Thursday, May 10, 2012

Crossroads: PanAmerican or School?

At the beginning of this week I had a talk with my business partner, Tyler, about my future in the US. I have finally earned enough money to pay for a lawyer consultation, so we can have all options laid before us and see what path to follow. That got my mind started on the dreams of the PanAmerican highway again... I now have Orwell, the perfect vehicle, and just enough money saved up after the sale of all my cars before my visa expires. So, with this traveler twitch, coated in exciting uncertainty, I schedules a consultation with a good, reputable immigration lawyer in town: Carlos Nolla-Corretger. I also went to the local bookstore and ordered a map of the entire American continent to (maybe) plan...

Will I use this map in the next few months, or will it be a year-long project? Answer's still in the air.
The answer Carlos gave us was a simple option: to either go back to school on a student visa or to leave the country and come back later. It's a huge decision to make in such small time frame, as there are so many factors that affect the decision and affect everyone around me. Here is a list of pros and cons on each of these two –very delicate- choices in my life:

Pros/Cons of the PanAmerican journey: I am just at the perfect time in my life to do it, with my health and finances in good standing. I am uncertain about what the future will have for me if I stay in school for another year, if I will be able to earn at a greater pace than I spend while at school. I would feel, though, that I am leaving Tyler down and the project unfinished. I may, however, be able to edit the last episode while on one of the stops on the road, and return to the US in a tourist visa for three months. I have most of my mechanical skills down and take care of most problems with my toolset. On the flip side, I am absolutely uncertain on what will happen at the end of the journey, whether I will have a job in the US or Spain; however, this trip would give me enough experience to be able to apply for position that involve a lot of travel –hopefully with a TV station-. I am driving into the true unknown, leaving most of my possessions behind, with Spain –ahem, my death- as the only place to return –with little or no money- unless I have a safe job opportunity lined up after I am done.

Pros/Cons of going back to school: pursuing a Master in Business Administration will certainly bump up my resumé, buy me an extra two or three years in the US, and give me some financial and managerial skills that I am lacking. It should be relatively cheap, under $8,000 a year, to do it in a school here in Kansas, and my living expenses would be minimal. However, I do not know if I can earn a clean $8,000 over that period of time without compromising my savings. This time would definitely give me the time to prepare properly: planning the route with calm, learning how to weld, improve on my mechanical skills and my drawing. I will certainly be able to produce, shoot and edit all six episodes for the first season of Open Roads. My biggest fear is, as I said, end up with less money than I started with if I cannot earn enough while at school, which would force me to accept a job offer that would tie me for a good while to a place, and postpone the PanAmerican journey by a few years. I could also use this time to network extensively and gain some reputation.

So, here I am, wondering if I should bit the bullet and go down to Argentina right now, with the help of KickStarter dot com, or if I should be cautious and study some more to get me better prospects and more time to work with Tyler on the web series. Oh, Lordie...

Any advice would be most appreciated; I reach to you, out there in the mysterious dark tubes of the internet, to all of you who have followed my travels and see my life change. What should I do?

1 comment:

  1. Head south young man while you are still young. You can always return and get an MBA.