The past couple of weeks were about as challenging as any time since we’ve been traveling and trying to determine the path our lives are going to take. I don’t want to sound ungrateful or whiny because I know how privileged we are to have had this opportunity to both take a year off, and to hopefully, create our own destiny. But we’ve also found that we are not so privileged that we can just go and do exactly what we want to do and pursue our dream.
We are not abandoning our ultimate goal, which is to start a bike hostel in California, but have found that we probably cannot jump in and make that happen very soon, at least not in California, unless we win the Powerball. As I think we implied but did not state explicitly in previous posts, California is REALLY expensive. For example, rent on a one-bedroom apartment in much of the state is almost three times as much as it is in Denver, which itself has experienced a pretty rapid explosion in the rental and housing markets (but nothing like California). Business properties are very expensive, and the zoning rules are challenging.
We had thought that as an interim step we’d maybe locate ourselves somewhere in the Bay Area and get, you know, regular jobs. We even booked ourselves into an extended stay hotel in the South Bay Area for two weeks so we could scope out the area and maybe apply for some jobs and/or find a place to live. This possibility is still on the table, but at least one of the jobs one of us gets will have to pay really well to make it worth the while.
Spending some time in the area was great in terms of getting to know the region a bit and catching up with friends and “framily” in the area, and we even got some bicycling in. But it also prompted a great deal of soul searching.
Both from talking to people and from our own investigation, we concluded that the likelihood of getting one or two jobs (one each) that pay well enough for us to live in the area and also save money toward bringing our dream to fruition is going to take a while. If we are just working to survive, and we are working in the same fields that we left behind in 2014, not to mention, not even in the part of California we love, then we were not sure we saw the point. I’m not saying I won’t work in the field in which I’ve worked for most of the past 20 years, and if the right job came up in California, that could change everything, but it’s not the prime direction I want to take.
In addition, we are not in love with the Pacific Coast Trail yet as a bicycling route, so we are not sure we can advocate for it if we’re not excited about riding it ourselves.
So, after much emotional discussion, and a frank sharing of visions and thoughts, we’ve decided to return to Colorado and see if we can make our dream a reality somewhere in the other state we love so much (Colorado that is).
We briefly considered a relatively leisurely trip back to Colorado, going via the Grand Canyon, which I’ve never seen, and a couple of other places, but once again circumstances required a relatively quick trip (which also meant long car days, which we both hate). Angie’s brother was getting ready to leave town for 8 days, and he’s been taking care of one of the dogs, so we needed to get back before he left so that the dog is not deserted, and doesn’t feel deserted.
The goal is to scout out some of the areas that may be candidates in Colorado for the hostel we envision, and then try to move that forward in a state where property is (at least outside the Denver metro area) relatively affordable. Sadly, there will probably still have to be day jobs, but hopefully we can at least get “proof of concept” here and achieve a chunk of our dream.