big year for VR, and I’ll certainly do what I can to help from abroad.

So, why am I doing all this? Because I can. It seems crazy to not travel now while I’m young with no commitments instead of wait until I’m retired to see the world. For those who want to do the seemingly impossible, the Impossible Manifesto is well worth the read.

Man, this is my second one of these “next chapter” posts (here’s the first), and I’m sure there will be others down the line. You’d think I’d be good at it by now, but nope. Goodbye posts are never easy.

It’s safe to say 2012 is going to be off the hook awesome…

PS – If you know anyone living in, or traveling to, Thailand or anywhere else in Southeast Asia in the next few months, let me know. I know I’ll meet a ton of people over there, but any added local guidance is always appreciated.