Fifteen years in the high tech startup world was enough. It seemed to me that it no longer mattered how hard, or clever I worked, the structure of the system meant that every day was designed to push me and my family to our limits. When I started in the high tech world I loved that there was always something new to learn. By the time I finished all I could see was the senseless waste and stress associated with constant change for the sake of change. With each passing year trading hours of my life for money seemed to be a worse deal. So at the end of 2009, once Avatar was in the can, I quit.
For me the catalyst was divorce. Freed from my mortgage and freshly single at the age of 36, I realised that I could do whatever I wanted, and was shocked to discover that I didn’t really have any idea what that was. All I had was a hunger for something different than what my life had consisted of so far.
For no good reason, I bought a one-way ticket to Bali with the notion that I could make it to India without getting on a plane. Like so many people before me, that decision changed my life.
I quickly discovered that the life of a backpacker wasn’t for me. Instead, I ended up in a spiritual community on a small island in the Gulf of Thailand. There I studied Hatha yoga, got the space to begin deepening my meditation practice and was introduced to permaculture. That year affected me deeply and I will forever be grateful for it. It was my chance encounter with permaculture which finally convinced me to leave. I said my goodbyes, packed my bag and headed to Chiang Mai for a follow-up permaculture course. From there I went to Australia for a three-month permaculture internship where among other wonderful things I was introduced to Holistic Management and Nonviolent Communication. Shortly after arriving back in New Zealand I was offered a job at a nascent intentional community where I spent six months living and working before finally moving home to Wellington.
A few months later a friend introduced me to Tink, who wanted help planting lime trees on her twelve-acre property on the Kāpiti Coast. We hit it off immediately and got married a few years later.