New Year, New Adventures

At the end of the year last year, I had a lot of my dreams come true. I actually got my dream job – where I wanted to work before I even learned to code! One of the big perks of this new job was that it was fully remote. It was also my dream to travel the world (for longer periods that I already was traveling), so I went all in.

I gave up my San Francisco apartment (they raised the prices by $400+/month after I left and I could barely afford it as is, so there’s no way I can come back!), I moved to Seattle, and went on to Amsterdam, where I spent the month. I’m now in New Zealand for some summer time and going to Japan next week!

I know it all sounds glamorous and all, but it turned out to all be a lot harder than I realized. In the span of three weeks I spoke at two conferences, started a new job – fully remote, moved from San Francisco to Seattle, where I only spent a week getting my life in order before flying to Amsterdam. On top of that, I am organizing my very first conference – try! Swift in Tokyo in March, continuing with my newsletter, and blogging. So to re-iterate, I moved, completely changed my lifestyle, and started a new job all at the same time!

The hardest part, which really surprised me, was not having all of my friends nearby. I took for granted all the social interaction I got at the office (and outside of it) previously. Of course I met awesome people at my new job and in Amsterdam, but it takes a while to develop the close relationships that I had every day back in San Francisco (those took me years to develop in San Francisco!).

Needless to say, all of this was too much for me. There were a lot of joyous moments (I mean, Amsterdam!!!!! Stroopwafels!!!!), but a lot more stress that I finally couldn’t handle anymore. Something needed to change.

After looking into all the things I was doing, I realized that my heart wasn’t in my new job. The problem wasn’t with the job – everyone was super nice to me and it was really great when I thought about it rationally, the problem was me and all the things I had going on in my life.

I just couldn’t fully get my heart into the new job (no matter how much I wanted to), which stressed me out even more, making me feel guilty, causing everything to be more stressful. It honestly felt like a personal failure. Here I am at my dream job, why is this not working?

By the time I got to New Zealand (yay 30+ hours of travel!), I knew I had to quit and take the time to figure out my new life. To process all the changes and come up with a new plan based on the unexpected obstacles. So that’s what I did.

My other dream has always been to run my own business (yes business, not a startup). But since I was living in San Francisco, I couldn’t afford to do it – have you seen the rent prices?!!! My last salary negotiation went something like this – “I love this company and my job, and I’d love to continue working here, but I can’t afford my rent”. Now that I’m traveling all over the world, the possibilities are indeed endless. Turns out it’s much cheaper to travel all over the world than pay San Francisco rent. Who would have thought!

So I’m still figuring things out, but I do have a focused plan so far through March. My big projects include:

  • try! Swift Conference – seriously, I cannot be more excited about this. People from all over the world are going to be attending!!! And it’s in Japan!!!!! If you haven’t visited Japan yet, you need to. We’re also still looking for more sponsors – would appreciate any contacts!
  • iOS Unit Testing in Swift Workshop – This is a Swift re-write of @catehstn’s iOS Unit Testing Workshop. It’s been on my list to do for a while, and now I finally will!
  • Swift Job Board – Another thing I’ve wanted to do for a while, but haven’t had time. There needs to be a job board for companies that are already using Swift or are in the transition process. We’re offering sweet deals for companies that sign up early, including pairing the listing with a sponsorship in my newsletter – This Week in Swift.

The big thing all of these have in common is that I’m working on these with other people! I’d like to continue this trend of working with others on projects throughout the year if possible.

It’s never the right time to give up your apartment and start being a nomad. And it’s never a right time to quit your job and start your own business. I’m glad it happened – now I’ll have to figure it all out 🙂 This is going to be the most challenging and exciting year yet!



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  • Fernando Olivares

    Congrats! It’s really absolutely ridiculous that you (as a very capable dev) could not afford rent in San Francisco. It’s also amazing that you’re taking this journey, and I for one will follow along 😀

    Keep writing. I know I’m reading!

    • To be fair, I need to live by myself. The “cheapest” place I could find was 230sq ft and ridiculously expensive – my co-workers on the East Coast were paying a lot less for mortgages on houses! Thanks for the kind words 🙂

  • Congrats Natasha!

  • Vincius Carvalho

    Congrats Natasha and keep writing 🙂

  • Pedro Piñera

    Congrats Natasha. I’m also thinking about doing something similar. The experiences you gain, travelling around the world and meeting new people is something you cannot get in an office working every day in the same environment. Enjoy your new adventure.

    • Definitely! Learned so much about myself in only 2 months! Loving it, but still trying to figure it out 🙂

  • andybel

    What a great inspiring post to bring us out of the back-to-work January blues- Good luck with your plan!

  • Patrick

    I’ll be happy to work with/for you!

    • G.Patrick Bellot 


  • Erica Sabol

    Love reading along with your adventures! I will be in the UK in August and likely taking a few weeks to travel – would love to see if we could catch up! Keep writing and good luck!

  • Kakubei

    Natasha, you’re an inspiration to all developers, Swift and otherwise. I wish you the best and hope all your dreams come true. If you’re ever in Barcelona, Spain let me know, beers are on me!

    Oh, and check this blog about a developer (my brother) who has been traveling the world for the past 5 years, now with a young family in tow! Hopefully that will offer you some inspiration to keep going:

  • Pratik Stephen

    Wow! You quit your job at Basecamp? That really did sound like a dream job!
    Good luck with starting your own business! I’m inspired! 🙂